Posted by: arbeam | October 14, 2018

Oct 12: Safe Boats International Tour

Today about 20 Navy League members converged on the SAFE Boats facility in Bremerton.  We were treated to a tour of their factory and started off with a presentation introducing us to several of their staff and their products, including their pioneer signature wrap-around collar design, instantly recognizable on many of their boats.  This tour was one of the couple of non-military owned facilities we visited this year.  SAFE Boats, established in 1996, is 100% American owned and operated, and they pride themselves in employing many military veterans among their dedicated and expert work force of over 250 people.  As a government contractor, a majority of their clients are the US Military, Law Enforcement/First Responders and Security.

We also each received a souvenir SAFE Boats embroidered ball cap with an American flag and their logo “God, Country & Fast Boats” sticker.  Of course, I had to ask what the SAFE acronym stood for: SecuredAround Floatation Equipped.

Their main active facility consists of two buildings in Bremerton, and they have a second facility in Tacoma where boats can be tested in the water, which is active mostly when building their largest series, the Mk VI Patrol Boat which reaches 85 ft.  We were hosted to a tour of the main manufacturing facility and able to view over two dozen boats in various stages of manufacture in specialized sections; from sheet aluminum which is placed on a large table router, to cut pieces being welded, to integral parts being attached, to final assembly, testing and finished boats awaiting delivery to customers who might wait at least a year for their order to be processed.  The relatively small SAFE Boats facility turns out about 75 boats per year.

The privately owned company prides itself in ensuring a high safety record for employees (all non-union) and customers, making durable, specialized, high quality custom work boats that help save lives around the world, where over 2,000 boats are in service in over 60 countries.  SAFE Boats are made to take a beating and have a long serviceable work life; their foam filled collars and high grade machined & welded aluminum able to withstand the rigors of combat, years at sea and even small arms fire.  SAFE Boats have been in service for over 5 million operating hours without significant hull failure, and select boats have survived more combat time than any other boats since the Vietnam War.

SAFE Boats also boasts over 160 local and State of Washington customers.   Their employees are treated as valuable assets and cross-trained in multiple stages of the boat-building process.  Some of their employees have gone on to work at the nearby Bremerton Naval Shipyard, where their multiple skills are sought after in a highly specialized industry.  Perhaps one day some of us might be treated to a test ride in one of their boats!

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