Working Waterfront 2014

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Working Waterfront

Community rallies to restore 100-year-old Adventuress: 3

In the market? Gain helpful hints on purchasing a vessel: 6

Sail loft, customers create

custom designs: 7

Fishing industry picks PT for high-quality service: 8

Supplement to the Wednesday, February 5 edition of the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader


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Adventuress to have completed restoration in 2014 By Robin Dudley of the Leader

This winter, the fifth and final phase of the schooner Adventuress’ Centennial Restoration Project is under way. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989, the 101-foot, 100-year-old schooner is owned by the nonprofit Sound Experience, whose mission is “to educate, inspire and empower an inclusive community to make a difference for the future of our marine environment.” “There is so much excitement and enthusiasm surrounding the vessel right now,” said project manager Joshua Berger. “It’s an incredible community effort and fundraising effort – with great craftsmanship as well.”

Work is taking place at Haven Boatworks in the Port of Port Townsend. “The shipwrights are a great team,” Berger said. “Many have worked on the boat before. There’s great continuity.” He said that over the course of the project, about $1.2 million has been put into the boat, most of which went into creating living-wage jobs at the port. “These are among the best shipwrights on the West Coast to work with,” he said, adding, “We tap into skilled tradespeople all over town to help us out and think through problems,” including welders, machinists, and refrigeration experts. “It’s an incredibly collaborative effort.” Funding for last year’s

Shipwrights Blaise Holly (left) and Leland Gibson work on the schooner Adventuress at Haven Boatworks, replacing the planks and frames along the 101-foot schooner’s entire starboard side. Photo by Robin Dudley

work – replacing the port-side frames and planks – came largely from the Washington State Heritage Capital Project Fund, Berger said. Work on the port and starboard bow in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, including a new

stem, was funded by a federal grant, the last pot of money available for funding historic landmarks through the Save America’s Treasures Act. Sound Experience also won $150,000 through an online voting contest, which Berger

2014 WORKING WATERFRONT ✯ The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader 3

credits to the fact that the vessel continued to sail for seven or eight months of the year, staying in the public eye. “If we weren’t sailing that whole time, we never would have won the online See ADVENTURESS, Page 4▼

Adventuress: Launch ▼Continued from page 3

voting project.” Berger said the boat offers a “quality, transformational educational experience” for upwards of 5,000 sailing participants each year. The vessel was hauled out Dec. 2, 2013 for the final phase of the ship’s Centennial Restoration Project, and Berger said they plan to be back in the water in late March or early April. “It’s an exciting challenge” to restore a ship in four- to five-month sections. “Rip it apart, put it back together, decide where to start and stop,” he said. “We are committed to sail 200 days a year,” he said. It is important to stay in the public eye, and to continue serving their mission.


To sail aboard Adventuress is to become part of a deeply hopeful community for a while, and to partake in an intimate connection to the natural world as well. After hauling sails up together, participants directly experience the power of collaborative effort when the engine is turned off and the spreading canvas carries the boat across the water. Many others visit the boat each year during dockside tours; some years, when the boat attends a lot of boat festivals, up to 10,000 people might cross the deck, see the on-deck aquarium, smell the pine tar and look forward from beside the varnished wheel. To step aboard is to feel some of the hope, optimism and community that suffuse the vessel. Not only is Adventuress committed to educating people about the marine environment, the choices made during the restoration project underscore the organization’s commitment to sustainability. Berger is leading the implementation of Sound Experience’s “Living Ship Initiative,” taking the most stringent green building standards of land-based construction and applying

“We tap into skilled tradespeople all over town to help us out ... It’s an incredibly collaborative effort.” Joshua Berger project manager Schooner Adventuress Centennial Restoration Project, Phase V

them to marine construction. Berger said the project is reflective of Seattle’s Bullitt Center, a six-story commercial building known as “the greenest commercial building in the world.” Adventuress is taking the Living Building Challenge, which requires not only that materials and construction

This diagram shows the stages of the five-year Centennial Restoration Project, a complete rebuild of the hull of the schooner Adventuress, built in 1913. Diagram courtesy Sound Experience

techniques do not harm the environment, but also that the building is self-sufficient for energy and water.

