DAVID G. SELLARS ON THE WATERFRONT: Port Angeles manufacturer closer to building Navy boats

Armstrong Marine, the aluminum-boat fabricator whose facilities are on Octane Lane adjacent to the Port Angeles Race Track, was recently awarded a contract to build three Navy dive boats.

According to Armstrong CFO Mike Rainey, the company will construct two 50-foot dive boats, one of which will be delivered to the Navy in Bremerton and the other to San Diego.

A 60-foot dive boat will be built for delivery to the Navy at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

Each vessel will have space for 14 personnel including the crew, changing rooms for the divers and a dedicated space for recharging air tanks.

The better part of last week was spent with a team of government engineers huddled with Armstrong’s key personnel to perform pre-production reviews.

Mike said once that phase is completed, they will be able to begin construction


It is anticipated that the $4 million project will take 14 months to complete.

No. 7 coming out

The seventh 164-foot yacht built at Westport Shipyard’s 120,000- square-foot plant on Port Angeles’ Marine Drive is scheduled to be launched Tuesday.

Known until now as Hull No. 5007, the mega-yacht, which took about a year to build, has been named Boardwalk.

The typical 50-meter Westport yacht has a full-beam master suite with a separate office on the main deck, a bridge deck, VIP suite with a private terrace and four luxurious staterooms.

Lady Kathryn IV, the fifth Westport 50-meter yacht, built in Port Angeles and launched last year, was acquired by a new owner within the past 90 days and renamed Xilonen V.

Although I do not know what the purchase price was, the yacht was offered for sale at $34,250,000.

As always, Westport is tight-lipped on who owners and buyers are.

One thing’s for sure:

The owners of these Westport 164-footers have beautiful yachts.

Up and out of the water

On Friday morning, Marjorie Morningstar moored to the Port of Port Angeles’ T-Pier after a voyage from Florida that took her through the Panama Canal.

Jay Ketchum with Affordable Crane of Sequim was pier-side to hoist a satellite dome off the 171-foot superyacht and lower it onto the pier to allow personnel to make repairs.

Jay’s company was also asked to recertify her winches prior to the yacht’s afternoon departure for Alaska.

The 52-meter tri-deck yacht was built in 2004 by the Dutch luxury yacht builder, Amels, at its facility on the North Sea.

She was launched as Lady In Blue, and the current owner acquired her in 2007 and renamed her Marjorie Morningstar.

This is the second yacht with this name for this owner.

The first one was a 143-footer that had an onboard fire in a guest quarter that caused extensive smoke damage throughout the vessel.

Stabbert Maritime of Seattle acquired the damaged yacht and rebuilt her from the keel up.

She was renamed Devotion — and is now available for charter in the Mediterranean for $135,000 a week.

I understand Marjorie Morningstar is owned by the daughter of Max Ward, the legendary Canadian bush pilot.

He parlayed a biplane flying passengers and cargo into the Yukon and Northwest Territories in the early ’50s into Ward­air, a pioneer in the holiday charter service business with destinations in Europe, Hawaii and Mexico aboard a fleet of Boeing 707s, 727s and jumbo jets.

Snarled by nylon

Patriot, a Nordlund 57, came into the Port Angeles Boat Haven on Thursday and moored to the transient dock on the west side of the harbormaster’s office.

Tony Carter, a retired tug boat captain with 35 years experience, brought her up from San Francisco for delivery to a new owner in Tacoma.

Just west of LaPush, one of the screws became fouled with two different sizes of nylon line.

Tony spent the night in LaPush and then limped into Port Angeles on one engine for repairs.

Steve Eikum of Port Angeles donned his diving gear and within about 45 minutes unwound the line from the propeller, filling two garbage bags with the offending material.

As luck would have it there was no damage, and Tony was back under way well before eight bells.

Steve said in his opinion the lines were not from abandoned crab pots but rather he believes they were tossed overboard by inconsiderate and irresponsible boaters.

This is the second time in two weeks that Tony has been in our local waters.

Most recently he transported a Tartan 4300 sailboat to Orcas Island.

When he completes delivery of Patriot, he will transport a 60-foot Turkish-built power boat with twin 1,000-horsepower engines from San Francisco to Van Isle Marina in Sidney on Vancouver Island.

“So much for retirement,” Tony said.

Sailboat gets work

Stella Serena, a 76-foot fiberglass sailboat that hails from Honolulu, Hawaii, is sitting on the hard at Platypus Marine.

Capt. Charlie Crane, Platypus’ director of sales and marketing, said personnel are installing new electronics aboard the custom-built boat, repairing the sonar dome, resealing the port and starboard windows and making minor fiberglass repairs on the hull.

AL DI LA, an 80-foot Grand Alaskan that hails from Eagle, Idaho, was put into Platypus’ Commander Building earlier last week.

Personnel were scraping off bucketsful of barnacles from the shafts, rudder and screws.

Capt. Charlie said they will be making repairs to the Gel Coat and repainting the bottom.

Platypus had Feisty Lady, a 40-foot Nordhavn, hauled out by the crew at Port Angeles Boat Yard and stowed on the hard at the boat yard.

Personnel installed a new water maker and painted the bottom.

According to Capt. Charlie, the boat yard is a convenient option Platypus uses from time to time when its equipment is otherwise tied up.

At the filler-up

Last Sunday, Tesoro Petroleum provided bunkers in Port Angeles Harbor to the SeaRiver Kodiak.

The 869-foot double-hull crude oil tanker once plied our waters as the Tonsina.

On Monday, Tesoro provided bunkers to Super Challenge, a 564-foot bulk cargo ship.

Tesoro on Tuesday refueled British Laurel, a double-hulled crude oil tanker under contract to BP Shipping.

Then on Wednesday, Tesoro bunkered the 831-foot Sierra, a double-hull crude oil tanker that was formerly named the Kenai.


David G. Sellars is a Port Angeles resident and former Navy boatswain’s mate who enjoys boats and strolling the waterfront.

Items involving boating, port activities and the North Olympic Peninsula waterfronts are always welcome. E-mail [email protected] or phone him at 360-417-3736. His column, On the Waterfront, appears every Sunday.

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