If you weren’t up before dawn Saturday and waiting on the banks of the Tacoma’s Thea Foss Waterway, you missed a dramatic event not often duplicated these days in Tacoma.
But thanks to the work of an able videographer, Scott M. Bauer, you can witness the launching of the biggest ship built in Tacoma in 20 years.
The Northern Leader is a 184-foot-long fishing boat built at Tacoma’s J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Co. The boats slid down the ways at Martinac at 5:28 a.m. on the drizzly day. The $25 million boat is being built for Alaska Leader Fisheries. The vessel will undergo more construction work at pierside and then will be subjected to extensive testing before being delivered late this spring.
Here’s the link for the video:
The early morning launch was timed to coincide with high tide to ensure there was enough water in the the narrow waterway to handle the big fishing boat.
After the hull hit the water, two Crowley tugs kept the vessel from careening into the opposite bank.