Port Townsend Shipbuilders Co-op, Port Land Exchange

PORT TOWNSEND – Arren Day inspected the gravel behind the Port Townsend Carpentry Co-op and reported several 75-ton boats awaiting construction or repair.

The space, adjacent to the current building at 919 Haines Place, will soon accommodate 300-ton vessels in locations previously held by the Port of Port Townsend.

Jordan Bard, left, and Greg Friedrichs clamp a board in place on the Western Flyer. (Brian McLean / Peninsula Daily News)

Port commissioners signed a six-month deal in the works last week that traded the four additional boat spaces for land the port had previously leased from the cooperative.

The deal also included four buildings that the co-op had constructed and maintained since 1981, said Day, the chairman of the organization.

These buildings have been handed over to the port, which plans to rent them out as “small business incubators,” said executive director Jim Pivarnik.

Pivarnik told harbor commissioners on December 11 that they had completed an appraisal of approximately $ 655,000. The co-op will continue to pay for its current space at 6 cents per square foot until 2050, he said.

“It’s very close to a wash,” Pivarnik told Commissioners last month. “If we keep the rented buildings, it will generate roughly the same amount as the shipyard rates. ”

Arren Day, president of the Port Townsend Shipwright Cooperative, stands in front of the Kariel in Sitka, Alaska.  Day said his crew were working to reconfigure the boat for 150 pots of 6 feet in diameter each to replace a system with 8,000 hooks over 8 miles of line because sperm whales bite the fish.  (Brian McLean / Peninsula Daily News)

Arren Day, the president of the Port Townsend Shipwright Cooperative, stands in front of the Kariel in Sitka, Alaska. Day said his crew were working to reconfigure the boat for 150 pots of 6 feet in diameter each to replace a system with 8,000 hooks over 8 miles of line because sperm whales bite the fish. (Brian McLean / Peninsula Daily News)

While the co-op received less land in return, co-op partner Chris Brignoli said he puts the shipwrights in a more efficient space with room to grow, not just with the size of each. ship, but with the number of employees who can turn around. project.

“Consolidating our property into one space is more financially beneficial for the growth of our business,” he said.

And the port will have less work to do with the four buildings, which are ready to deliver to new tenants.

“It is a constructive and productive thing that we are doing for both,” Harbor commissioner Pete Hanke said Thursday before the motion was unanimously approved. “The cooperative, being the employer that you are, really helps our entire maritime trades mandate. You are truly exemplary in this department.

“It’s a win-win for everyone to move forward.”

The land and buildings that were returned to the port are located at 3109 Jefferson St., the former location of the co-op.

Day said they were limited to 75-ton boats and wanted more space for larger commercial vessels.

“For this to work, we have to grow our business,” said Brignoli.

It also allows the co-op to focus its efforts on the boats in the store rather than managing the rental documents, Day said.

“We’re not really in the business of being homeowners,” he said.

The cooperative’s 12 partners have between 45 and 50 employees, about 10 percent of whom work seasonally, Brignoli said.

The two men approved the land swap, saying it is part of the port’s mission statement to provide economic development opportunities in Jefferson County.

The Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-operative is working on a new bow for the St. John II.  (Brian McLean / Peninsula Daily News)

The Port Townsend Shipwright’s Co-op is working on a new bow for the St. John II. (Brian McLean / Peninsula Daily News)

Now they have more control around their yard, including environmental standards, the best practices of which are easier to maintain when most of the work is done indoors, Brignoli said.

“Everything is contained,” he said. “You sweep it up and wrap it up. None of this is blown away.

As Day descended a staircase from the co-op office to several different rooms, he described the areas where wood products are crushed and where machinists and electricians ply their trade.

The Western Flyer, made famous by John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts in the book “Sea of ​​Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research”, fills one of the rooms. Jordan Bard and Greg Friedrichs worked on clamping several planks on Monday during the ongoing restoration project.

Day then stood next to the Kariel of Sitka, Alaska, a 70-foot fishing boat in the shop for reconfiguration.

He said sperm whales in Alaska bit fish as they were pulled on 8,000 hooks over 8 miles of line.

Now they’re figuring out how to put 150 pots – 6 feet in diameter each – on the deck to catch black cod, Day said.

This is only the second conversion they’ve worked on at the co-op, but it’s an example of innovation within the industry, he said.

“It’s emerging faster, but it’s pretty new, so not many people have done it yet,” Day said.

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Jefferson County Editor-in-Chief Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].



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