Back in September Northwest Marine Industries, manufacturer of the beloved Pacific Northwest SeaSport, Osprey, C-Dory and Skagit Orca boat lines, suffered a disastrous fire. But out of that tragedy the company is coming back strong, and in fact we might see a lot more of those Northwest originals on the water in the coming years.
The fire was ruled an industrial accident by the ATF, and resulted in significant damage but no injuries. Four boats in various stages of completion were lost, and the SeaSport Commander 2800 hull mold was destroyed. Everything has been, or is being, rebuilt.
Under the leadership of company owner Ron Wright and Production Manager Greg Little, the company rallied and quickly found a new and bigger facility at Fairhaven Marine Industrial Park in Bellingham. In an ironic twist, this is where Wright’s father started the company in the 1950s.
The new shop is 30,800 square feet, much larger than the previous 12,000 sq. ft. shop. It’s estimated the larger shop will be 20-25% more efficient with existing personnel, enabling the company to produce 50 boats/year. Moreover, if the demand is there, with additional personnel, capacity could bump up to nearly 100 boats. Production officially restarted on November 18 when the first mold was sprayed.
For the time being, however, the focus is on fulfilling orders that were delayed because of the fire.
Everyone can see what a “new” C-Dory looks like at the Seattle International Boat Show in January. Waypoint Boats and Motors will have a new C-Dory 25 Cruiser on display, fresh from the new factory.