Seafair Roars Back to 100% Strength
We’ve seen a lot so far: The Triathlon, the Torchlight Parade, several neighborhood parades in July, and the epic 4th of July fireworks showcase over Lake Union. But we all know Seattle’s biggest summer-long party on the water is just getting started.
This month, after 2020’s COVID hiatus and 2021’s partial resumption, Seafair will complete its return to full strength, with Fleet Week, the roaring HomeStreet Bank Cup hydroplane races, and the even louder Boeing Air Show, featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and other aerobatic teams.
The first two weeks of August will be packed with Seafair events that celebrate the region’s seafaring and aviation prowess, beginning with the Boeing Maritime Celebration Fleet Week, held August 1-5. The five-day event will launch with the annual Parade of Ships through Elliott Bay, featuring vessels from the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Royal Canadian Navy. For the rest of the week, the public is invited to tour the ships, meet the sailors and guardsmen, and enjoy free music along the Seattle waterfront.
On August 5-7, the excitement will climax as boaters begin to tie up on the Log Boom on Lake Washington for the Seafair Weekend Festival hydro races. With attendees viewing along 1.5 miles of Lake Washington shore north of Seward Park, the thunderboats will race around the oval at more than 200 miles per hour in six heats to take the HomeStreet Bank Cup.
In between each of the races will be a showcase of vintage hyrdoplane boat exhibitions, aerial performances by the Golden Knights aerobatic team, a demonstration by the U.S. military’s F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter, and the much-anticipated Blue Angels shows each day. For those who can’t be there in person, 88.9 FM KMIH The Bridge will broadcast all of the weekend’s festivities live on “Log Boom Radio,” while KONG-TV will provide TV coverage.
Some other Seafair events that are taking place this month include Brunch & The Blues fundraiser on Thursday, Aug. 4, at Boeing Field., in support of the Seafair Charitable Foundation. The morning brunch will include a live auction event, followed by a front-row viewing of the Blue Angels precise “walk down” of their six F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft before they take off for their first practice flight of the Boeing Air Show.
In support of the sacrifices made by all military service members, Seafair is offering free admission to all military personnel to the Seafair Festival Weekend. For more information on admission prices for all other visitors, and full event details, visit: seafair.org.
Can Mukilteo Follow in Everett’s Footsteps to Renovate its Old Industrial Waterfront?
Now that the revitalization of the Everett waterfront is well underway, another area located about seven miles to the southwest in Mukilteo, may get a similar treatment. The Port of Everett picked up the torch of a project that has been complicated and rocky at times, but may soon lead to a revitalization of the waterfront and Edgewater Beach, which hasn’t seen public access in decades.
For many years, the Mukilteo waterfront consisted of little more than an adorable lighthouse, a Washington State Ferry (WSF) terminal, an Ivar’s seafood restaurant, and an old, 22-acre fuel tank farm operated by the U.S. Air Force to supply military jets at nearby Paine Field since the 1950s. By 1989, however, when the Air Force decommissioned the tank farm, plans were put into action to remediate the fuel tank site and commit the waterfront to a ferry terminal expansion, a Sound Transit station, and a new structure to be used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
In 2013, a portion the cleaned-up tank farm site was ceded to the Port of Everett and NOAA for revitalization. The port transferred the property to a group of investors in 2016 to redevelop the site, but nothing went forward besides the demolition of the old Mukilteo ferry terminal and the building of a new terminal to the east. By 2020, management of the total 26-acre Mukilteo waterfront had become a confusing patchwork of 11 owners, including WSF, the Port of Everett, the City of Mukilteo, the Tulalip Tribe, and several private real estate firms. Then, after decades of environmental reviews and conflicting development plans, the future of the site was put into question in 2021, when NOAA pulled out of the project. This left the Port of Everett as the sole owner of a strip of valuable land where the old Mukilteo ferry terminal once stood, giving it an opportunity to reconnect the coastal town to its waterfront.
Over the last year, the port has been considering a number of projects for the site, including a study of what might be feasible in the area from Lighthouse Park to Edgewater Beach. The port has hired Seattle-based architecture firm NBBJ to determine some guiding principles for a revitalization plan, which will be presented to the Port Commission and the City of Mukilteo this fall and will go through a “robust public process,” the port said.
