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Pacific Marine Expo 2016: Some Prospects, Some Uncertainty For The Coming Year - Washington Manufacturing Alert

November 21, 2016

BY BILL VIRGIN | Washington Manufacturing Alert

Opening day of the annual Pacific Marine Expo trade show in Seattle featured more exhibitors and decent crowds checking out the displays, but not a lot of cer-tainty or consensus on what’s ahead for next year for the Northwest’s boatbuilding and marine-equipment manufacturing sector.

For some companies, such as Sedro-Woolley-based fishing-vessel builder Strongback Metal Boats, “2017 looks good. Bristol Bay had a good season so we’re getting lots of interest and got lots of boats to build,” said general manager Rob Smith.

But other companies report a lackluster pipeline of orders, generated by contin-ued weak oil prices (affecting the market for work boats for that sector) and a murky regulatory climate in specific fisheries.
That uncertainty plays out not only in the fisheries themselves, affecting how much can be caught, but in spending on vessels and equipment, said Arne Arnesen, commercial maritime lending manager with Peoples Bank in Seattle. Read More..