By Robin Dudley from the chef
The Port Townsend Carpentry Co-operative buys Townsend Bay Marine (TBM) and moves all of its activities to Port Townsend Boat Haven harbor to occupy its new excavations.
“We have a lot of business and we feel stuck,” said Jim Lyons, co-op member. “We felt the need for more space, especially covered space.” In the future, he said, “a covered environment will be a problem”.
A buy and sell contract has been signed for the buildings, the company and the brand, David King said for TBM on April 10. “We’ve been working on this for about three months.”
“We will remain the Shipwrights Co-op,” said Chris Brignoli of the co-op.
TBM has “about a dozen” employees, King said. The company was bought out “from bankruptcy when it was Admiral Bay Marine in 1999,” King said. The six original owners are now only four: Paul Zeusche, David Pratt, Bill Nance and King.
TBM’s buildings are the only buildings at the port large enough for the largest mobile winch to fit, King noted. One is Round Roof Building 4, built in 2006, which is open to the elements at one end. The other is Cavernous Building 3, which was built before the port acquired the 300-ton Travelift and accommodated it only by chance, and with a few inches to spare, King said. Building 3 can be closed and has a heated floor as well as air make-up systems; it is also connected to compressed air and vacuum.
Because environmental regulations increasingly restrict the work of boats outdoors, buildings allow the management of dust and other potential pollutants.
“One of the reasons we are making this decision is environmental,” said Brignoli.
In October 2014, the cooperative began renting a corner of one of TBM’s four buildings. “Now we lease 90 percent of the place,” and as of April 8, the co-op was already working on eight boats at TBM, said Arren Day of the co-op.
Day added that they work on many steel boats, which are “moisture sensitive” and use many advanced coatings that require a controlled environment.
June 18 is the “notional closing date,” Day said, the date they will stop paying rent in the old location and start paying rent in the new one. 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 cooperative will negotiate its own lease with the port district.
Founded in 1981, the cooperative now has 13 members and currently employs 15 more. The company had 22 boat projects underway, as of April 8 at noon.
The current cooperative buildings are put up for sale.
Day said that “there is a debate” over whether they will move the original 1981 timber-roofed, half-timbered cooperative 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 wood-frame building housing the carpentry workshop, a large building with radiant underfloor heating that can accommodate two 60-foot boats, and another building across the street. the street can contain another 60 feet. footer, Day said.
“We are going to breathe new life into the [TBM] installation, ”Day said, adding that they will likely have to hire more people as well.
“It’s a favorable thing as far as the port is concerned,” Lyons said.
“It’s safer economic growth,” Day added, “because we are doing the work on the inside.”