From fall 2022 and into 2023, the port and the city said it will move forward on a project stakeholder outreach process while a design is drafted for a new promenade structure on the waterfront and expanded dining areas adjacent to Ivar’s restaurant. While it remains to be seen how this development might improve dock space for boats, Mukilteo has now become a city to watch for all boaters in the Puget Sound area. Stay tuned and look out for updates at: portofeverett.com.
Jeff Brown Yachts Launches Mari-Time Yacht-Share Program, New So-Cal Location
Reports of the latest 200-foot super yachts with their own swimming pools may set boaters’ hearts aflutter, but the price tags they also come with may be enough to cause a coronary. Taking a page from the popular lease-to-own business route, Jeff Brown Yachts has launched Mari-Time, a yacht-share program that allows members to take part in joint ownership groups and enjoy the luxury-yachts lifestyle without management hassles.
Those who sign up for Mari-Time can choose from a wide variety of 38’ to 72’ premium yachts, from floating luxury options to long-range expedition vessels. Once a boat is chosen, based on the needs of the consumers, Mari-Time gathers members with similar yachting tastes (usually in groups of five) and creates an LLC for each co-ownership team. Mari-Time then takes on the tasks of qualifying each customer, handling all sales work, insurance, and berthing details, and also assigns licensed captains for each yacht and hires and manages professional crews, concierges, and maintenance staff.
Yacht brands currently being offered in the Mari-Time program include models from Brabus Marine, Pardo Yachts, Pearl Yachts, and Sirena Yachts. All vessels, Mari-Time said, are “new from the builder, expertly managed and maintained, and exited in good time to maximize a higher resale value.”
Jeff Brown Yachts estimates that group ownership of these luxury yachts can reduce ownerships costs by one-fifth the typical cost of yacht management and maintenance. Once a team of group owners is formed for each yacht, usage of the vessel can be determined each year much the way a real estate time-share program operates. According to Jeff Brown Yachts, a group of five owners is guaranteed eight weeks of scheduling time and averages about 13.3 days of usage per owner, per year.
At the same time the yacht-share program was rolled out in June, Jeff Brown Yachts announced that it was running Mari-Time from its brand-new harbor office in Newport Beach, CA. Earlier this year, the company also moved to an expanded its Seattle location in Lake Union’s Chandler’s Cove marina. The company now operates offices in five West Coast/Hawaii operations in Seattle, San Diego, Newport Beach, Sausalito, and Kailua-Kona, plus a sixth in Wrightsville Beach, NC.
For information on the Mari-Time program, visit: maritimeusa.com.
Incoming! Seattle Begins ‘Mind the Zone’ Seaplane Safety Campaign on Lake Union
For anyone mildly—or more than mildly—unsettled by the haphazard nature of seaplane takeoffs and landings in the crowded traffic corridor of Seattle’s Lake Union, a new safety campaign is debuting this year to calm boaters’ fears of being dive-bombed from above.
Launched by the Recreational Boating Association of Washington (RBAW), the #MindTheZone campaign is based on pointing out the existence of a series of five buoys that have been lined up north-to-south in the center of Lake Union each summer since 2018 to demarcate the most commonly used landing space for aircraft operated by Kenmore Air. The goal of the program is to increase awareness of seaplane traffic and also to improve boat safety during the extra busy summer months.
According to the new RBAW program guidelines, when the buoys’ yellow lights begin flashing, a seaplane is about to take off or land, indicating that boaters, kayakers, and paddleboarders should move out of the seaplane zone, which is a least 200 feet east or west of the buoy line. The program is to go into effect each year in the bustling summer weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day. At all times, however, the program advises watercraft operators to be mindful of the floatplane zones and to never tie up to any of the warning buoys.
The need for the program became more apparent to RBAW during the COVID-19 pandemic, when boat, kayak, and paddlecraft rentals on Lake Union soared as a way to remain active and socially distanced from others. According to data from the UW Washington Sea Grant program, the surge in watercraft usage in 2020 and 2021 placed a higher number of less-experienced boaters and paddlers into the crowded waterway, who may not know the various navigational features of the lake.
RBAW, a volunteer-led organization focused of Northwest boating concerns, is asking all boaters to spread the word about the #MindTheZone campaign this summer, and has easy-to-share content on its website, including graphics, maps, customer newsletters, social media posts, and posters for use around the lake. For more information, and to access these resources, visit: rbaw.org/MindTheZone.