“We are pushing the envelope for sustainable technology in the maritime industry,” Berger said. “This is

a confluence for historic preservation and a model for sustainable design and community.”

Joshua Berger (left) is the project manager for the fifth and final phase of the 101-foot schooner Adventuress’ Centennial Restoration Project, now under way at Haven Boatworks in Port Townsend. Shipwright apprentice Alea Robertson is on the scaffolding. Photo by Robin Dudley 4 2014 WORKING WATERFRONT ✯ The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

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How to buy a boat (and stay married) not satisfied with any of the three contingencies. Your financing should be lined up, but things can change, so always have that as a back door.

By Jim Maupin

The first step in buying a new or used pleasure boat in the range of 30-plus feet is to determine if you want a sailboat or a powerboat. Sailboats are for more active boaters who want to enjoy the experience of going at least as much as the getting there. Powerboats are for those who don’t see the need to do the dance with the winds and to master the lines. You probably already have that preference figured out anyway. Step two is a major financial decision. Will it be new or used? Let’s concentrate on used boats, since that is what most of us actually buy. They are considerably less expensive than new models for obvious reasons, but come with risks that you need to fully appreciate.


Now the looking begins. The Internet is invaluable in locating boats, boat reviews, yacht brokers, and boat owners’ association websites, which can list common problems with certain boat models. Do a lot of research. But you want to get beyond your computer screen. You’ll want to walk a lot of docks, stroll through a lot of storage yards and ask a lot of questions. Boat owners are usually a loquacious lot with strong opinions. Seek them out. Understand your likely boat usage. Are you planning to sail around the world, race on Port Townsend Bay, or motor to the San Juan Islands or Alaska? Look for a boat designed and built to do what you want it to do, and be realistic about your budget, physical condition, boating abilities and interests. Guys, at this point please remember to mention to your wife or significant other the fact that you are thinking about buying a boat – if you still have one after buying the last boat without consulting her. Also consider how far you will go, geographically, to buy


So you want to buy a boat. Power or sail? Large or small? Long distance or local? Do your research and make your offer subject to financing, sea trial and survey, suggests Jim Maupin, an insurance agent and mariner in Port Townsend. Photo by Scott Wilson

Show me the money

The Boat Owners Association of the United States offers these tips on borrowing money to buy a boat: • Boat lenders may require two years of federal tax returns and a paycheck stub, and can also require proof of liquid assets – funds that can be easily converted into cash – for the down payment. The heady days of “no documentation” loans are largely a thing of the past. • Unlike getting a home loan, getting a boat loan doesn’t require preapproval. However, before you head to the boat show, some boat lenders will offer preapprovals that include rate offers – just ensure the rate is verified, in writing, and not a teaser rate. • Depending on the buyer’s credit score and down payment, some banks may be able to offer a rate that’s lower than what is initially offered, so be sure to ask your lender.

the perfect boat. A 35-foot boat in Missouri or Michigan may have a great sales price, but you need to look at it and then you have to get it here somehow, and that means a big truck and a big expense. Try to find a boat within a reasonable radius of where you live.


