SAFE Boats: Keeping ’Em Coming
Despite all of the challenges that COVID-19 has wrought upon the marine industry, SAFE Boats International has managed to keep building and delivering boats to its customers. A snapshot of the last six months has seen the Bremerton, Wash. boatbuilder deliver more 30 boats, and it has a healthy backlog to keep busy for the next year and beyond. Its range of boats and customers runs from small to large, and deliveries stretch across the globe.
Below are highlights of vessels SAFE Boats has delivered from late last year:
Since last December two 23’ outboard-driven T-tops have been delivered to two customers on the East Coast.
Also in December, SAFE Boats shipped two 65’ full cabin inboard diesel, jet-driven vessels to the Tunisia Navy.
In January, the company delivered its 52nd 41’ Coastal Interceptor Vessel to Customs and Border Patrol - the conclusion of a successful, long-term contract. The CIV is a highly maneuverable T-top equipped with quad outboards up to 1,600 horsepower, capable of speeds in excess of 55 knots.
Since December, SAFE Boats delivered four more 26’ CB-OTH inboard vessels to the U.S. Coast Guard, part of an ongoing contract.
During February and March, the firm has delivered four 38’ full cabin boats: one to the U.S. Navy, one to the U.S. Air Force and two to foreign customers.
A relatively new configuration to the SAFE Boats lineup, the builder delivered its second 27’ walk around cabin, tow boat edition.
In December, January, March and May, the company delivered four traditional 27WACs to customers in Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina and Michigan, respectively.
The builder just completed on-site training in the Republic of Georgia aboard four 27’ full cabins that were delivered in April, part of the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration.
Some of the other vessels SAFE Boats delivered include a 29’ T-top for Delaware and another going in to service in Colombia, a 33’ full cabin to a fire department in Connecticut, a 35’ full cabin delivered to a port here in Washington state, a 35’ T-top for a sheriff’s office in Texas, a 29’ WAC for a sheriff’s office in Wisconsin and two 29’ T-tops to an agency in Florida.
These deliveries are in addition to the $90 million Mk VI Patrol Boat contract the builder has with U.S. State Department to deliver six of those vessels to Ukraine. The first boat on this order is expected to be delivered around the end of the year. This contract is responsible for expanding SAFE Boats’ workforce by creating 75 new positions and allowing us to reopen its Tacoma, Wash. large craft production facility.
SAFE Boats, like many other domestic and international boatbuilders, has not been immune to the supply chain issues plaguing manufactures and consumers alike. “Despite the numbers indicated above, there are many boats we have not been able to deliver on time because of delays in receiving items such as engines, major components and trailers,” said Troy Knivila-Ritchie, marketing and sales specialist at SAFE Boats International, “Our procurement department has performed minor miracles scouring the nooks and crannies of the internet to secure parts from non-traditional suppliers in order to complete boats. Additionally, some of our customers have made the decision to switch their favored engine packages to another manufacturer in hopes of getting their boat in-hand sooner.”
Knivila-Ritchie said the majority of SAFE Boats’ customers are state and local law enforcement and fire departments. “Because we are seeing 12-to-18-month delivery times from some engine manufacturers, our customers are having to wait much longer to receive their completed boats,” he explained. “It really goes without saying, but first responders can’t afford to wait that long to get their boats out on the water to do the important job of saving lives and patrolling the waters around their communities.
“We are doing everything we can to mitigate the delays related to supply chain issues. While there is a dim light at the end of the tunnel, we will continue to look for ways to deliver completed boats on time with the same level of expert quality and attention to detail that our customers have come to expect from SAFE Boats.”