Toledo Port Manager Bud Shoemake says his boat yard off the west end of town is a lot busier this January than last January. Shoemake says they’re extremely busy on boats showing up for everything from a new paint job to new engines. He says they even had a 32 foot cabin cruiser type boat donated to the port to benefit the port’s youth boating group that meets at the floating club house at the end of main street. The club house is always the center of attention during various special port related events throughout the year.
Shoemake said the increased volume of boats and the work they bring with them has prompted him to make changes in the boat yard management. He said boat yard activity has grown so much that it needs a full time assistant manager to not only run the office but also be involved in actual boat yard activities. So that change has been made, which was appreciated by the new assistant manager and the outgoing part-time manager whose own business has grown considerably over the past two years.
Shoemake says the port continues to move ahead toward purchasing a 300 ton travel lift that will be able to lift out of the water most fishing vessels that ply the Pacific Coast of the U.S. He says the port is acting as if they will soon be in the position to buy the expensive addition and so they are pursing required in-water work permits to install it. Shoemake says there are grants and other funds they’re going after which includes Connect Oregon as well as Oregon Public Ports Association programs that arrange for loans and grants for up-and-coming economic endeavors that show growing promise in their operations, which Shoemake contends is written all over the new Toledo Boat Yard. “We’ve got a great future growing over here in Toledo,” he said.
The Port of Toledo has settled out of court with a couple of catamaran builders who occupied a building the port had leased to them for five years. The first two years of the lease found them building a luxury catamaran for a wealthy couple who planned to sail it around the world. However, things didn’t quite go as expected for the two builders and they wound up taking the craft out of the leased building in an effort to lower their costs. Eventually the catamaran owners, who contracted with the builders, took possession of the boat and finished with the windows and interior finishing.
The Toledo Port Commission took the two builders, John Shaw and Pat Meyers to court, in an effort to recoup the port’s lost income on the lease. In the end the port finally settled on $40,000 from both Shaw and Meyers.
But in the meantime, Yaquina Boat, a long standing leasor of port space, has stepped in and leased the building to house their wheelhouse building operations. Port Manager Bud Shoemake says Yaquina Boat has been a great tenant for the port and that he’s pleased that the company took over the empty areas of the building.
Meanwhile, Shoemake says the port continues to seek grants and other funding for a substantial expansion of the port’s boatyard operations. Shoemake says the re-emergence of what was the old Fred Wall boatyard has become a great economic boost to the Toledo area providing family wage jobs with a future that looks bright.
Shoemake says they’re shopping for a 300 ton travel-lift that can lift a variety of boats out of the water that need work done on them. Shoemake says the lift will open a whole rainbow of new opportunities for the boatyard because they’ll be able to work on 98% of west coast and Alaskan fishing vessels. Shoe make says they expect to be driving pilings next November to accomodate the new travel-lift.
They’re also pursuing plans to build a boat sanding and painting operations within an airtight facility on boatyard property.
Newly dedicated Toledo Waterfront Pavilion and Park
Quite possibly a sign of bigger and better things to come for the City and Port of Toledo was in the dedication Saturday of the new Waterfront Park and Pavilion immediately south of the train museum. The ribbon cutting duties were performed by the Toledo Summer Festival Junior Court, all in their pink shirts, each grasping a pair of scissors.
The new facility is seen by many as a major attraction for visitors and potentially providing further attractions that will contribute to tourism and for new businesses that may want to take advantage of future additions, especially toward the west, that someday might involve light industrial uses along with retail and possibly restaurants.
A number of officials, including Mayor Ralph Grutzmacher, Port Manager Bud Shoemake, and Port Commissioner Rick Graff spoke of their support and praise for the project which was funded largely with outside state and federal funds, although the Port of Toledo and City of Toledo also contributed.
The new transient docks are free to use during the day for those who just want to “tie up” for a short time to enjoy Toledo’s waterfront and downtown. The pavilion sports a small kitchen for simple food prep for those renting the facility for small gatherings. The pavilion is also wired and lighted for live bands, quartets and small orchestras to hold musical events. High quality permanent rest rooms were also built just east of the pavilion.
Immediately west of the pavilion is over two acres of raw land that is expected someday, as mentioned above, to be home to light industrial businesses, possibly a restaurant as well as tourist-retail shopping.
The new Waterfront Park, Pavilion and Transient Docks are seen by many as a stepping stone to other improvements around the downtown, including the town’s industrial and what might be termed “underutilized properties” along and near the town’s waterfront.
Today (Saturday) is a big day for Toledo’s new Waterfront Park, built by the Port of Toledo with close coordination with the city of Toledo. At 3pm today, the new waterfront pavilion, transient docks, newly landscaped park and events field will be dedicated and officially opened for public enjoyment.