The next step is to physically examine the boat. Take your spouse. Lie down in the bunks, smell the interior, see how light it is on a dark day. Does it fit you or is it too cramped? Does the galley make sense? Envision being stuck in the cabin for days on end in poor weather – can you live there? How is it heated? How’s the storage? How much water can it hold? How much fuel? What do you know about the engine (if it has one) – does it guzzle or sip? Is it too big for you to handle? Can you dock it safely if you’re alone? What does it have for navigation equipment? Is it state-of-the-art or older? Do you know how to use it? Are the electronics accessible or buried? Don’t fall in love with the boat yet. It’s all business deal right now. There are a lot of other boats out there, and most sellers are very motivated to sell. You’re in charge. If you think you’re ready to go ahead, talk to the owner or broker. You will have to make an offer on the boat. Always make the offer subject to financing, sea trial and survey, with a refundable deposit if you are

A sea trial before the survey is somewhat unusual, but since sea trials are free and a survey costs you a lot of money, negotiate that point if you can. During the sea trial you will learn a lot. How does it handle in rough weather? How does it take the rain? Does the engine purr, or rattle and overheat? Does the boat roll easily? Do you find it too slow, or too bouncy? Is the visibility from the cabin or pilothouse enough? Is it too dark inside? Spend as much time in the boat on the water under different conditions as you can. See how it docks. If it’s a single screw (propeller), see how it does in reverse. If there are problems, you can walk away before spending money on the haulout and marine survey.


If after the sea trial you are still excited, you still have the money, and he or she still says OK, now it’s time to find and hire a marine surveyor. This is a professional who will go through every inch of the boat to see if it is sound or has hidden problems. A good way is to get personal references from other boaters and from boating friends. Yacht brokers will give you a list of several local surveyors, but also ask around the marina and boatyards for personal recommendations. Again, the Internet can help locate a surveyor in your area or anywhere else. You want a realistic inspection by someone who is experienced in surveying, and who has owned and operated boats for many years. You want someone who knows what to look for, likes boats and will give you an honest opinion. A used boat, like a used house or car, will not be perfect, so don’t expect perfection. Do expect a few

6 2014 WORKING WATERFRONT ✯ The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

problems, some simple to fix and some not. If there are any major structural problems, walk away unless you have the time, tools and money, and enjoy doing the repair work yourself. Many boat owners spend more time fixing and maintaining their boats than they do traveling in them. A few like it like that; a lot do not.


Most marine surveyors are not professional engine mechanics, so it is wise to have a marine engine mechanic familiar with the engine in the boat do a full inspection and service of the engine. They will give you an opinion of current condition and suggested repairs, but no guarantee on the longevity of the engine. Similarly, most surveyors are not professional sailboat riggers, who will climb the mast and inspect every one of the dozens of wire terminal fittings and other parts of the typical rig. Hire a sailboat rigger to do an up-and-down inspection of the rig. So the boat has been hauled out of the water, the survey is done, and there is a list of recommendations to be completed and paid for by someone. Will it be you, or the seller? That’s up for negotiation, but the bottom line is they must be complied with so that the boat is insurable. Insurance companies don’t want to pay for losses resulting from survey recommendations that were not followed. Once the survey recommendations are done, the boat is insurable, the deal is closed, and you own it – that’s the time to fall in love with your boat. See you on the water. Jim Maupin specializes in boat insurance for Homer Smith Insurance in Port Townsend. He is a lifelong boater, marine surveyor and former yacht broker. He and his wife, Nora Petrich, have owned sailboats and powerboats, and live in Port Townsend.

Craftsmanship catches the eye

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Kelsey Nash of Port Townsend Sails shows Bob and Dawn Bergstrom their new sail. Designed for the couple’s 30-foot cutter Alpha Centauri, the sail represents about 40-50 hours of labor. Photo by Megan Claflin

detail and excellent record keeping. “We’re interested in purchasing a pull, which we’ll consult a rigger about, but it’ll be much easier because Carol has provided us with all of the necessary measurements that we’ll need.”

