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August 14, 2018

Check out Portland Ship Yard’s new 300-ton travelift

Courtesy / Portland Ship Yard
Courtesy / Portland Ship Yard
Portland Ship Yard owner Phineas Sprague is unveiling this afternoon a new 300 metric ton Marine Travelift that he’s named “Babe” in a nod to the legendary blue ox who was Paul Bunyan’s faithful companion.

Portland Ship Yard owner Phineas Sprague is unveiling this afternoon a new 300 metric ton Marine Travelift that he's named "Babe" in a nod to the legendary blue ox who was Paul Bunyan's faithful companion.

Sprague and city officials are planning a public celebration today from 4- 6 p.m. at Portland Ship Yard, at 100 Commercial St. near the International Marine Terminal. Keynote speaker is Richard Balzano, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration, which awarded Portland Ship Yard $990,500 last fall to support the purchase of the 330-metric-ton Marine Travelift.

"This is a great day for Portland Harbor," Sprague said in a news release sent to Mainebiz by the city. "Not only can we service larger commercial and recreational vessels that currently call Portland Harbor their home port, we will attract vessels from all over the North Atlantic. Until now, larger fishing vessels, tugs, ferries, yachts, and schooners needed to bypass or leave Portland Harbor for service and repair because of our limited hauling capacity. Not any more. Portland Harbor is open for business."

The addition of the new Marine Travelift augments the growing Portland Ship Yard at 100 West Commercial St., which has transformed a long-vacant rail yard into a vibrant state of the art boat and ship repair facility with significant expansion capacity.

Taken in conjunction with recent investments by the Maine Port Authority at the nearby International Marine Terminal, the Portland Ship Yard expansions comprise a total transformation of the western waterfront, the city stated in its news release.

Future investments are planned for the shipyard including a new building designed to accommodate the travel lift, which was made possible by recent zoning change that allows taller structures on the western waterfront.

In addition to Balzano's keynote address, this afternoon's event will include welcoming remarks from Sprague and comments from invited elected officials and industry representatives. A tour of the facility and reception with light refreshments will follow formal remarks.

Sprague noted in his news release that a tugboat will be hanging in the new Marine Travelift's slings behind the podium during today's public event.

Marine Travelift is based in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.

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