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July 24, 2018

Washburn & Doughty shipyard lands $600K federal grant

Photo / Laurie Schreiber
Photo / Laurie Schreiber
Washburn & Doughty, an East Boothbay shipbuilder, has been awarded $618,750 through the U.S. Department of Transportation's MARAD Small Shipyard Grant Program to purchase and install a new lathe and robotic welding machine.

About the MARAD grant program

The purpose of the MARAD Small Shipyard Grant Program is to foster efficiency; competitive operations; and quality ship construction, repair, and reconfiguration in small shipyards across the United States. It also promotes employee skills and enhanced productivity related to shipbuilding, ship repair, and associated industries.

Washburn & Doughty Associates Inc. of East Boothbay has been awarded $618,750 through the U.S. Department of Transportation's MARAD Small Shipyard Grant Program to purchase and install a new lathe and robotic welding machine.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, chairwoman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced the award in a news release on Monday.

"This funding for a new lathe and robotic welding machine is welcome news for the hardworking men and women of Washburn & Doughty Associates Inc.," Collins said. "This equipment will enhance the shipyard's productivity, capabilities, and competitiveness while helping to grow the Boothbay region's economy."

Established in 1977, the East Boothbay shipyard specializes in the construction of steel and aluminum commercial vessels. Its portfolio includes a diverse mix of tugboats, commercial passenger vessels, fishing boats, barges, ferries and research vessels.

It's the second small Maine shipyard to receive funding in recent weeks through the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration's Small Shipyard Grant Program. Last week, Front Street Shipyard reported it expects to add up to 40 new jobs as a result of a $667,028 MARAD grant that will help fund its purchase and installation of a new waterjet cutting machine that will streamline the construction of custom and production vessels at its Belfast shipyard.

Washburn & Doughty in expansion mode

The MARAD grant award comes less than a month after the East Boothbay shipyard announced the planned purchase of two adjacent buildings from Hodgdon Yachts in a sale that was expected to close this month.

Washburn & Doughty Chairman Bruce Doughty told The Boothbay Register at that time the acquisition would allow the company to expand..

The boatbuilder also recently launched its 40th tugboat for Moran Towing Corp. of New Canaan, Conn. Named the Judy Moran, it will be in service in Texas. Another tug is under construction and more contracts are in the works, Doughty said.

In February, the shipyard won a contract worth $8.8 million from the Maine Department of Transportation to build a new vessel for the Maine State Ferry Service. It's Washburn & Doughty's first ferry project in two decades.

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