Safe Boats International has begun to build two of five and possibly six large state-of-the-art Mark Six patrol boats for the Navy. The 78-foot aluminum fast vessels are giants compared to almost everything else Safe Boats has built in 15 years. They are so large that Safe Boats couldn’t build them at its cramped quarters in Bremerton. Earlier this year, it leased the cavernous building at a remote tip of the Blair/Hylebos Peninsula at the Port or Tacoma to get the $35 million job done.
The Mark Six boats, two of which are being built now, hold the possibility that Safe Boats one day will consider the big-boat market as its main bread and butter. If funding permits, the Navy hopes to buy many more of the bigger vessels, and Safe Boats wants to build them — along with other types of boats twice the length of its small boats.
“The goal wasn’t to have just Mark Six. The goal was to be in the large-craft market,” said Mark Talbert, senior vice president of large-craft operations. A couple of other boats are being worked on at Safe Boats’ new large craft production facility. They include a 49-foot Riverine Command Boat the Navy has had in operation for five years that’s now being retrofitted, as well as a big-boat prototype. The first Safe Boats big boat that’s on the job is a 65-foot fireboat now in New York Harbor, delivered in 2010.
The Questions to ask our Elected Leaders in Bremerton and Kitsap County:
Where in Kitsap County could a successful company be allowed to expand on the shoreline under the new Shoreline Master Plan regulations?
Why are we forcing an obviously successful company to expand in Pierce County?