Portland Shipyard Receives Nearly $1 Million Federal Grant to Replace Aging Boat Lift
PORTLAND, MAINE—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) announced today that Portland Ship Yard would receive a $990,500 federal Small Shipyard Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Funds will be used to replace an aging boat lift that has hindered the shipyard’s ability to serve Casco Bay’s commercial fleet.
“Anyone who makes their living on the water knows that a day without an operational boat means a day of losing money. With so many commercial vessels in Casco Bay, the local economy depends on having a place like Portland Ship Yard to get boats back on the water as quickly as possible,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “With frequent needs for repairs, the shipyard’s aging lift created many delays and other challenges. This federal investment will enable Portland Shipyard to replace a piece of equipment that is essential to keeping our commercial fleet up and running.”
According to the U.S. DOT’s Maritime Administration, the Small Shipyard Grant Program provides grants for capital and related improvements to qualified shipyard facilities to fostering efficiency, competitive operations, and quality ship construction, repair, and reconfiguration.
Portland Shipyard serves a bustling port with a healthy commercial fishing fleet, public agency vessels, such as fireboats and pilot boats, and ferries serving rural islands throughout Casco Bay. Its aging mobile boat hoist, however, has challenged operations. Portland Shipyard’s current mobile boat hoist has sustained down time on at least 225 days since the beginning of 2014. Safety concerns also have made the current lift practically unusable for all but the lightest vessels, as heavier vessels challenge the limits of the aging machine’s capabilities.
The grant will replace the lift with a new 330-ton mobile boat hoist.