The 2019 Northwest Marine Champions!
The People of the Pacific Northwest Culture Aquatic have spoken. Behold, your 2019 Northwest Marine Champions!
By Northwest Yachting Staff
When we started the Northwest Marine Champion Award series in 2018, the task was daunting. The intimidation factor did not come from any concern of how to find marine professionals of the Pacific Northwest or whether there was enough of them. Quite the opposite; we live in a vibrant community of hardworking experts who stop at nothing with their inspiring careers to build up our entire world. How could we possibly select the worthiest from this ace selection?
Fortunately, by opening the awards to public nominations as we have the last two years, we’ve maintained a democratic element to these recipients. You all have spoken, and the following six marine champions now get some much-deserved recognition thanks to the time you all took to nominate them. Well done!
You’ll notice that we culled down the awards this year to six of the more bedrock categories. While it was fun to give out tongue and cheek categories last year, the focus to important categories like Terrific Boatyard Professional and Exemplary Marina Manager struck us as appropriate. So, raise a glass to these magnificent six! Also, stay tuned later in the year for when we open nominations for the 2020 recipients. We’re eager to hear your pitch for future marine champions.
Terrific Boatyard Professional
They say not all heroes wear capes, and boatyard professionals are such types, performing feats every day without a fuss. The best of them tend to be friendly, humble professionals who believe in honest business practices and have vast amounts of maritime knowledge gleaned from decades of yard work.
Northwest Yachting is happy to give Ivaylo Minkov of Canal Boatyard the award for Terrific Boatyard Professional this year. According to people who know him, he is as helpful now as he was decades ago when many other successful boatyard professionals were just getting their starts. He immigrated to the U.S. from Bulgaria.
Last year’s Terrific Boatyard Professional marine champion winner, Nigel Barron of CSR Marine, had this to say about Minkov, “We used to go to Canal Boatyard to pull tall masts. He runs a nice clean yard and is an asset to the industry.” Minkov is the guy the pros think is a pro.
Canal Boatyard itself is considered by many a gem, tucked unassumingly along Ballard’s ship canal. If you’ve shopped at the Fred Meyer on 11th Ave NW down that way, the masts you see from the parking lot are those guys. This environmentally conscious yard caters to both commercial and recreational vessels and is very D-I-Y friendly, a rarity these days. Canal Boatyard’s status as a beloved symbol of Seattle’s maritime roots is largely thanks to Minkov’s work, and for that, we salute him.
Canal Boatyard has been a mainstay on the Ballard ship canal for decades. They do it all, from commercial trollers to recreational trawlers, all the while being do-it-yourself friendly, environmentally conscious, and devoted to their clients.
Address: 4300 11th Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107
Phone: (206) 784-8408
Everett, Washington’s waterfront scene has come along over the last few years. Some tangible proof of this includes the adoption of an impressive $66.2 million budget by the Port of Everett Commission in November 2019 and the migration of the Everett Boats Afloat Show (formerly the South Lake Union Boats Afloat Show) to the city for September 2020. We at the magazine have always been big believers in the Everett ethos that if you love and take care of your waterfront, it’ll love and take care of you.
But these positive developments are only possible with great people behind the scenes. We’re pleased to honor Jeff Lindhout, the Marina Director of the Port of Everett, with the award for Exemplary Marina Manager.
The Marina Director for the Port of Everett for eight years, Lindhout is always looking for ways to improve the marina and experience for boaters. An example of this is when he started the popular Sail-In Cinema event, an outdoor movie series that acts as a drive-in theatre for boats to promote use of guest moorage. Lindhaut supports more than a whopping 75 waterfront events at the marina annually to add benefit for current slip holders.
Lindhout also started the Marina Forum, a monthly meeting with a select group of tenants. The group represents a variety of marina user types who keep the marina informed on what boaters are seeing and hearing out on the water. The Marina Forum allows the marina to engage the group in operations, including seeking feedback on new marine infrastructure. Lindhout also hosts an annual BBQ called the Marina Customer Connect, an event for all slip holders that provides the marina an opportunity to connect directly with boaters in an informal way. Boaters want, and need, to be heard, and Lindhout is a shining example of that marina manager style.
Lindhout has helped direct and execute some of the dock realignment and development of the extensive 65-acre upland property development surrounding the marina. This Waterfront Place Central mixed-use area should bring in new marine businesses, retail, offices, a hotel, restaurants, and more.
The cherry on top? He’s an all-around great guy. Keep it up, Jeff!
Port of Everett Marina
The Port of Everett Marina is considered the largest public marina on the West Coast with 2,300 slips for boats of all sizes. The full-service boatyard with Travelift, boat storage, guest docks, and public boat launch are all near the developing waterfront.
Address: 1205 Craftsman Way #200, Everett, WA 98201
Phone: (425) 259-6001
Outstanding New Brokerage
Worth Avenue Yachts
We’re pleased to announce that Worth Avenue Yachts has been selected as the winners of the Outstanding New Yacht Brokerage category. That the “new kids” to the South Lake Union marine industry scene were nominated from multiple independent sources should come as no surprise to those paying attention.
