[ boons for boaters ]
WA Floats Funds to Lakebay Marina, Pumpout Washington in Biennial Budget
After 105 days of negotiations with maritime lobbyists, the Washington State Legislature completed its 2023-25 biennial capital budget session in Olympia with more than $3 million in combined funding for boat-centric projects, including renovations of the closed Lakebay Marina and an expansion of the popular Pumpout Washington program to protect Puget Sound waters.
In April, the Legislature passed a bill to set aside more than $1.3 million to refurbish the currently closed Lakebay Marina, located on Mayo Cove near Key Peninsula’s Penrose Point State Park. Approximately $1 million of the funds will be used to replace old underground fuel tanks at the marina, renovate the boat ramps, and rebuild the dock slips, which have been removed. The remaining $300,000 will be set aside for the planned renovations to the marina building itself.
Built in 1884, the marina’s original pier was used by various cargo ships and the vessels of Puget Sound’s Mosquito Fleet of small steamships through the early 20th century. In 1928, the Washington Cooperative Egg and Poultry Association built the warehouse where the marina is now, providing critical local jobs in the farming and maritime industries during the Great Depression. By 1958, when the co-op moved out, the building was converted into a marina, encompassing 18 acres. Over the years, however, the marina slowly fell into disrepair and was closed to the public after becoming a safety hazard.
In 2021, the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) partnered with the Recreational Boaters Association of Washington (RBAW) to buy the marina with funding from the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office. Earlier this year, the marina building was placed on the Pierce County Register of Historic Places.
Once renovations begin, RBAW said it plans to replace the marina’s bulkhead, restore the Mayo Cove shoreline, remove old creosote-treated wood pilings, install gratings to reduce shading, replace the fuel dock, improve landscaping, and generally restore opportunities for boating, sailing, kayaking, and other boating activities with room for 40 to 60 vessels.
For these extensive Lakebay renovations, RBAW intends to re-submit a grant application for the next round of the state’s Boating Facilities Program (BFP) to secure more funds. If approved, the BFP money would be generated from state gas taxes paid by Washington boaters.
The Legislature also approved a $1.8 million allocation to expand Washington State Parks’ 10-year-old Pumpout Washington program to ensure vessel operators pump their boat sewage properly in more than 100 certified marinas around Puget Sound. According to RBAW, about $1 million of the funds will be used to identify geographic needs and expand recreational pump-out capacity, while the remaining $800,000 will help establish pump-out operations for commercial vessels at the Port of Anacortes.
In other maritime-related biennial budget news, both houses of the Legislature passed a bill to expand the buffer zone between vessels and Southern Resident orca whales to 1,000 yards to help prevent collisions with the critically endangered sea mammals. As covered in NWY’s June issue, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the orca bill into law, which will become effective on January 1, 2025. The Legislature also passed two bills (SB 5433 and HB 1753) that would empower the state to purchase and remove derelict aquatic structures and vessels to protect the marine environment and native species habitat.
For a detailed recap of the session, read RBAW’s full newsletter found at: rbaw.org/Legislative-Issues.
[ building the brand ]
Signature Yachts Lands Exclusive Northwest Dealer Rights for Expanding X Shore
Two years after making a big splash in the American e-boat market, the waves from Swedish boat maker X Shore are crashing again on the Pacific Northwest market, thanks to an exclusive dealership agreement with Seattle-based Signature Yachts.
Under the agreement, Signature will be the sole dealer for all X Shore boats in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, giving the local broker access to the growing popularity of X Shore’s two all-electric boat lines: the 26’ Eelex 8000 and its newer, smaller cousin, the 21’ X Shore 1.
The Eelex was released in 2019 and appeared in this year’s Seattle Boat Show, earning raves from boaters looking for ways to tread water with a lighter carbon footprint. Last year, the brand also launched the compact and more affordable X Shore 1, priced at about $139,000, a significant reduction from Eelex’s $329,000 price tag. The price drop is expected to attract more buyers of the smaller, whisper-quiet e-vessels in the U.S. market, of which the Northwest could become a substantial fraction.
