Platypus to build boats for Dutch firm

Deal expected to create new jobs in Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — Platypus Marine has signed a letter of intent with Dutch shipbuilding conglomerate Damen to build a “crew transfer vessel” for use in the U.S. offshore wind industry, the company announced Tuesday.

Platypus will construct a 16,500-square-foot building northeast of Cedar Street and Marine Drive to build the 88-foot vessel, creating 20-25 new jobs at the company, which currently employs between 80 and 90 people.

President Chris Feffer wrote in a Tuesday afternoon email that the company will build other vessels for Damen but is announcing only this design for now.

The full-service shipyard, yacht-repair facility and steel-boat manufacturer has leased 4 acres at Marine Drive and Cedar Street since 1998. There it builds and repairs recreational craft, commercial fishing boats and Navy and Coast Guard vessels.

The new building at 535 Marine Drive will be able to hold up to four 112-foot build vessels at once in various stages of construction, the release said.

The company now has some 77,000 square feet in six buildings, according to Feffer. The new building will put the company just shy of 100,000 square feet.

“Platypus will still be focused on our refit and repair sector of the marine industry taking care of current and new customers,” Feffer said.

“Platypus Marine is taking on new ventures to complement the refit and repair sector for future growth in the marine industry — respected maritime professionals in relentless pursuit of quality solutions,” Feffer wrote.

Construction of the new building is expected to start in late 2023 or early 2024 and finish in early 2025, the release said.

The vessels themselves take 12 to 14 months to build.

“Working with Damen Shipyards gives Platypus Marine the full support of their engineering team as well their build reputation so Platypus can construct a competitively priced, top-of-the-line vessel, to be used in any waters it is deployed to,” said Alan Borde, Damen’s area manager for the United States, in the release.

“Damen has built and delivered well over 6,000 vessels since 1927, spread out amongst our various 38 shipyards worldwide, headquartered in the Netherlands,” he said.

“Via local construction and partnering with yards such as Platypus we have delivered over 200 vessels for the U.S. market and over 1,500 globally together with Damen Technical Cooperation Division (DTC),” he said.

The vessel will be built on spec using Damen’s FCS 2710 design. That 88-foot aluminum catamaran has already been proven in the European market, according to the company.

The collaboration with Platypus means the vessels will comply with the Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. It is a federal law that requires goods shipped between U.S. ports to be transported on ships that are built, owned and operated by United States citizens or permanent residents.

“A large fleet of Jones Act-compliant CTVs will be needed to help build and service the United States’ growing offshore wind industry,” according to the press release.

“To date, three U.S.-built CTVs are currently operational, with more than 20 additional vessels known to be on order,” the release said.

The aluminum-hulled vessel will measure 88 feet with a deck area of 90 square meters and a maximum speed of 25 knots. It will hold 24 people.

Available options include a hybrid propulsion system, rescue zone, deck crane, cargo fuel system and a global maritime distress and safety system.

A range of vessels is used during the construction, maintenance and operation of offshore wind farms. While the majority of vessels will work in different markets, Crew Transfer Vessels (CTVs) have emerged as a specialist area. These vessels are used to transport wind farm technicians and other personnel out to sites on a daily basis.

Most vessels have individual suspension seats which are designed to minimize travel fatigue and stress caused by vessel motion. They also have kitchens, televisions and entertainment systems. Berths are available for the crew to use on extended operations.

CTVs can be used to take small amounts of cargo out to sites, such as components and equipment for the installation and servicing of the turbines.


Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at