Frank Foti News

01 Feb 2019

Shipbuilding: Vigor Picks Expansion Site

Vigor selects Vancouver, Washington site for a state-of-the-art, all-aluminum fabrication facility. Rendering courtesy VIGOR

West Coast U.S. shipbuilding and repair powerhouse Vigor has selected a Vancouver, Washington site to be the home for its new  all-aluminum fabrication facility.With a nearly billion dollar contract in its hip pocket to build the U.S. Army’s new landing craft over the next 10 years, Vigor is expanding it's shipbuilding operations to a new state-of-the-art aluminum fabrication facility with this project serving as the anchor for production.The facility as formerly the home of Christensen Yachts, deemed by the company as the best location to build the U.S.

31 Jan 2018

Irish Wave Buoy to Be Deployed at US Navy Test Site

A smaller prototype tested in Galway Bay, Ireland. (Photo: Ocean Energy)

Despite some 7,000 miles separating Ireland and Hawaii, the two islands have a lot in common. The islands’ peoples have always looked to their respective oceans for resources, inspiration and opportunity. Today, Irish company Ocean Energy announced its wave energy convertor OE Buoy will be built by Oregon-based Vigor and deployed at the U.S. Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site on the windward coast of the Hawaiian Island of O’ahu in the fall of 2018. The contract value is $6.5 million out of a total project value of $12 million for this first of a kind grid scale project at the U.S.

05 Jan 2018

Washington State Christens New Ferry Suquamish

Washington State’s new ferry Squamish was christened at Vigor's Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle, on January 4. (Photo: WSDOT)

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) christened Suquamish, its fourth Olympic Class auto/passenger ferry, to serve passengers on the Mukilteo/Clinton route beginning in 2019. The christening ceremony was held at Vigor's Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle, where the new 144-car ferry has entered the final stages of construction and preparation ahead of sea trials starting in mid-2018. In addition to summer operations on the Mukilteo/Clinton route, the new ferry will also serve as a maintenance relief vessel in the winter, filling in when other vessels are out of service.

02 Oct 2017

Vigor to Build US Army Landing Craft

(Image: Vigor)

The U.S. Army has chosen the Vigor design for its Maneuver Support Vessel (Light), MSV(L), a new generation of landing craft to replace the aging LCM-8 Mike boats. “This award is the culmination of a five year process of research and development that first began with Kvichak prior to its merger with Vigor,” said Frank Foti, Vigor CEO. The Vigor MSV(L) design was developed in partnership with BMT following a detailed study of the Army’s unique needs and the available design options to fulfill those needs.

20 Jun 2017

US Built Refrigerated Liquefied Gas Carrier Launched

Photo: Vigor

U.S. shipbuilder Vigor has launched The Harvest, the first complex liquefied ammonia transport barge built in the U.S. for Jones Act trade since 1982. The vessel was constructed to support the operations of The Mosaic Company, an integrated producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash. The Harvest will be operated by a subsidiary of Savage Companies as part of an articulated tug and barge (ATB) unit. “This is a significant project for both the maritime industry and our community,” said Vigor CEO, Frank Foti.

07 Apr 2017

Third Olympic Class Ferry Joins WSF fleet

The M/V Chimacum performs builder's sea trials in March 2017 on Elliott Bay. Photo courtesy of builder/contractor Vigor.

The new ferry Chimacum joined the Washington State fleet on Friday, April 7 as Washington State Ferries officially accepted the vessel from builder/contractor Vigor. The Chimacum will carry ferry riders on the Seattle/Bremerton route this summer after crews complete vessel outfitting, operational training and drills. Christened Chimacum, the new ferry’s name honors the Chemakum tribe’s gathering place, which is now the present day town of Chimacum near Port Townsend. “We’re excited to welcome the Chimacum to our fleet,” said Washington State Ferries Assistant Secretary Amy Scarton.

04 Apr 2016

Interview: Frank Foti - President & CEO, Vigor Industrial

Frank Foti (Photo: Vigor Industrial)

For nearly two decades, Frank Foti has led Vigor’s transformation from a single, struggling shipyard to a thriving, increasingly diversified industrial company with 2,500 employees, 12 locations and approximately $700 million in annual revenue. According to Vigor, Foti often describes his motivation in three words: “Industrial Jobs Matter.” Committed to improving long-term, family-wage job opportunities workers and their families and communities, Foti and his management team have…

04 Mar 2015

Kvichak, Vigor Announce Merger

Vigor CEO and owner Frank Foti

Merger positions combined company to play a dominant role in recapitalization of North Pacific fishing fleet and emerging Arctic oil gas operations. Kvichak Marine Industries and Vigor Industrial today announced the companies are merging to unite their strengths in the design and fabrication of aluminum workboats, shipbuilding, and boat building. Under the terms of the merger, Kvichak will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Vigor. Kvichak’s current owners (Jim Meckley, Brian Thomas and Keith Whittemore) will join Vigor as shareholders and as members of the leadership team.

