By Bob McChesney, Executive Director, the Port of Edmonds, Jun 26, 2014, Edmonds Beacon
The Port of Edmonds had a double celebration last weekend. It was National Marina Day—an event in itself—and it was also the day the ribbon was cut for a larger capacity boat launcher.
A sling launcher is a very large piece of equipment, the size of a good-sized house.
The Port uses it to lift a customer’s boat off its trailer and place it smoothly and safely in the water. Later the launcher lifts the boat back out of the water and deposits it once again on the customer’s trailer.
The Port has been launching boats this way from its beginning, but after more than three decades of service the old launcher just plain wore out.
Also over the years the size of fishing boats got larger, some too big for the older equipment to handle. It was time for an upgrade.
The Port applied to the Washington State Recreation Conservation Office (RCO) for a grant and received one that would cover 75 percent of the cost.
After a couple of minor construction delays, the installation was completed in time for National Marina Day.
The newly dedicated launcher will increase the Port’s lifting capacity by a third. It is now able to handle boats weighing up to five tons.
The Port of Edmonds is the only boating access to Puget Sound in the 19-mile stretch between Seattle’s Shilshole Bay and a boat ramp at Mukilteo.
In the past 10 years, the Port has handled more than 54,000 boat moves with the existing launch.
National Marina Day is a nationwide event with the objective of increasing boating activity. The Port has participated in it for several years.
This year visitors could simply enjoy the waterfront atmosphere or take part in a number of marine activities such as going for demonstration ride with a boat dealer, hear about the activities of the Edmonds Yacht Club, enjoy some BBQ and a little live jazz, find out about the Edmonds Sea Scout program or the Sunset Beach Camp.
Those who were already active in the boating community could have their boat inspected by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, learn about boatyard repairs from a professional, or a number of other opportunities.
It was a memorable day to kick off the summer boating season at Edmonds’ nationally recognized marina.