[ mark your calendars ]
Boats To Go Afloat Again in Lake Union, Anacortes This Spring
It’s time to head for the docks and do some float shopping. Mark your calendars for the returns of two major boat shows to ring in the 2023 season: the April Boats Afloat Show in Seattle and the Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show happening in that aforementioned locale in May.
Boats Afloat, the region’s largest exhibition of boating stock on the water, has been a treasure among Pacific Northwest mariners since it first launched in 1978. Starting on April 27 this year and continuing for four days, Boats Afloat will showcase a wide variety of power and sailing yachts, as well as the latest boating equipment and technology to fit all budgets.
This year will mark the second time the show’s host organization, the Northwest Yacht Brokers Association (NYBA), will be holding two Boats Afloat shows in the same year—the spring show next month and a fall show (September 14-17). Both will be located along the newly renovated Lake Union Piers development, formerly known as Chandler’s Cove, in the southeast corner of the lake.
Dozens of brokers and dealers from the Northwest and Western Canada will be on hand to show off more than 225 of their latest yacht models, while attendees can mingle and network on the docks. For more details about coming highlights this year, visit: boatsafloatshow.com (and also be sure to read this month’s Expert Take on pages 60-61).
Farther north, the Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show (May 18-20) anticipates boat aficionados to view hundreds of new yachts from more than 75 exhibitors. The main portion of the in-water displays will be located at Cap Sante Marina, but additional boats can also be viewed on-land in nearby boatyards and dealers. A free shuttle service will run between locations during the show. Attendees can also visit shoreside displays of boating accessories, services, and trailerable boats adjacent to the Cap Sante Marina main entrance.
This year, the Anacortes show will again be teaming up with TrawlerFest, a well-regarded series of educational seminars that will begin two days earlier on May 16. With prices starting at $65 per seminar, the TrawlerFest sessions, led by some of leading experts in the maritime industry, will include topics such as weather, maintenance, electrical, communications, engines, electronics, navigation, destinations, and many other marine subjects.
For more information on the show, hours, TrawlerFest registration, and other planned events, please visit: anacortesboatandyachtshow.com.
[ join the clubs ]
Yacht Clubs Celebrate New Boating Season with Baseball & Daffodils
As spring approaches, local yachting groups are planning for a resurgence of interest as well as the return of yacht club events, such as a celebration of daffodils in Tacoma and Opening Day of 2023 boating season in Seattle.
In Tacoma, yellow will the color for April, as the Tacoma Yacht Club (TYC) celebrates the return of spring with its 71st Annual Daffodil Marine Festival & Parade (April 13-16). With the theme of “87 Years Around the Sound,” TYC will welcome attendees with one free beer and appetizers at the club’s deck on the afternoon of Friday, April 14. The next day, festivities kick off with the Token Parade on Saturday afternoon, followed by a “Jeopardy”-style trivia contest and a dinner buffet with live music.
On Sunday, April 16, the festival closes with the much-anticipated Decorated Boat Parade along the Tacoma waterfront. Information on registration fees, deadlines, and event schedules can be found at: tacomayachtclub.org/daffodil.
The following month, the Seattle Yacht Club (SYC) will host its much beloved annual party for the start of the 2023 boating season on Saturday, May 6. This year, SYC will lead off with a baseball-themed “Game On!” series of events for Opening Day 2023.
The first main Opening Day activity will be a Rowing Regatta and the Windermere Cup competition. At noon, the Opening Day Parade will begin, with dozens of powerboats and sailboats sailing past the log boom and through the Ship Canal to salute SYC Admiral Lance Rummel, Admiralette Nicole Wilkin, and Vice Admiral David Sanford.
At the end of the parade, a trophy presentation will take place on SYC’s lawn to reward the boaters in the parade for various superlatives, such as best youth-sponsored vessel, best dressed, and best themed boat. For more details on Opening Day events, visit: seattleyachtclub.org.
Meanwhile, in December of last year, the Duwamish Yacht Club (DYC) signed a new and successive 30-year lease for its gated and secured marina on the Duwamish Waterway five and a half miles south of Elliott Bay. DYC, a membership-based organization, offers covered and uncovered boat slips, measuring between 35 and 50 feet in length, to its 110 members.