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Traveling from Portland to Port Townsend, Bob and Dawn Bergstrom struggle to contain their excitement. After weeks of collaboration with the sailmakers and designers at Port Townsend Sails, the custom sail for their 30-foot cutter is ready. “This is the third sail we will have purchased from Carol’s [Hasse] shop,” said Bob Bergstrom, who was first introduced to the sail loft at the Wooden Boat Festival in the late ‘80s. “The handcraftsmanship and high quality of her crew’s work is unbeatable.” Specializing in “blue water” sails for mariners who spend time cruising offshore, Port Townsend Sails has earned a reputation far beyond the Puget Sound. The sail loft is part of a growing niche within Jefferson County’s marine trades industry. Practiced in celestial navigation, the Bergstroms envisioned a sail for their vessel, Alpha Centauri, that would represent their shared passions and complement the cutter’s traditional style. “We’re ever mindful of the aesthetics that our customers are aiming for,” said Megan Hudson, a 13-year member of Hasse’s crew. “We measure those needs and performance to balance form and function.” Partnering with Hudson, the Bergstroms experimented with various color schemes and images – eventually settling on a blue and gold sail embellished with a broad star. “Using a computer program, we can allow our customers to be actively involved in the design process, so we know they will love the final product,” said Hudson, who

specializes in designing and crafting light-air sails. From start to finish, the entire sail, from design to cutting to building, represents about 40-55 hours of work, said Hudson. This latest sail is the third that Port Townsend Sails has designed and constructed for the Bergstroms, who said they wouldn’t trust the work to any other shop. “We were so excited driving up [from Portland],” Dawn Bergstrom said. “Even though we’d seen the designs, there is nothing like the first time you pull [the sail] out and see it finished. We can’t wait to get home and get it rigged up.” In addition to a quality, handcrafted sail, the Bergstroms said, they appreciate the loft’s attention to


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2014 WORKING WATERFRONT ✯ The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader 7

Port of PT booms thanks to fishing fleet By Robin Dudley of the Leader The Port of Port Townsend Boat Haven’s reputation as an an all-around shipyard wellsuited to Alaska’s fishing boat industry is growing, a fact reinforced by a record-breaking year for the port’s heavy haulout Travelift. “The shipyard is booming, mostly because of the commercial fishing fleet,” said Larry Crockett, Port of Port Townsend executive director. “They’ve had a couple of good seasons in a row now. We’re seeing a lot of boats coming down from Alaska. That boat is their business and they are reinvesting.” Last year was “the best year ever” for the port’s heavy haulout (85 to 330 tons), and the commercial fishing fleet represented 85 percent of that business, Crockett said. In 2013, 161 boats were hauled out, up from 135 boats in 2012 and 116 in 2011. NORSEL One such vessel is Norsel, a wooden seiner built in Poulsbo in 1950. Last year, Norsel was hauled out in Port Townsend and underwent a “major overhaul,” including an expanded engine room, a new forecastle, a new water tank, 80 percent new hydraulics, all new electrical wiring and a new power takeoff, as well as new keel bolts and bug shoe, and some caulking, according to Amy Schaub who has worked on Norsel as a skiffman. Schaub, who grew up in Wisconsin, started her maritime career on tall ships and graduated in 2005 from the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock. Soon after, she began fishing because she wanted to get back on the water. Patrick O’Neil, owner of the seiner St. Janet, hired her as a deck boss and engineer. “A seiner sounded like the best fit for me,” Schaub said, “and it was. I love getting up superearly in the morning, around 2:30, driving off the anchor and seeing what the

Amy Schaub and Amy Wadley celebrate the catch aboard Norsel. Submitted photo

day’s going to bring. I just love fishing.” Schaub has worked on the wooden seiner Norsel for four seasons. She met the vessel’s owner, Steve Huestis, through “another gal in the fleet,” and saw an opportunity to gain experience driving the skiff, a seiner’s powerful ancillary boat that sets the seine net. “Instead of piling gear, I could learn how to drive skiff,” Schaub said. “The skipper’s on one end and the skiffman’s on the other.” She wanted to drive skiff, she said, to “get a better understanding of how the net fishes.” Schaub’s goal is to get her own permit and boat to go seine commercially for salmon in southeast Alaskan waters. It’s not an easy task, but Schaub is undeterred. She knows exactly what she wants and is not afraid to go for it. FISHING BOATS Many kinds of fishing boats haul out for annual maintenance here and are vital to the local economy, noted the port’s Crockett. “From a community economic development perspective, those boats tend to drop a lot of money on projects and will hire

