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Lake Union Drydock

Lake Union Drydock

Located in Seattle, this Drydock Company was created in 1919. As one of the first dry dock companies in Seattle, WA, it was highly active in the twenties and through World War II in both construction and repair. This yard was responsible for building many '20s ships, such as the Electra, The M/V Catalyst, and the Principia. As one of the oldest drydocks in the city, the Lake Union drydock was truly instrumental in the development of Seattle.

As with most shipyards, World War II meant that this yard answered the call of patriotic duty and was contracted by the Navy to build and repair vessels. In 1926, they began creating the "Lake Union Dreamboat," which was a 42-45 foot boat designed for pleasure use. Unfortunately, the Great Depression put an end to pleasure-boatyards. Currently, it has contracts with the NOAA and the Washington State Ferries. It also manages to continue contracting with the government as well as some massive shipping operations. It has managed to stay in business while a lot of other companies have gone under. A main focus of the company is recycling ships and making major renovations. Although it works with Russian ship companies, it currently doesn't do business with local ships. It has also been commissioned by the Center For Wooden Boats to do historic restorations.

Today, the Lake Union Drydock is unique in that it is the only all-wooden dock in Seattle. Seated in about twelve acres of fresh water, the Drydock is on the East side of Lake Union. Large shipyards like this one have the advantage of providing jobs for a large number of locals. Still in business, they handle private yacht storage, houseboats, and a plane touring company. With over eighty years of experience, this shipyard offers many services. They are able to weld exotic metals, complete major vessel overhauls, electrical installations, and more. They handle both major and minor projects. The facility offers a depth of about thirty-eight feet, three dry docks (which are capable of handling vessels up to 410 feet in length), as well as over 3,000 lineal feet of pier space.

Those who worked at the Lake Union Drydock or any other shipyard may have been exposed to high levels of asbestos, a naturally occurring material that was used as an insulator prior to the institution of asbestos usage regulations by the federal government in the 1980s. Previous exposure to asbestos has been known to cause a number of ailments, including mesothelioma cancer, a fatal disease that has no cure. Former shipyard workers should speak with their doctor if they are concerned about having been exposed to asbestos, and should also fill out this form to receive more information.

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