While Worth Avenue Yachts as a whole—with its two offices in Florida, one in San Diego, and one in Monaco—has been in business since 2011, the Seattle office opening in the spring of 2019 was considered by many a gamechanger for the Pacific Northwest larger yacht scene. While the name on their trademark bright orange sign may be new to the area, the faces in charge are familiar. Spearheading the effort are Ray Prokorym and Niel Steenkamp, both formerly of Alexander Marine USA. In this year alone, they’ve brought aboard local yacht broker veteran Scott Hauck and Lori Eastes, formerly in the hospitality industry and now their yacht vacation manager.
Not only is this small-but-mighty team hitting the ground running as a high-end yacht broker, but their vision of providing superyacht charters to our Pacific Northwest waters (and beyond) through a proper storefront office is what pushed them over the top. In many ways, they are blazing the trail of local regulations—yes, Washington, B.C., and Alaska all have different rules for large yacht chartering—and business structure for the regional industry. Keep it up guys, you are Worth-y!
Worth Avenue Yachts Seattle
The Seattle office for Worth Avenue Yachts is located on South Lake Union’s Chandler Cove area. Their distinctive bright orange branding marks the office of the five-person team (left to right): Niel Steenkamp, Lori Eastes, Scott Hauck, Ray Prokorym, and Lindsey LaPrath (not pictured). Together they sell high end brokerage yachts and offer luxury yacht vacation packages through Worth Avenue Yachts’ charter fleet.
Address: Chandler’s Cove, 901 Fairview Avenue N., Suite A180, Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: (206) 209-1920
Outstanding Environmental Leadership
Dr. Drew Harvell
In the Pacific Northwest, we care about the environment. It’s hard to imagine enjoying a boat ride on unhealthy or polluted waters populated by plants and animals struggling to survive. Our Outstanding Environmental Leadership category is meant to highlight the great work of a true champion of our waters. He or she gives us reasons to be optimistic about the future.
It’s an honor to name Dr. Drew Harvell of Cornell University and Friday Harbor Laboratories of San Juan Island as this year’s marine champion for Outstanding Environmental Leadership award. Northwest Yachting published a feature, Star Signs, about her marine science career and her focus on understanding marine epidemics in our September 2019 issue, specifically her work with the devastating sea star wasting disease and preserving our eelgrass beds.
What separates Dr. Harvell from many of her other accomplished peers is that she has become a tireless, public communicator of the local and international science community’s important marine research. She has gone so far as to publish a book this year, Ocean Outbreak, to help the public know more about the plights of our waters. She also mentors many of the up and coming scientists who will protect our liquid paradise for future generations. Keep up the good work, professor!
Friday Harbor Labs
The University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories is a marine science field station based in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. For marine researchers, the facilities and support are vital for their continued important work studying the ocean.
Address: 620 University Rd., Friday Harbor, Washington 98250
Phone: (360) 378-2165
Excellence in Industry Education
It’s no secret that the marine industry and trades have a need for more young blood. We can keep producing new technology, investing in our waterfronts, and go boating every day, but if we can’t get together a strong workforce, we’re dead in the water. Fortunately for us, the Pacific Northwest is loaded with passionate maritime educators who’ve devoted their careers and expertise to help train up the next generation. There are over 250,000 maritime-related jobs in Puget Sound, many of them very well-paying, rewarding, and waiting for new talent to step in.
It’s with a spirit of gratitude that we honor John Foster, the Ballard High School Maritime Academy (BMA) Lead Instructor. Foster, a U.S. Navy veteran turned teacher, has led the development of the Maritime 1 and 2 program of the BMA, a marine-focused elective curriculum for students at Ballard High School. This interdisciplinary program is designed to expose students to all manner of nautical careers from marine science to vessel operation.
Students who go through this hands-on program receive their Washington Boater Education Card and hop aboard boats of all types from the sailing tallship Zodiac to commercial ships. According to several parents, Maritime 1 and 2 are the only classes their kids rave about after school around the dinner table. Notable alums of the program are Ian Andrews and Colin Dunphy, who met in class and went on to be team MAD Dog Racing in Race to Alaska (R2AK) 2016. Not only did they win, but they still hold the all-time speed record for the infamous course. Thank you, John Foster.
Ballard High School Maritime Academy
The BMA is an elective curriculum offered at Ballard High School taught by Lead Instructor John Foster and fellow teachers Noam Gundle and Greg Feise. Devoted to giving high school kids exposure and skills to provide a solid foundation for careers in the marine sector, this multidisciplinary, hands-on course has changed lives for the better.
Most Energized Yacht Club
Queen City Yacht Club
The Pacific Northwest is home to many excellent yacht clubs, each a testament to our active boating culture. A case could be made for most of the local yacht clubs to win this category for being energized, a nod to a club that always seems to have something special going on. This year we’re happy to award Seattle-based Queen City Yacht Club (QCYC).
Tucked on Portage Bay, the club has been a boating culture mainstay since 1916. The club, a charter member of the Grand Fourteen Yacht Clubs of Puget Sound, has a reported 550 active members representing over 1,000 power and sail boaters.
The club is full of eager, active boaters ready to vote on club measures, contribute to the latest developments, and welcome new members. Their recent lighted boat parade was also a sight to behold. Keep up the positive vibes, QCYC!
Queen City Yacht Club
Queen City Yacht Club is located on Portage Bay in Seattle, Washington. A part of the local boating community since 1916, QCYC is a charter member of the Grand Fourteen Yacht Clubs in Puget Sound.
Address: 2608 Boyer Ave. E., Seattle, Washington 98102
Phone: (206) 709-2000