Northlake Workshop Makes A Difference
by Dan Leach
In one year of operations, The Center for Wooden Boats Northlake Workshop & Warehouse has had a dramatic impact on CWB’s boat restoration activities. The 5,000-square-foot warehouse has allowed the CWB boat care team and volunteers to replace and redesign the bottom of the sharpie Colleen Wagner and completely rebuild the stem and transom of the Blanchard Jr. Knockabout Pamela.
“Never in the past have we had a large amount of indoor space where we can lay a boat on the hard for six months at a time,” said CWB Livery and Boatshop Manager Kyle Hunter. “Being able to do the work inside the Northlake workshop has made a huge difference both in terms of efficiency and the productivity we have seen from Joe Green and his team of Boatshop volunteers.”
Prior to the warehouse’s opening on May 4, 2012, these major restorations often had to be done out in the open through a winter of wind, rain and occasionally snow at South Lake Union. Those conditions always impact the speed of any boat work.
The new facility at North Lake Union has also had a profound impact on the CWB sailmaking team. Prior to the move to the new workshop, sailmakers had a closet in the South Lake Union Boathouse to store all their gear and one sewing machine. Today, at the Northlake shop, sailmakers have 1,000 square feet of space to spread out sails to work on them with three sewing machines. This year, the energized sailmaking team has added new CWB workshops that members and the general public can take to learn the art of sailmaking.
And this is just the start.
Even as CWB is actively using the newly refurbished Workshop and Warehouse at North Lake Union for its current programs, we also are exploring options for the longer-term programming at the site, including water access.
Our long-term planning is benefitting from strong support from Anchor QEA, a company with deep experience in waterfront projects and environmental cleanup. With help from Anchor QEA, we are staying in touch with various environmental cleanup projects in the area. And CWB continues to communicate with and seek input from our Fremont and Wallingford neighbors to ensure our visions stay aligned and that we continue to work toward water access at the site.”