multiple marine trades.” Fishing boats start arriving in October and are gone by June to go fishing. Often the projects being undertaken take two to four months of work. The heavy haulout brought in a few Navy tugboat projects in 2013, Crockett said, but fishing boats (wooden and steel) are the big spenders. Port Townsend continues to be a competitive and popular destination for commercial and recreational boat projects, Crockett noted. “We’ve got the workforce, the location, the yard and the heavy haulout,” he said. “We have the least expensive yard in Puget Sound. Period. Whenever any-

body says so and so is cheaper, I say show me the numbers. Some of the private yards will run special deals that we can’t, but at the end of the day, you can’t work on your own boat in those private yards.” Schaub said that several fishing boats have come to Port Townsend on her recommendation, including Norsel. “Fishermen like that you can haul out here and have access to your boats,” she said. “You can hire independent contractors. There are options and accessibility, with quality work.” NERKA Joel Brady-Power of Bellingham is another fisher-

The commercial fishing fleet off Southeast Alaska has a lot of connections with Port Townsend, marine trades business and pleasure. Photo courtesy of Amy Schaub

8 2014 WORKING WATERFRONT ✯ The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

man who brings his boat to PT for maintenance. He owns and operates the 1979 C-M Marine troller Nerka. Brady-Power first went to sea on Nerka when he was 2 weeks old. He bought Nerka from his father nine years ago, and he fishes with his wife, Tele Aadsen. “She grew up fishing, and we work really well together,” he said. Brady-Power brings the boat south to Port Townsend “about every other year.” “I usually do all my boat work here [in Port Townsend],” Brady-Power said. “There are so many great boat people here, as far as service people.” He mentions one guy who does his refrigeration systems, but won’t share the man’s name. “He’s the best. He gets more work than he wants, and he’s laying low.” On a recent January morning, Brady-Power stood in Nerka’s teak-paneled cabin surrounded by the clutter of many projects in progress; tools and other objects filled the space. Gesturing to a large tank on the sole, Brady-Power added that he’s “got the evaporator going back in.” Due to a torn ACL, he missed last summer’s season. “Been fishing my whole life, and I missed the best summer!” he said. Now, he’s in the process of preparing for next year. He said he “just got the main engine rebuilt and has just finished putting together the fuel system.” CORONATION Another family-run fishing operation is headed by Blaise Holly, who also works as a shipwright at Haven Boatworks in the Boat Haven. Holly bought the 42-foot troller Coronation and fished it in 2012, having never worked in commercial fishing. “I gambled that I’d be able to figure it out, even if I got shelled my first season, which I absolutely did,” he said. “It was really difficult, very scary, very humbling.” He and his wife, Holly Holly,

Joel Brady-Power stands in the cabin of Nerka, the troller he first went to sea on when he was only 2 weeks old. He bought the boat from his dad nine years ago and operates it with his wife, Tele Aadsen. Photo by Robin Dudley

wanted to work together in “a different environment than Port Townsend has afforded us,” Blaise said, together with their son Noah, 7. Holly’s father and uncle ran crab boats, and when she was young she went crabbing in the Aleutian Islands and knew “the nostalgia of stepping aboard the fish boat and smelling the diesel stove.” TROLLING, NOT TRAWLING Holly is careful to explain the difference between trolling and trawling. Trolling involves dragging lines with hooks. Trawling involves dragging a net through the sea or along the bottom, and can be destructive to habitat and harmful to multiple species, gathering up everything in the weighted net’s path. “Trawling is high-impact,” Holly said. Conversely, trolling is very species-specific. “When I’m fishing for king, I catch king, not chum,” he said. Trolling is species-specific because trollers fish at a certain speed, at a certain depth. Trolling also results in “the highest-quality salmon on the market, hands down,” Holly said. Troll-caught salmon are often pressure-bled, using water from a hose at about the same pressure as a fish’s blood pressure to clean the blood out of the fish. “They’re handled very gently, like a piece of fruit,” Holly said, noting that you wouldn’t drop a pear on the floor or throw it roughly in a box, and expect it to still be good. GOOD INVESTMENT In their first season fishSee FLEET, Page 10▼

