Have you ever wanted to build or renovate a boat? Does your boat need maintenance or repair? Swantown Boatworks, owned and operated by the Port of Olympia is your one-stop Do-It-Yourself (DIY) boatyard. Located on the East Bay peninsula, Swantown Boatworks is open year-round and boats, boaters, and visitors of every kind are welcome, and no question, issue, or request is too big, or too small.

Swantown Boatworks, owned and operated by the Port of Olympia is your one-stop Do-It-Yourself (DIY) boatyard. Photo courtesy: Port of Olympia

Serving the boating community since 1999, Swantown Boatworks operates an 82-ton Marine Travel-Lift, hauling vessels from 17′ to 80′ in length and up to 21’ wide. Their jib crane has a 10,000-pound capacity, and forklift and crane services are also available on-site. The 3.6-acre yard is fenced, lighted, and can store up to 60 vessels, and includes a 200 linear foot work dock, mast storage area, security, and a public restroom. They also have several on-site service providers. To keep their waterways clean, they feature a state-of–the-art wash down and water treatment facility for boats that are pressure washed. See their services and rates to get details on rates and Swantown Boatworks services.

A revised contractor program has been introduced to promote additional options for vessels looking to do repairs at Swantown. Licensed contractors looking to work at Swantown can take advantage of a new rate system beginning in January 2021. This new rate structure will replace the 15% billed labor rate that has previously been in effect and covers registration at both Swantown Boatworks and Swantown Marina. All contractors who are currently registered with the Port will need to re-register under this new rate schedule. Please contact the Boatyard office or Harbor office to sign up & get more information.

Ring in 2021 with a visit to the new Olympia Marine Center located at the Port of Olympia’s Swantown Marina & Boatworks. Photo courtesy: Port of Olympia

During the extended quarantines of 2020, new faces are few and far between. As such, they’re exciting and tremendously welcome. At the Port of Olympia, fresh faces abound inside Swantown Boatyard thanks to the Port’s new lease with local business owner Austin Rognlin.

Rognlin took over ownership of the central storefront building, located at Marine Drive and Market Street behind the brightly lit Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill restaurant sign. Formerly the Simon-Johnston Building and Swantown LLC, Rognlin will serve as both owner and operator at his new venture, the Olympia Marine Center. He is currently accepting scheduling service appointments. The building closed to the public on December 1, 2020, and hopes to re-open after a brief transition in mid-January. The team plans to offer a New Year’s showcase and Grand Opening celebrations all while focusing on 2021 being an utterly new year full of new opportunities to “create a better atmosphere for everyone to be working with,” says Rognlin.

Senior Harbor Manager TJ Quandt is looking forward to seeing what Rognlin’s vision will bring to the Thurston County boating community. “It’s an exciting time at Swantown Boatworks,” Quandt says. “Austin’s expertise and professionalism in boat repair have provided great service to South Sound boaters for many years. It’s great to see a local marine tradesman taking ownership of the building.”

Whether you’re a full-time mariner or weekend sailing hobbyist, Olympia Marine Center can answer questions, provide parts, or schedule needed repairs. Photo courtesy: Port of Olympia

And after nearly a year of Coronavirus restrictions, getting outdoors—weather permitting—and spending time on the water is restorative and healthy. Even taking a walk by the shore has recuperative benefits. “Proximity to water—especially the sea—is associated with many positive measures of physical and mental wellbeing, from higher levels of vitamin D to better social relations,” say researchers, and “spending time in and around aquatic environments has consistently been shown to lead to significantly higher benefits, in inducing positive mood and reducing negative mood and stress, than green space does.”

Though free Port tours are currently on hold due to COVID-19, officials hope to re-start them in 2021. Until then, enjoy long—socially distanced and masked—walks around their many public trails and plazas, and tracking the expected arrival of incoming ships from all over the world.

Watch a stunning flyover of the Port of Olympia’s Swantown Boatworks. To schedule your next haulout or launch, contact Swantown Boatworks at 360.528.8059. To schedule a visit or find out more about Olympia Marine Center, give Austin Rognlin and his team a call at 360.580.5234 or send them an email at RognlinMarine@outlook.com. Follow the Port of Olympia Facebook page for updates and additions to the waterfront.

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