Posted by: arbeam | March 6, 2013

Tour of Vigor Shipyard Feb 15 2013

Vigor Shipyard Tour

On February 15, 2013 sixteen fortunate Navy Leaguers were treated not only to a rare blue sky sunny day but also to a tour of Vigor Shipyard on Harbor Island, Seattle.  Following issue of necessary safety gear (hard hat, glasses and ear plugs) we were given an overview of parent corporation Vigor Industrial by Vice President Gene Kegley.

Vigor has facilities in 7 cities located in 3 states and is comprised of 8 interrelated companies.  They primarily build, maintain and modernize ships.  At Vigor there is a special focus on the employees…the people.  There are 2000 total Vigor employees with 1000 working at Vigor Shipyard, Seattle. Locally there is also a presence at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, as well as in Everett, Tacoma and Port Angeles.

Vigor_Shipyard Ferry ConstructionA major fabrication project presently underway is construction of three 144 car ferries for Washington State Ferries.  In Building 72 we got a close up look at the nearly completed hull section of the first of these ferries.  It will soon be moved out onto a floating drydock where the superstructure section (being build by a sub contractor on Whidbey Island) will be mated on the hull.  The second ferry is largely parts at the present time, with some sections assembled.  It almost looks like a giant model kit, but will soon follow the first ferry in the assembly process. The tolerance for fit is the thickness of a piece of steel.

Vigor Shipyard Walla WallaNext we got a pier side view of where maintenance and modernization work is being done on  a WSF ferry (Walla Walla), two barges, a Coast Guard ice breaker (Healy) and a US Navy frigate (USS Rodney M. Davis  FFG 60).  Our visit to Vigor Shipyard concluded with a spirited Q&A time with Gene Kegley and then it was time to turn in our gear.  Thanks, as always, to Byron Faber for another great tour! – Norman Marten

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