This past winter, Portland, Ore.-based Cascade General
saw the arrival of several government-owned vessels from homeports such as Southern California and Alaska. The 418-ft. (127.4-m) M.V. Columbia, owned by Alaska Marine Highways was at Cascade for most of the winter for modernization of its public areas in the restaurant and café, refurbishment of the car-deck doors, installation of a laundry elevator from the car to cabin deck, and replacement of all windows in the vessel's solarium.
The 30-year-old vessel will undergo an upgrade consisting of new furnishings and food-serving facilities, as well as replacement of galley equipment. Columbia, which carries 941 passengers and 174 cars on the Inland Passage from Bellingham, Wash. to Skagway, Alaska, operates during the summer months. Cascade has worked on the entire Alaska fleet, including the company's newest, the 382-ft. (116.4-m) M.V. Kennicott, which was launched in 1998.
The first of two naval support ships to call on Cascade, was the 668-ft. (203.6-m) MarAd self-unloading containership SS Grand Canyon
. The vessel, which is based in Alameda, Calif., was lifted into the yard's Drydock 3 for blasting and coating. The tail shaft and propeller were removed for a complete inspection and repairs were also made to the hatches.
SS Grand Canyon was followed by San Diego-based USNS Guadeloupe, which is a 677-ft. (206.3-m) MSC oiler that is the second in its class to receive a new stern-seal system at the yard. The upgrade consisted of the opening of the stern tubes for installation of new piping. Shafts were pulled and the C.P. propellers were dismantled for inspection during this period. The vessel's bottom was also blasted and coated, while a 10 x 70-ft. (3 x 21.3-m) section of sideshell was renewed.
A frequent guest at Cascade's drydock paid another visit this past winter — The Corps of Engineers 350-ft. (106.6-m) dredge vessel Essayons. The vessel, whose territory includes the U.S. West Coast, including Alaska and Hawaii, spent 56 days at the shipyard. Its entire hopper area was staged for a complete steel survey after it was determined that all deteriorated steel be destroyed or replaced. Planning has already commenced in the yard for the vessel's next visit this fall when its entire dredge control system will be replaced with innovative computerized equipment.