SEATTLE – The shipyard that boasts the largest dry dock in Puget Sound, which services Washington state ferries, is looking to expand.
A dry dock is like a floating elevator that lifts ships up out of the water for repairs. The dry dock at Vigor Industrial’s shipyard on Harbor Island offers a space 560 feet long by 95 feet wide, but one in that size range is no longer considered enough.
Like a quasi-submarine, a dry dock partially sinks, allowing a vessel to be floated in, then raised up as water is pumped out, so the bottom and things like propellers, propeller shafts, and valves can be exposed, inspected, and worked on.
Once known as Todd Shipyard, Vigor both builds vessels and repairs them. Currently, the yard is constructing the third and fourth Olympic class 144 car capacity boats for Washington state’s ferry system. As it is, the fourth ferry is the final new boat on order. Further orders from the state will depend on an upcoming strategic plan review, which could set a course for future ferry construction.