The Port Townsend School District is striving to create a school system that connects its students and their learning to our unique maritime community. As a wonderfully rich place for experiential learning, Port Townsend offers opportunities for individual student interests to blossom in a diverse and supportive environment. We look forward to becoming full partners with our maritime community as we plan for our future.

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OPENING DAY OF BOATING IN PORT TOWNSEND: Join in the parade with your boat or watch from the N.W. Maritime Center dock on May 3, 2014. Watch for more information. MEMBERSHIP: Membership in the Port Townsend Yacht Club is open to anyone with a love of the water and boating in the beautiful Puget Sound region. Members enjoy friendship, access to local knowledge, social events and monthly evening meetings on the second Tuesday of the month September – June. Cost: $160 Initiation Fee & $200 Annual Dues CLUBHOUSE RENTAL: The PTYC building is on the waterfront and available to rent for parties, meetings and events. The clubhouse has a large function room with kitchen. For information on rentals contact Mike Smith at (608) 772-2255 or


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Fleet: Fine style ▼Continued from page 9

ing, the Hollys brought along as crew Andy Cowan, who “had trolled for a couple of seasons,” Blaise said. Although the first year was tough, the Hollys did much better in 2013. “The learning curve is unbelievably steep,” he noted. In 2013, his crew was Dylan Mackey for the first half of the season, and Esther Whitmore for the second half, both from Port Townsend; he expects to keep them on this year, with Whitmore working the first half, and Mackey, the second half. Holly said fuel is a fisherman’s biggest expense, followed by the yard bill, so as a shipwright he has “the skills and the infrastructure to support” himself as a fisherman. “I’m in the industry, but I also hire people in the industry,” Holly said of projects in Port Townsend. He said he appreciates places like Admiral Ship Supply. “They’re a vital part” of the

marine trades here, he said. “It’s enormously valuable to be able to go in and talk to Dave Carruthers ... I’ve learned a lot from Dave.” A DESTINATION Port Townsend continues to be a competitive and popular destination for commercial and recreational boat projects, Crockett noted. Aside from the large selection of astonishingly skilled tradespeople, Port Townsend’s boatyard also enjoys the economic benefit of being one of a dwindling number. There are fewer choices for boatyards of all types. Ten years ago, there were 169 boatyards in Puget Sound, Crockett said. Now there are 58 yards. The port here is committed to maintaining its operating permits. “All of our other activities are important, but when it comes to supporting our marine trades industry, that boatyard permit is the golden egg that needs to

The crew of the seiner Norsel brings a net full of salmon aboard, just south of the Hood Canal Bridge in November 2013. Photo by Chuck Austin

be protected,” Crockett said. Holly said it costs tens of thousands of dollars each year “for the privilege of trolling.” “If I’m lucky and good,” he said, it’s profitable. But those

tens of thousands will be spent anyway, for licenses, expenses and reinvesting in his business – the boat itself. “There’s a lot of talent here to draw on,” he said, adding

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Family company has niche in houseboat community By Alana Linderoth Contributor

