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Improvement Coming to the CWB Boatshop thanks to Generous Donations by AGC Members

December 5, 2013

If you’ve wandered by The Center for Wooden Boats South Lake Union Boatshop this sunny and crisp week, you may have noted a little work being done to CWB’s floating boatshop. Volunteers from OAC Services and BNB Builders are taking advantage of a traditional slow time in the shop to install a new boat lift system for us.


When it’s done, the new lift will make it much easier to get boats that need some love from boatshop volunteers up out of the water and into the shop.

For years we’ve been using a tired old seaplane dry dock float, the one with the crazy PVC pipes all over it to control air in 4 old septic tanks under the float. We’ve been using that to lift boats up. Then we round up volunteers to manhandle the boat into the doors of the shop. But that float will soon be retired.


With the new system, a strong rail will extend out of the new dormer on the Northside of the building. When we need to pick up a boat, we’ll maneuver it into slings under the rail, lift the boat up, and then just slide it along the rail into the shop.

WP_20131206_08_09_05_Pro“This will make is so much easier to move the boats in an out of the water”, said Kyle Hunter, CWB Facilities manager.

OAC Services Seattle office has designed a retrofit of the Boatshop, making sure the engineering works and that the athletics match Dick Wagner’s original design for CWB first building. OAC donated all the design time through the permit stage and work on the steel I-beam construction. Yakima Steel donated and fabricated the beam. Scott Galvanizing in Ballard has galvanized the beam to protect it from the elements, and Ballard Hardware donated the trolley that will allow boats to Glide in an out of the shop. And BNB is donating the time of its crew to install the new system.

The work is part of a larger effort to restore and upgrade The Center for Wooden Boats facilities at South Lake Union, a large part of which has been spearheaded by the Seattle District of AGC, The Association of General Contractors of Washington, whose headquarters is just across Lake Union Park from the museum.

AGC volunteers made improvements at CWB their year-long community service project. Earlier this year ACG crews completed a list of projects:

  • Lennon Crane brought in a mobile crane to lift CWB docks in and out of water for repair.
  • Cal Portland provided a dump truck to remove debris.
  • NCM Group provided a dumpster for construction debris.
  • KBA Construction Management Company coordinated services.
  • Garner Construction provided the operator and riggers for the crane
  • Snyder roofing has committed to fixing up the roofing on the CWB Floating boatshop and boathouse.
  • McKinstry Inc. provided the materials and labor to install a new stove pipe for wood stove in boat shop.
  • Gray Lumber provided the materials at a discount and also the manpower for construction and repair of wood storage cabinets for life jackets, foul weather gear and other CWB supplies.
  • Lease, Crutcher, Lewis provided teams for construction and repair of storage cabinets.
  • NECA, Holmes Electric and IBEW worked together to improve electrical connections on CWB’s docks.

There is no way we could have completed all these improvements this year without the generous support of AGC and all its members”, said Betsy Davis, CWB Executive Director. “When the value of various improvement grants, donations and in-kind donations of good and services is added up the total value of all the improvement at The Center for Wooden Boats this year ads up to more than $120,000.”

As I said when all this work started this spring, “The amazing generosity of our supporter and hundreds of volunteers who come down to clean and repair boats, repair the docks, stich new sails, teach sailing lessons, give free rides on our fleet of boats or just sit at the front desk with a welcome smile is what makes The Center for Wooden Boats what it is,” said Davis.

Previous Coverage of CWB Improvements

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