All American Marine has landed a big project to break in its new waterfront facility.
The boat-builder has inked a contract with Argosy Cruises of Seattle to build a 125-foot, three-deck tour boat that will hold up to 500 passengers.
The vessel will be the first one built in All American’s 57,000-square-foot facility that is currently being built on Hilton Avenue, near Bornstein Seafoods and a U.S. Coast Guard station. The new facility is expected to be ready in January.
All American Marine CEO Matt Mullett said the size of the boat could not have been built in its current location at 200 Harris Ave. The new facility is progressing to meet the January deadline – the concrete slab is scheduled to be poured and the components for the building are expected to arrive later this week. He said it is a very significant boat contract for his company, partly because it’s a new market segment the company can now pursue.
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He said the Port of Bellingham and its contractor, Ram Construction, “are doing a great job proactively addressing issues as they arise.”
25 number of workers expected to be added to All American Marine’s workforce in the coming years after moving into its new facility.
The Argosy boat project, which is valued close to $7 million, is expected to be completed around October 2017 if the new facility is done in time for All American to get started in January, Mullett said.
The company employs around 45 people and has begun the hiring process to add more as All American moves into its larger facility. Mullett said the company expects to add 25 more employees in the next several years.
Argosy intends to use the new vessel on a route between its Seattle waterfront spot on Pier 55 and Tillicum Village on Blake Island State Park. It will also be used for private event charters and for its Christmas Ship Festival fleet.
Argosy chose All American Marine for the project partly because of the design using an aluminum hull, which offers a better price and functionality than boats with a steel hull, Argosy CEO Kevin Clark said in a news release.
The boat will have panoramic windows from both the main deck and second deck cabins, according to Mullett.
Earlier this year, All American Marine was awarded a $4 million contract to build a 68-foot aluminum catamaran for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. That project is expected to be completed this spring.