March 1, 2021

Done deal: SAFE Boats lands $20M Navy contract

With the help of the EDB and its partners, a huge deal for some big boats will reopen a manufacturing operation in the Port of Tacoma and bring good-paying jobs to the South Sound.

In January, Bremerton/Tacoma-based SAFE Boats International was awarded a $20 million contract for the U.S. Navy to build Mark VI patrol boats for the government of Ukraine. The contract will add 75 new maritime positions to the local workforce and bring trickle-down economic benefits that will be felt across the region.

For the last two years, the EDB has worked to help SAFE Boats prepare for the Mark VI award, bringing together the Port, Impact Washington, City of Tacoma, Pierce County, workforce connections and other resources to support the project and get operations in Tacoma up and running.

“We are thrilled for SAFE Boats to reopen operations at the Port,” said Dick Marzano, Port of Tacoma commission president. “The Tacoma Tideflats is a working waterfront that supports thousands of manufacturing and industrial jobs. The addition of these high-skilled jobs is important to the maritime industry and an integral part of Pierce County’s economic recovery and growth.”

“We have a talented workforce ready to excel in our manufacturing and technology industries,” said Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier. “I know the U.S. Navy made a smart choice in choosing a Pierce County business.”

Mark VI patrol boats are used by the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command for escort of high-value ships, coastal patrol, and other maritime security missions.

According to the contract, the first two boats will be delivered in December 2022. Ultimately, the Navy may need a total of 16 vessels.


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