A house weighing roughly 180 tons, atop a concrete float built at the Port of Port Townsend Shipyard, traveled about 12 hours through Puget Sound before reaching its final destination on Lake Union. The team at G. Little Construction built its first floating home at the Port of Port Townsend in 2011. That houseboat was also bound for Lake Union, where there’s a fairly extensive floating home community, said Bob Little, owner of Little & Little Construction and co-owner, with son Gage, of G. Little Construction. The Lake Union houseboat community’s response to the home was positive, Bob Little said. As a result of the recognition of the craftsmanship and of coverage in the Seattle Times, G. Little Construction has since built two more floating homes. “It was a great experience for us, and great experience for our customer,” Little said. “[The floating home community] is a tight community, and we’ve made some nice relationships with people on the docks there and in the neighborhood.” G. Little Construction’s latest floating home first touched water on Jan. 14 and continued its journey to Lake Union via tugboat on Jan. 17. Little moved to Port Townsend in 1979 and has been involved with custom construction ever since. “My sons Gage and Alex have worked with me throughout the years, and the company has developed into a family business,” Little said. The learning curve of building a floating home, compared to a home on land, has been fairly gradual for the team at G. Little Construction, primarily because of its existing building knowledge, Little said. However, the first floating home the company built was too heavy for the port’s 300ton mobile boat hoist. It was launched from the shipyard across the tide flats and into Port Townsend Bay, a two-day process dependent upon tides. The second floating home was launched in late September, using the port’s hoist.

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Bob Little and Gage Little, father and son, co-own G. Little Construction. They have now three floating houses at the Port of Port Townsend, all of which are now at Seattle’s Lake Union. Photo by Alana Linderoth

Everyone’s nerves are strained the first time a floating house is launched and during the tow, Little said. A lot of engineering and waterproofing goes into ensuring the float performs properly. Waterproofing the hull of the house is critical and is done through an “admixture in the concrete as well as a membrane,” Little noted. Once the floating home is in the water and stable, the next challenge is working around the weather in order for the tugboat to tow the home down the Salish Sea, through the Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks and into Lake Union. “The tow is always a challenge, because we’re releasing our floating home to the tow company, and we have to have decent weather, and you don’t want anything to go wrong, obviously,” Little said. The project launched on Jan. 14 is a 30-by-40-foot houseboat. It has a modern design and incorporates a variety of textures to give it a sleek look. Its second floor is composed of the main living room and kitchen. A sliding glass door opens to an outside deck and another flight of stairs leading to the rooftop, where there is a built-in hot tub and fire pit. G. Little Construction’s ability to build the floating homes

on land at the port sets it apart from other houseboat builders, Little said. “The advantages to building on land are less movement and you have better access to the structure as a whole,” Little said. “Basically, we approach it like building any other home on a slab, only it is a concrete slab filled with foam. We work closely with the structural engineer to ensure it will float.” Over the years, more and more restrictions have been established for floating-home dwellers and communities. Ecological impacts, particularly the effects on salmon from the shade created by floating houses, have been a concern. In the Seattle area, only Portage Bay and Lake Union allow floating homes, and no new construction is permitted unless it is replacing an existing home, according to the Floating Homes Association. Little said he doesn’t think the building restrictions should affect G. Little Construction much, as it’s currently discussing the construction of two new floating homes intended to replace existing homes. “[Floating home construction] has become a nice nest of great projects that are fun and creative to build,” Little said. “We are hoping for more.”

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2014 WORKING WATERFRONT ✯ The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader 11

1121 Water Street 360-385-9595 OPEN EVERY DAY 9am-7pm Mon-Sat & 10am-6pm Sundays


THE IS VERY PROUD OF THE REPUTATION IT HAS EARNED OVER THE YEARS AS BEING THE PREMIER PORT FOR MARINE MANUFACTURING, REPAIR AND RESTORATION. Whether you are looking for superior craftsmanship from one of our 50 marine trades or looking for a do-it-yourself yard that has it all, the Port of Port Townsend is the place to be.

70-, 75- AND 330-TON


P.O. Box 1180 Port Townsend, WA 98368 (360) 385-2355 • (800) 228-2803 • Email: 12 2014 WORKING WATERFRONT ✯ The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

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