Fishermen’s Boat Shop changes its name to reflect the fact it works on ships

By Mike Benbow

Herald Writer

Fifty years ago, a commercial fisherman who needed a new net was likely to get it at the Fishermen’s Boat Shop.

Today, the business on Everett’s waterfront still gets similar requests, even though its work has changed dramatically, shifting from an emphasis on wooden fishing vessels to work on much larger craft.

It’s the name, said Kevin Quigley, the former state legislator and congressman who took over as president of the company earlier this year.

So he changed it.

On Wednesday, the 55-year-old company became Everett Shipyard.

"I think the new name better represents what we are and what we do," said Quigley. "Fishermen’s Boat Shop … we grew out of that a long time ago."

Quigley said the company has a new mission to go with the new name: He’d like to land much more ship repair and refurbishment work, like the $2.5 million project now under way on the state ferry Hyak.

The company plans to hire an additional 30 people to work on the ferry project.

The ferry is tied up between the Port of Everett’s piers 1 and 2 for dockside repairs and major electrical enhancements, one of a number of contracts the company has won for state ferry repairs.

Quigley said the company is limited in the amount of such work it can do, because it has no dry-dock facilities to work on ships out of the water. He’d like to develop one.

"Right now we’re restricted to bidding on dockside work," he said. "A dry dock would open up a whole other class of work — for the Navy, the Coast Guard and the state ferry system."

He’d also like to see the company, which has a core employment of 30 people, develop its own shipbuilding business, perhaps creating fast ferries like Nichols Brothers Boats on Whidbey Island.

He said the company would like to partner with another firm that would do the design work. "We could team with someone who had a proven design and a proven technology," Quigley said. "We have a team here that could easily build small and medium-sized ferries."

Still uncertain is how Everett Shipyard will fit into a redevelopment of the waterfront now under study by the port.

Quigley said the company would like to maintain its current facilities to continue its boat work and lease more waterfront property from the port to get into the ship repair and building business.

"We’d like to preserve our boatyard home and create a shipyard home," Quigley said.

You can call Herald Writer Mike Benbow at 425-339-3459

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