Boatbuilders mark production milestones


Two boatbuilders in the Pacific Northwest — one specializing in wood-and-epoxy designs, the other in steel — recently launched milestone vessels.

Moon River, a $1.4 million, 48-foot, custom-built poweryacht settled into the water at Swantown Marina in Olympia, Wash., on Wednesday after it spent more than two years under construction.

The 32,000-pound boat project is the second-largest vessel for designer and builder Sam Devlin of Devlin Designing Boat Builders of Tumwater, Wash., a company that has pioneered the wood-and-epoxy boat design.

“It’s gorgeous,” owner Ed Schulman of Seattle said after seeing it in the water for the first time, according to a report by The News Tribune.

Schulman, originally from New York but a Northwest resident for 15 years, is a longtime boat owner, having owned 20 to 30 boats in his lifetime, he said.

But now that he’s 75 and his wife is in her 70s, they need a boat that is a little easier to operate, he said. The boat was designed with convenience in mind: Two people can comfortably run it; it has strategically placed cameras to help with navigation; and a crane was installed to lift a dinghy and kayak on board.

Schulman said he chose Devlin because the design and construction of the boat were contained within one business. He also had a lot of input on the design, and he said Devlin has a good eye for a beautiful boat.

Click here for the full report.

Further north up the coast, Bay Welding Services of Homer, Alaska, passed a landmark this month in the completion of its 100th steel-fabricated boat. At 42 feet, the boat is the manufacturer’s largest yet and the fifth one for the Alaska State Troopers.

The 100th boat has a 14-foot beam and is powered by triple 300-hp outboard engines.

Bay Weld’s first contract came when the Alaska State Wildlife Division’s Steven Bear was head of the Kenai Peninsula-Prince William Sound region in the late 1990s.

“My troopers came to me and said, ‘There’s a boatbuilder down here [in Homer] who makes a really good product. Would you come down and take a look at it?’ ”

Bear, now deputy director of the Alaska State Trooper Wildlife Division, said he was impressed. He had been a welder 25 years ago. “I know a good seam when I see one,” he said.

Click here for the full report by the Homer Tribune.