Coupeville Port’s Last Fuel Float Damaged

By Nathan Whalen, January 11, 2013, Whidbey News-Times

Several weeks after Port of Coupeville officials sent one of its fuel floats away to be repaired, the last remaining one at the wharf was damaged and is threatening to drift away.

Port officials discovered a bracket on the remaining, 40-foot concrete float that boaters use to refuel their vessels, had broke away. The other fuel float is off-island being repaired.

“We’ve got to find a way to repair that while the other one is in Anacortes,” Jim Patton, executive director for the Port of Coupeville, said.

While boating activity at the Coupeville Wharf is at a minimum during the dreary winter months, the boats operated by Penn Cove Shellfish use the Coupeville Wharf to refuel. In addition, activity at the wharf will pick up in March as recreational boaters return and the Victoria Clipper stops in Coupeville for gray whale tours.

During a severe storm that took place in December 2012, the brackets on one of the fuel floats broke.

Workers later that month pulled the 13-ton structure out of the water and it was towed to Anacortes for repairs.

“The quicker we have one of these replaced, the better off we’ll be,” Commissioner Benye Weber said during Wednesday’s Port of Coupeville meeting.

Patton said he is contacting the company in charge of the repairs, Pacific Northwest Docks, to see when the work is complete.

Then repairs can take place on the current float. Patton hopes the second float could be beached near the port office and the bracket could be replaced.

The Port of Coupeville is looking to replace the concrete fuel piers that have posed problems for officials in recent years.

Patton said he hopes to have a solicitation ready by the February meeting and would like to see replacement floats in place by the summer boating season.

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