The new lease will allow the club to continue providing freshwater moorage and easy access to Puget Sound without the need for passage through the Chittenden Locks. DYC also features some limited slip space for live-aboard members, pump-out docks, a clubhouse, restrooms, showers, and a laundromat.
Future plans for the DYC under its new lease include the restoration and dredging of its moorage basin, plus an updated financial structure to create a reserve account with membership dues to pay for future maintenance. For more information on DYC, go to: duwamishyachtclub.com.
[ construction zones ]
Pardon Our Dust: Maritime Upgrades Ring in Spring Around the Sound
As traffic returns in full force to the Puget Sound waterways this spring, several ports, marinas, and locks systems are moving forward to handle the increase and help improve life for those looking for fun and recreation on the water. Some of this work may continue into the busy summer season, so boaters should be aware of a few ongoing repairs around the Sound.
At Fort Casey State Park, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission said it will complete construction of the Keystone Boat Launch in late spring this year. Until that time, the Keystone boat ramp will experience intermittent partial and full closures.
Repairs at Keystone have been in the works since December 2018, when a storm system caused heavy beach erosion and brought strong winds that pushed a breakwater structure into the floating docks, damaging them and knocking over a concrete pylon. With the help of funds from the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the Parks Department was able to begin the $2.4 million project last December to add a new protective breakwater structure, replace the pylon, and repair the docks.
To check the status of the Keystone Boat Launch, which serves approximately 55,000 visitors per year on the west side of Whidbey Island, visit the Washington State Parks Fort Casey web page for the latest information: parks.wa.gov/505/Fort-Casey.
In Port Townsend, the first renovation phase of the 50-slip Point Hudson Marina was completed in late January after crews, aided by mild fall and winter weather, finished work on a new jetty weeks ahead of schedule. Work on the Point Hudson Marina involves the replacement of two jetties that recently failed after nearly 90 years of wind and wave action. The work closed the marina shortly after last September’s Wooden Boat Festival.
The new jetty consists of 178 steel piles buried 30 feet into the sea floor, rising up 16 feet above a low tide level—three feet higher than the replaced creosoted wood pilings. About 1,000 tons of bedding stone forms the base of the new jetty, while 4,000 tons of armor stone was placed inside the piles. In addition, 1,500 tons of stone was added as a new sea life habitat outside the marina mouth.
Tacoma-based Orion Marine Contractors, which performed work on Port Hudson’s north jetty, said the next phase of the $14 million project can now begin, replacing the longer second jetty to the south, as well as its pedestrian walkway, starting in September.
The completion of the latest phase means that some boaters and maritime businesses, such as Puget Sound Express, with its San Juan Islands tour boats, can return to Point Hudson after being temporarily halted. For more details, go to: portofpt.com.
Then in Ballard, the Visitor’s Center of the Hiram Chittenden Locks is supposed to open later this spring as extensive renovations near completion (the first floor is open, but work continues on the second story). The locks themselves, however, will continue a two-year, intermittent closure cycle for an overhaul of the 80-foot-wide large lock. Having recently re-opened in late January, the 825-foot-long lock will be out of service two more times this year— once in mid-October through mid-November—and again for the bulk of December. Another series of closures is expected in 2024 until the locks are fully renovated by late December of that year.
Most of the original machinery used to operate the gravity-based lock system has been in place since 1917 and is in urgent need of improvements. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will perform concrete demolition and construction work, installation and commissioning of new miter gates, and the scraping out of marine growth that has built up over 106 years of operation.
During these scheduled closures, the smaller boat lock will remain in operation to handle vessel traffic. The lock system, owned by the Army Corps, is the busiest in the nation, handling nearly 50,000 vessels each year between Lake Union and Puget Sound. The dates of the closures remain fluid for 2023 and 2024, so, for regular updates on the Corps’ upcoming lock closures, be sure to follow Chittenden’s (well updated) Facebook page: facebook.com/ChittendenLocks.