Vigor Industrial and Seattle’s Kvichak Marine agree to merge

Vigor Industrial, the Northwest’s largest shipbuilding and repair company, is adding to its empire.

The Portland-based Vigor and Seattle’s Kvichak Marine announced Wednesday they are merging. Kvichak builds aluminum work boats at its Ballard shipyard.

Vigor over the last several years has grown exponentially buying up shipyards and businesses in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. In Tacoma, it owns a 5-acre repair shipyard on the Tacoma Tideflats’ Middle Waterway. Vigor also operates at Portland’s Swan Island Shipyard, at Harbor Island in Seattle where it owns the former Todd Shipyard, in Port Angeles, Everett, Bremerton and Vancouver in Washington, in Ketchikan and Seward in Alaska and in Clackamas, Oregon.

Vigor recently merged with Oregon Iron Works which specializes in sophisticated metal parts fabrication and machining.

Kvichak has developed a portfolio of work boats ranging from oil skimmers to catamaran ferries, pilot boats and police craft. It has sold its vessels to police departments in Boston, New York and Seattle and pilot boats serving the Port of Savannah, the Columbia and Mississippi rivers.

Vigor itself maintains Navy aircraft carriers and warships, Coast Guard cutters and icebreakers, barges, fishing vessels and other commercial ships. It has built several Washington State ferries. The company’s Swan Island shipyard, which last handled cruise ship maintenance in 2003, this month renewed its cruise ship maintenance with Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Star, which is spending nearly two weeks in the company’s new drydock for repairs.

With the addition of Kvichak as a wholly owned subsidiary, Vigor will employ about 2,500 workers in the Northwest.