Christmas on the Water: Do You See What Argosy?…
The twinkling lights are all across Seattle, which means it’s time again for Argosy’s annual Christmas Ship™ and Parade of Boats events to brighten up the holiday season around Puget Sound. Launched in 1949, the month-long display of motorboats and sailboats lit with shimmering white lights has been a Seattle holiday staple for more than 70 years. Now, after last year’s cancellation due to Covid rules, the beloved tradition has returned.
One of the holiday highlights near and dear to all Seattle boaters, Argosy’s Annual Parade of Boats Viewing Party, is scheduled for December 10. The parade, featuring boats decked out with a dazzling light displays, can be viewed from Evanston Plaza on the Fremont Cut. Live singing at the parade will be provided by the all-women, a cappella PrimeTime Quartet.
The Argosy holiday festivities kicked off on November 26, and will continue through this month, with live performances at nearly 30 separate Seattle-area locations untilthe day before Christmas Eve. The two grand finale events, featuring The Dickens Carolers singing group, will leave from Lake Union Park and perform on December 23 at Ivar’s Salmon House, Seattle Yacht Club, and Gas Works Park.
All of Argosy’s holiday events can be viewed for free from various locations on shore, but seats can be reserved in advance for between $37 and $68 for either a 1.5-hour cruise on The Christmas Ship™ or a 1.75-hour trip on the Follow Boat during the parade at each scheduled location. Those following behind on their own boats or watching on the shore will also be able to hear the carolers sing via loudspeakers. For more information about the holiday series, Covid precautions, and reserving tickets, please visit: argosycruises.com/christmas-ship-festival-schedule/.
Join the Christmas Boat Parade
Gather up your crew, grab some lights, and get in on the on-the-water fun the following weekend at the Seattle Christmas Boat Parade,which kicks off at 7 p.m. on December 18. This time-honored tradition welcomes decorated vessels of all sizes to light up the night as they travel along the route, which starts in front of Fremont Tug Boats and ends in front of Morrison’s North Star Marine Fuel Dock on Lake Union. It’s all for a good cause as the event includes a toy drive with proceeds helping to support Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Foundation. To register your vessel, and for more info, visit: seattlechristmasboatparade.com.
Everett-based OceanGate Releases Videos from 2021 Titanic Expedition, Seeks Team Members for Epic 2022 Edition
Want to take a trip under the sea for a once-in-a-lifetime view of the world’s most famous maritime disaster? A Seattle area-based firm called OceanGate Expeditions is seeking adventurous souls who wish to become mission specialists for a trip in a submersible to see the final resting place of the RMS Titanic.
In October, OceanGate released footage from its first fantastic voyage this summer when they went more than 12,500 feet below the surface to examine the 1912 wreck. The six-week-long trip in the North Atlantic, called the Titanic Survey Expedition, included five crew, who were either researchers or citizen scientists. The crew took high-quality photographs and videos of the Titanic wreck, including some parts that may never have been captured before.
The submersible, aptly named Titan, was built in Everett and has been used in several OceanGate expeditions to a variety of sites, such as hydrothermal vents, unique biological ecosystems, and many other shipwrecks. Over the next few years, OceanGate hopes to create detailed 3-D images of the entire Titanic debris field and record crystal-clear 4K video of each expedition. Eye-popping views of this year’s expedition can be seen on OceanGate’s YouTube channel.
The Titan vehicle, which took six years to develop, will be used for annual expeditions to the Titanic. Currently, OceanGate is focused on applying lessons learned from this year’s expedition to plan ahead for another in 2022. Other expeditions in the Titan that are offered by OceanGate include the exploration of the deep-water marine life of the Hudson Canyon, off the coast of New York City, as well as trip to the “Tongue of the Ocean” off The Bahamas. For more information about taking part as a mission specialist on a dive, please visit: oceangateexpeditions.com.
Foss Maritime Closes Historic Seattle Shipyard
A maritime institution that had endured for more than a century, Foss Maritime has permanently closed its shipyard operations in Seattle’s North Queen Anne neighborhood.
In a brief company statement, Foss Maritime said it was announcing its decision to close the shipyard, effective October 30, “with deep regret,” citing an “evaluation of business lines” in an effort to improve the company’s viability.
The sudden closure impacts the 115 Foss shipyard workers, who will continue to be paid salary, health benefits, and an average of overtime pay through the end of the year, according to the Foss statement. The company added, however, that the closure will not affect any other Foss operations in the region and it will continue to meet fleet maintenance and repair needs at existing Pacific Northwest shipyards.
“While the closure of the Seattle shipyard is a strategic decision for the future of Foss, it is not a decision we have taken lightly,” said Will Roberts, president of Foss Maritime. “We have employees and families who have been with us for decades; our priority is assisting them in this transition.”
Founded in 1889 by Norwegian immigrants Thea and Andrew Foss, the company was once a Tacoma-based rowboat operation that later moved its shipbuilding headquarters to Seattle, becoming owner of one of the largest fleets of tugboats and barges on the West Coast. Foss Maritime, now a unit of Seattle-based maritime firm Saltchuk, provides harbor services and transportation operations in all major West Coast ports, the Columbia and Snake river systems, Hawaii, Alaska, and the Pacific Rim. For more information on the company and their plans for the future, visit: foss.com.
Siewert & Betts Plan Limited Run of Tombolo 28
Just in time for Seattle boating enthusiasts looking for the ultimate 28-foot Christmas stocking stuffer, Anacortes-based Siewert Yacht Design is offering a limited production run of its Tombolo single outboard powerboat for 2022. Betts Boats, which is also based in Anacortes, will produce the design in molded fiberglass composite.
With a hull and deck fabricated with short-run, inexpensive tooling, the versatile T-28 is lightweight, trailerable, and has a cruising speed of up to 20 knots. The standard model will be powered by a single 150-hp Yamaha engine, with a top speed of about 24 knots.
The hull and superstructure will be built with an epoxy/fiberglass composite sandwiching a foam core, giving the boat exceptional strength and high fuel efficiency. With a modified low drag, variable deadrise bottom, the Tombolo’s design has low length-to-beam and displacement-to-length ratios, resulting in 3 miles per gallon at cruising speed.
The T-28’s layout also provides ample indoor and outdoor spaces for a craft of its size. The forward cabin features a generous V-berth and head with a stand-up shower. The aft cockpit includes a fully equipped galley, plus an L-shaped lounge with a high/low pedestal table. Deluxe helm and companion chairs are surrounded by large safety glass side windows and windshield.
The semi-custom production of this model, Siewert says, allows Betts to speed up production time, compared to custom building. For more information and availability for the limited 2022 Tombolo 28 run, go to: siewertdesign.com.