Shipwrights Co-op buys Townsend Bay Marine

By Robin Dudley of the Leader
Posted 4/14/15

The Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-op is buying Townsend Bay Marine (TBM), and is moving its entire business across the Port of Port Townsend Boat Haven to occupy their new digs.

"We have a volume …

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Shipwrights Co-op buys Townsend Bay Marine

Posted

The Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-op is buying Townsend Bay Marine (TBM), and is moving its entire business across the Port of Port Townsend Boat Haven to occupy their new digs.

"We have a volume of business, and we're feeling pinched," said co-op member Jim Lyons. "We were feeling the need for more space, especially covered space." In the future, he said, "a covered environment is going to be an issue."

A purchase and sale agreement has been signed for the buildings, the business and the brand, said David King for TBM on April 10. "We've been working on this for about three months."

"We'll stay the Shipwrights Co-op," said Chris Brignoli of the co-op.

TBM has "about a dozen" employees, King said. The business was bought "out of bankruptcy from when it was Admiral Bay Marine in 1999," King said. The six original owners are now down to four: Paul Zeusche, David Pratt, Bill Nance and King.

TBM's buildings are the only ones at the port large enough for the largest mobile boat hoist to enter, King noted. One is the round-roofed Building 4, built in 2006, which is open to the elements at one end. The other is the cavernous Building 3, which was built before the port acquired the 300-ton Travelift and accommodates it only by chance, and with inches to spare, King said. Building 3 can be closed, and has radiant floor heating as well as air makeup systems; it's also plumbed for compressed air and a vacuum.

Because environmental regulations are increasingly restricting outdoor boat work, the buildings allow the management of dust and other potential pollutants.

"One of the reasons we're making this move is environmental," Brignoli said.

In October 2014, the co-op began leasing a corner of one of TBM's four buildings. "Now we're leasing 90 percent of the place" and as of April 8 the co-op was working on eight boats at TBM already, said Arren Day of the co-op.

Day added that they work on a lot of steel boats, which are "sensitive to moisture," and use a lot of advanced coatings that require a controlled environment.

June 18 is the "theoretical closing date," Day said, the date on which they'll stop paying rent in the old place and start paying rent in the new place. Both facilities are leased from the Port of Port Townsend. King said TBM occupies about 73,200 square feet and pays about $3,700 per month in rent to the port. The co-op is going to negotiate its own lease with the port district.

Founded in 1981, the co-op now has 13 members and currently employs 15 more. The business had 22 boat projects underway, as of noon April 8.

The current co-op buildings are going up for sale.

Day said "there is some debate" as to whether they'll move the co-op's original 1981 peak-roofed, timber-framed building to the TBM site. It's "kind of the soul" of the co-op, Day said.

The current co-op facility includes an office, a two-story timber frame building housing the wood shop, a big building with radiant floor heating that can hold two 60-foot boats and another building across the street that can hold one more 60-footer, Day said.

"We're going to bring fresh life to the [TBM] facility," Day said, adding they'll also probably need to hire more people.

"It's a favorable thing as far as the port is concerned," Lyons said.

"It's safer economic growth," Day added, "because we're doing the work indoors."

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