Gateway: News

Council approves $35K toward Gig Harbor Boat Shop marine railways project

Bill Isaacs, 72, works on Thunderbird #11 at the nonprofit Gig Harbor Boat Shop. The nonprofit launched a capital campaign in March to complete the marine railways project at Gig Harbor’s historic Eddon Boatyard.
Bill Isaacs, 72, works on Thunderbird #11 at the nonprofit Gig Harbor Boat Shop. The nonprofit launched a capital campaign in March to complete the marine railways project at Gig Harbor’s historic Eddon Boatyard. Staff file/2012

The Gig Harbor Boat Shop launched a capital campaign in March to complete the marine railways project at Gig Harbor’s historic Eddon Boatyard.

A presentation at Monday’s City Council meeting from Ally Bujacich, community development director at Gig Harbor Boat Shop, outlined the project and highlighted the importance of the marine railways system to a working boatyard.

A marine railways system is used to pull boats from the water for repair or restoration and to return boats back to the water. The Eddon Boatyard marine railyways will consist of two carriages that slide along a rail powered by a refurbished 1945 electric winch.

“Railways are an essential component of a working boatyard,” Bujacich said. “The work that’s remaining is relatively small but significant. An operational railway system would completely transform the Gig Harbor Boat Shop.”

The council unanimously approved a funding request for $35K, half of the estimated $70K needed to complete phase one of the three-phase project. The remaining $35K will be provided by the Boat Shop through fundraising.

Public Works Director Jeff Langhelm presenting the funding request to the Council, noting that the request had been presented earlier Monday to the Public Works Committee, which recommended that the request be forwarded to the Council for approval.

Council member Steve Ekberg noted that, because permits for the project have already been obtained and a design finished, the completion of the project is time sensitive.

Phase one of the marine railways project will consist of the completion of the outside rails. Bujacich said that the goal is to have funds raised by Oct. 1 and the project finished by the end of the year.

Phase two of the project, completing the inside carriage, will cost $105K, with fundraising and work completed in 2018. Phase three is the completion of the outside carriage, with fundraising for the $225K and work in 2019.

The total project cost is estimated at $400K, with timelines dependent on successful fundraising.

According to the Gig Harbor Boat Shop’s website, railways were previously in place at Eddon Boatyard, but had been removed more than 10 years ago during the environmental cleanup of the site.

A groundbreaking ceremony is planned at the start of phase one of the project.

Eddon Boat Building structural repairs

The Council unanimously approved a professional services contract for the structural inspection and analysis of Eddon Boat building.

Langhelm presented the request to Council, noting that Gig Harbor Boat Shop staff had reported small gaps in the windowsills on the front of the store.

The $16,521 contract was approved for Peterson Structural Engineers, which will inspect the front bearing wall of the structure. Additional services in the contract include the preparation of a formal bid package for the completion of the structural repair of the wall and repainting of the structure.

Langelm noted that, while the structural repair of the building was not a budgeted item, the repair is necessary and sufficient funds exist within the Parks Operating Budget. Painting of the structure is already an included expense in the budget, he said.

Andrea Haffly: 253-358-4155, @gateway_andrea

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