The Toledo Summer Festival Junior Court will do the honors of cutting the Grand Opening ribbon, followed by live music right on through the evening. Rusty Rovers will kick things off at 3:30, followed by the Steve Cook Trio at 4:30, Son’s of Beaches at 5:30 and then at 7:30 it’s Bob Manning and his Honky Tonk Road Show.
Then at 10:00pm, it’s Fireworks over the Toledo Waterfront! A great way to spend a WARM Saturday in beautiful Toledo!
Travel lift scenario, top
Sandblasting/Paint Shop, bottom Click on photos to enlarge
A consultant working on a plan to expand the Port of Toledo’s Sturgeon Bend Boatyard gave port commissioners basically two ways to go this week. Build a rail system to haul out bigger boats than the port’s been able to work on so far, or buy a 300 ton portable lift system which would do the same thing. The consultant said the rail system has large lift capacity, it’s simple and works for many sizes of boats. But he added that the rail lift handles only one boat at a time, mixes small and big boat work areas, and building the thing would require major construction in the slough which will be hard to get permission to do and then be susceptible to an array of environmental protection regulations.
On the other hand, the consultant said, a travel-lift, capable of lifting 300 tons is probably the better choice. It can lift small boats and big boats and move them to appropriate work areas including the nine work zones just north of the proposed sanding and paint shop. The consultant emphasized that the travel-lift would make working in the boatyard’s limited space as efficient as possible, getting the most boats in and out quickly, which means good revenue flow to workers and to the port.
The consultant went over the costs for the travel lift and everything that would go with it. The list includes the lift pier, site electrical, strengthening the work surfaces, site preparation, sewer/utilities, the sand blasting, paint and repair shop, boat yard office, break room and restrooms and the lift itself ($1.5 million) for a grand total of around $7 million.
Comments from a small number of the public included former Toledo City Councilwoman Frankie Trujillo-Dalby and her husband Bill who complained that when they bought their home on the hill above the boat yard, they never dreamed that it would ever be resurrected, complete with a big sanding and paint shop rising up to partially obstruct their view. They said the noise and fumes would lower their property values and would make it impossible to ever sell their home. Port officials replied that the port has always been dedicated to economic development and that the site is designated as a boatyard and that it’s moving forward. As for the complaints about the sanding and paint shops, they said there are strict environmental controls on paint fumes escaping to the outside and that the shop’s location on the plans is just that..on a plan. Plans are flexible. Port Manager Bud Shoemake chimed in saying “All of this is not going to happen overnight. We’re talking three to five years out, based on funding. So we’ve got time to work on details.”
The Port Commissioners were told that the travel lift configuration could easily double the boatyard’s monthly run of boats (currently up to 30 a month) with even higher revenues from the much larger boats that they will be able to handle.
So, the future looks bright for the Port of Toledo as long as they can find funding for the lion’s share of the $7 million price tag. A number of Oregon state funding sources are going to be approached, funds which focus on economic development, port creation and expansion, transportation and family wage jobs. The consultant added, however, that one major issue looming on the horizon is that local schools and colleges must begin gearing up to train tomorrow’s boatwrights, electricians, engineers and painters, because many of today’s workers are nearing retirement.
Toledo Port Commissioners will soon hold another public meeting on the boatyard master plan, after which they’ll vote to move forward and begin tracking down the dollars to make it happen. Again, they’ve given themselves a five year window to get everything in place.
Toledo Port Commission (top)
Toledo Port Waterfront Park
Port of Toledo Sturgeon Bend Boatyard
The Toledo Port Commission Tuesday night hired a well known port expansion consulting firm called Makers based out of Seattle that does a lot of financial and economic forecasting and feasibility studies for ports up and down the west coast that want to grow. And certainly Toledo is among them.
Makers did the original feasibility study for the Port of Toledo in acquiring the old Fred Wahl boatyard at Sturgeon Bend, which launched the port into the boat repair and overhaul business. Port Manager Bud Shoemake said Makers will again be taking the Port of Toledo to the next level of economic prosperity when they analyze where the port is now financially, and then through careful data gathering, market analysis and careful facilities planning, propel the port forward to become a larger economic engine for the region.
Shoemake told News Lincoln County that he’s confident that the consultants will recommend some kind of boatyard expansion to meet the growing West Coast need for boat work. Shoemake says it will require the port to expand it’s ability to haul out larger vessels for repair and refurbishment. Shoemake said after the study is complete this Fall, the port can begin acquiring the funds and necessary in-water permits to enable them to haul out bigger boats which includes Alaska-class fishing vessels.
A smiling Bud Shoemake said “It’s an exciting time to be in the boatyard business on the Oregon Coast.”