22 Sep 2014

Alaska Class Ferries to Be Built in Ketchikan

An announcement was made September 20 that Alaska's new ferries will be built in Southeast Alaska. Adam Beck, President of Vigor Alaska and Alaska Governor Parnell sign the agreement. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)

Announced by Governor Sean Parnell Saturday, September 20, the State of Alaska and Vigor Industrial have reached a final agreement to construct two Alaska Class Ferries at Vigor Alaska in Ketchikan. The vessels will be the first Alaska Marine Highway System ferries to be built in Alaska. “Here we are today to launch this shipyard to a new level, a new level of good jobs, a new level of growth for Ketchikan businesses that are going to supply the shipyard and its workers,” Governor…

16 Sep 2014

MN 100: Vigor Industrial

Based in Portland, Oregon, Vigor Industrial is the Pacific Northwest’s leader in shipbuilding and repair. With seven shipyards and two additional advanced manufacturing facilities, Vigor companies tackle projects ranging from emergency repairs, to multiple builds of large complex vessels, to advanced fabrication work for the industries including nuclear and hydroelectric power generation. Vigor’s nine facilities include seven shipyards (Ketchikan and Seward, Alaska, Portland, Oregon…

09 Sep 2014

Vigor: Frank(ly) Speaking

“My personal philosophy is I have to do two things: make money and make a difference. If you are doing one or the other it’s not enough for me.”  Frank Foti, CEO and Owner, Vigor Industrial

Frank Foti of Vigor Industrial has steadily embarked on a consolidation of the Pacific Northwest ship construction and repair industry. Starting in Portland in 1995 with about 50 employees, the ubiquitous owner of Vigor has built his business today to more than 2,000 employees in an ever-widening industrial group. During a recent visit to Seattle, he shared insights on his company and the market. “Vigor is a diversified marine and industrial fabricator and it is a ship repair specialist,” is how Frank Foti, the owner of Vigor Industrial for nearly 20 years, concisely describes his company.

27 Aug 2014

Editorial: software ... is it ‘evolution’ or ‘revolution’ ...

Greg Trauthwein

The August “Shipbuilding Annual” is one of my favorites to research and produce every year, but even more so when this edition coincides with the SMM exhibition in Hamburg, Germany, which is the largest, best shipbuilding fair in the world. Early next month more than 50,000 visitors from around the world will walk through the halls of the Hamburg Messe und Congress, for meetings, conferences and social occasions for sure, but first and foremost for a glimpse of the new and emerging technologies for the maritime industry.

21 Aug 2014

US’ Largest Floating Drydock Heads to Portland

Image: Vigor

The country’s largest floating drydock, the Vigorous, is headed for Portland this weekend. The drydock, a piece of equipment used to lift vessels as large as cruise ships out of the water, is scheduled to arrive at the mouth of the Columbia Sunday. It will make its way up to Vigor Industrial’s Portland shipyard on the Willamette River by Sunday evening or Monday morning, depending on weather and river traffic. Fully assembled, the drydock will be 960-feet long. However, it is currently in three parts, which are stacked aboard a 738-foot heavy lift ship for delivery.

21 Aug 2014

Country’s Largest Floating Drydock Coming to Portland

Image: depiction of new drydock, courtesy Vigor

The country’s largest floating drydock, the Vigorous, is headed for Portland this weekend. The drydock, a piece of equipment used to lift vessels as large as cruise ships out of the water, is scheduled to arrive at the mouth of the Columbia Sunday. It will make its way up to Vigor Industrial’s Portland shipyard on the Willamette River by Sunday evening or Monday morning, depending on weather and river traffic. Fully assembled, the drydock will be 960-feet long. However, it is currently in three parts, which are stacked aboard a 738-foot heavy lift ship for delivery.

21 May 2014

Shipbuilding Merger: Oregon Iron Works and Vigor

 Vigor CEO and Owner Frank Foti

Oregon Iron Works (OIW) and Vigor Industrial (Vigor) today announced the companies are merging to unite their strengths in advanced manufacturing, shipbuilding and ship repair. Under the terms of the merger, OIW will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Vigor Industrial. The combination creates the critical mass of innovation, infrastructure and financial strength needed to pursue even more complex projects, enter new markets and win more work than either could separately. “I’ve…

16 Apr 2014

Shipbuilding: Vigor Industrial Grows Stronger

 Frank Foti, Vigor Industrial CEO

Vigor Industrial has ballooned from a modest shipyard in Portland, Oregon, to the largest shipbuilder in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Vigor increasingly thinks big and builds big. The company’s new floating dry dock will be the largest in the United States. And Vigor wants to get even bigger. CEO and owner Frank Foti expresses an ambition to grow to twice the current size in the “next few years.” Foti, who is also chairman of the Shipbuilder’s Council of America, says he is, “striving for critical mass.

