City Christens New Travel Lift

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City officials prepare to break a bottle of champagne on the new Marine Travel Lift. Jay Barrett/KMXT photo

Jay Barrett/KMXT

The City of Kodiak held a christening for the new large boat lift yesterday at noon, and the ceremony went off with only one slight hitch: it took two swings to break the bottle of champagne on the side of travel lift. Jay Barrett has more.

Clear blue skies greeted about 75 people on the shores of Saint Herman Harbor on Near Island, where the city has carved out a brand new boat yard to cater to Kodiak’s large boat fleet. Marty Owen is the city’s harbormaster:

(Marty more capacity 19 sec "The yard is laid out … of the water for service.")

The ceremony was held at the foot of the giant machine, which towers 63-feet above the ground. It held the fishing vessel Walter N in its fabric slings, a 99-foot fishing boat lifted out of the water just hours before:

(Marty Walter N 18 sec "The boat you see behind … trying very hard.")

Mike Martin, the owner of the Walter N, said he was happy to be able to take his boat out of the water in his hometown:

(Mike Martin Walter N 38 sec "The vessel was the … thanks for sharing that.")

Nick Szabo, chairman of the city’s Ports and Harbors Commission, says the travel lift has been under consideration for years:

(Nick long time 34 sec "The mayor mentioned 10 … seeing it finally happen.")

Though he’s already looking at the next step, Owen agreed that it’s been a log process:

(Marty live this long 17 sec "I didn’t think I’d live this … year-round operation then.")

Owen said the total cost for the project is about18-million-dollars. That includes 6-million for the travel lift itself, and about the same amount for the piers, earthwork and utilities.

I’m Jay Barrett.

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