Investors are apparently as excited about X Shore as American customers. In April, X Shore completed a $30 million venture funding round, led by SEB Investment Management AB and several unnamed existing and new shareholders. This funding came roughly a year after an earlier venture round worth $50 million in 2022, which involved an investment from Peter Carlsson, CEO of Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt. According to X Shore, the latest investment will be used to scale up its production of both boat models at its 160,000-square-foot factory in Nyköping, Sweden, and bring its composites work in-house to increase efficiency. The company also said it expects to reach profitability sometime in 2024.
The latest Eelex 8000 model features a fully modular design, allowing customers to re-arrange the seating and configure more than 10 different layouts that can be customized for fishing, diving, water sports, or socializing. Equipped with a 225 kW motor and a 126 kWh-capacity battery, the Eelex 8000 cruises at 20 knots and can reach more than 30 knots flat out, with an average range of 100 nautical miles before it needs another charge.
Much like the Eelex, the X Shore 1 shares a similarly chiseled Scandinavian design and is available in either an open design, or with a canopy top. It has similar handling characteristics to the Eelex, but comes with a smaller 125 kW motor and 63 kWh battery, giving it a typical range of 50 nautical miles. For both boats, X Shore said the batteries can be recharged by 20 to 80 percent in about 50 minutes with a 45 kW charger, 1.5 hours with a 22.5 kW charger, and four hours with a 7 kW charger.
For more details on both models, now available via Signature Yachts, go to: signature-yachts.com.
[ welcome to the neighborhood ]
New Tenants Found for Port of Everett, Lake Union Piers Redevelopments
Time to roll out the welcome wagon, because some new neighbors will soon be coming to the Puget Sound region. Several new restaurants, bars, and wine-tasting room are scheduled to move into two large, mixed-use redevelopment projects this summer: Waterfront Place in Everett and Lake Union Piers in Seattle.
Many of the new Everett-area tenant leases involve Seattle-based architecture and engineering firm BCRA, which was awarded a $1.5 million contract from the Port of Everett Commission in February to design of two new buildings in the Fisherman’s Harbor section of the city’s 65-acre Waterfront Place development.
Already home to the Waterfront Place Apartments, the Hotel Indigo, and its restaurant, the Jetty Bar & Grille, Everett’s new Fisherman’s Harbor district is already being aptly nicknamed the “restaurant row” section of the new development.
Both newly open, the site now features Fisherman Jack’s restaurant, offering dishes of Chinese and Northwest cuisine, and a selection of sweets and coffees from South Fork Baking Co. The new BCRA-designed building being completed next door will be the home to Anisoptera Spa, Rustic Cork Wine Bar, and Menchie’s @ the Marina.
The second 3,000-square-foot BCRA building, at the corner of Seiner and West Marine View drives, is currently slated to house a Lazy Boy Brewing Co. bar. Within the same building, the Port is actively recruiting tenants for a year-round fish market to feature some of the freshest seafood in the region. Details of the proposal are currently scant, but the size of the fish market would encompass about 1,500 square feet of retail space, along with a wide open-air patio facing the site’s commercial fishing docks.
Other new attractions to whet boaters’ appetites include The Muse Whiskey & Coffee, a retro speakeasy-style space that offers coffee by day and bar service in the evenings, that moved into the historic Weyerhaeuser building this summer. Woods Coffee and Sound 2 Summit Brewing Co. have also recently opened their doors at Port Gardner Landing, south of Lombardi’s restaurant. In addition, the Port of Everett is still recruiting complementary restaurants operators in the area to offer such options as breakfast, brunches, or pizza. If selected, these businesses could be expected to open in the 2024 or 2025.
Meanwhile, in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, the Lake Union Piers development, which already hosts the Seattle Boats Afloat Show as well as many of the offices for area yacht brokerages, said it will have a new place for boaters to gather and sip fine wines.
Ackley Brands, a local owner of premium wine brands, said it will be opening a new 3,000-square-foot wine-tasting room in 2024, with seating both indoors and on an outdoor patio with panoramic views of the marina. Some of the Ackley wines that are expected to be available at the new establishment include Montinore Estate, Landlines Estates, Cataclysm Wine Co., and Borealis Vintners.
“The new tasting room will be a great addition to South Lake Union, elevating locally owned wineries and sharing a deep appreciation for world-class wine,” said Ada M. Healey, chief real-estate office for property owner Vulcan Real Estate.
Vulcan also said the wine room with soon be “accompanied by other dynamic dining, entertainment, recreation, and maritime tenants” in the project’s 60,000 square feet of commercial space under development.