21 Mar 2014

State leaders christen first Olympic-class ferry at Vigor

State elected, transportation and manufacturing leaders were on hand today to celebrate the christening of the state’s first 144-car Olympic Class ferry, the M/V Tokitae, at Vigor Industrial’s shipyard in Seattle. Lynn Peterson, Washington’s Secretary of Transportation, served as the ship’s sponsor and broke a bottle to christen the new ferry before a crowd of more than 200 people. Speakers at the ceremony explained that the vessels will ensure safe, reliable ferry service, save taxpayers money and provide jobs for the state’s maritime workforce.

30 Jan 2014

Vigor Set to Buy Alaska's Seward Ship's Drydock

Photo courtesy of Seward Ship's Drydock

Vigor Industrial inform that the owner of Seward Ship’s Drydock has signed a letter of intent to sell the assets of the Seward, Alaska, shipyard company to Vigor Industrial. Seward Ship’s Drydock operates as a full service shipyard and drydock facility, in Seward, Alaska. Under the terms of the tentative deal, the Seward shipyard would join Vigor as a subsidiary of the company’s Vigor Alaska subsidiary. Vigor explain that the two companies are currently negotiating the terms of the potential sale and expect it to be finalized after satisfactory completion of environmental…

19 Nov 2013

Vigor’s CEO, Frank Foti, Keynote Speaker at Upcoming 'Boatyard Day'

Frank Foti: Image credit Vigor Industrial

Frank Foti, CEO & President, Vigor Industrial LLC, will deliver the Boatyard Day Keynote Address on the "Resurgence of the Pacific Northwest Maritime Industry" at 3 p.m. on Thursday, November 21, during the 2013 Pacific Marine Expo. During his remarks, Foti will cover training the next generation of maritime workers, reinvesting in marine infrastructure, and opportunities on the horizon, including the revitalization of the fishing fleet. "Over the past 18 years, Frank Foti has led the company's transformation from a single…

08 Oct 2013

Vigor Renames Fabrication and Alaska Operations

Vigor Alaska

Vigor Industrial announced today that it has renamed two of the company’s subsidiaries. U.S. Fab, Vigor’s fabrication and shipbuilding subsidiary, is now Vigor Fab. Alaska Ship and Drydock, which operates the Ketchikan shipyard in Alaska, is now Vigor Alaska. “It’s about better serving our customers,” explained Frank Foti, president and CEO of Vigor Industrial. •Vigor Shipyards, which provides repair, maintenance and modernization services to the U.S. The changes apply to the names only and do not alter the operating structures of either subsidiary. The new names go into effect immediately.

24 Sep 2013

Back to School

Student Josh Lanser displaying his recent welding project.

For Vigor Industrial, a privately-held shipbuilding and repair company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, the future looked bright and a bit ominous at the same time. Work was coming in, dock space was filling up, future orders were signed, and new properties purchased; in short, business was booming. But dark clouds crept in around the edges of this rosy picture. As recruiters set out to find new talent to meet the growing demand, they encountered a candidate pool without the necessary skills to pick up a welding torch and go to work.

04 Apr 2013

Proceeding Quietly with Vigor

In a climate of both seemingly fat backlogs and at the same time uncertainty for domestic shipyards, Vigor Industrial is one company that continues to make news in the shipbuilding and repair merger and acquisition markets. After acquiring Todd Pacific Shipyards in 2011 for $130 million, Vigor also diversified its geographic offerings when it scooped up Alaska Ship and Drydock in Ketchikan after raising $75 million through private equity firm Endeavour Capital. Vigor CEO Frank Foti continues to build scale through acquisitions…

13 Feb 2013

Labor, Maritime Business Coalition Urge Congress to Avoid CR

A bipartisan coalition urge Congress to pass a Defense Appropriation Bill to avoid another Continuing Resolution (CR) & Sequestration. A bipartisan coalition of labor unions and maritime business owners affiliated with the Shipbuilding Council of America have jointly sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to pass a defense appropriations bill and avoid sequestration cuts before the Navy begins widespread lay-offs and cancellation of ship maintenance on February 15, 2013. •    Up to 46,000 Department of Defense civilian employees will be immediately laid off. •    Another 800,000 workers will face furlough days resulting in a 20 percent pay cut. •    More than 100,000 people could lose jobs in the shipbuilding and repair industry and our supply chain.

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