Bay Weld celebrates 200th boat

  • Scott Fraley volunteers to DJ and host the raffle at Bay Weld’s 200th boat celebration on Saturday, April 21 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Delcenia Cosman)
  • Homer locals attending Bay Weld’s 200th boat celebration on Saturday, April 21 check out the numerous boats Bay Weld has built that are stored within their shop in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Delcenia Cosman)
  • Bay Weld’s 200th boat, a Catamaran dedicated to founder Allen Engbretsen, awaits completion in Bay Weld’s newest shop on Saturday, April 21 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Delcenia Cosman)
  • Homer locals attending Bay Weld’s 200th boat celebration on Saturday, April 21 check out the numerous boats Bay Weld has built that are stored within their shop on East End Road in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Delcenia Cosman)
  • Eric Engbretsen (right), general manager of Bay Weld Boats, poses with his father Allen (left) in front of Bay Weld’s 200th boat, the Catamaran dedicated to be Allen’s personal recreational boat, at the celebration on Saturday, April 21 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Delcenia Cosman)

Bay Weld Boats opened their shop on East End Road to the public from 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, April 21 to mark the construction of their 200th boat.

Bay Weld celebrated the construction of its 100th boat in 2013 and has since quickly surpassed that milestone. To date, Bay Weld has actually built close to 206 boats, but they wanted to mark the milestone of building another 100 boats over the past five years.

The 200th boat in question, a 34-foot by 11-foot atamaran recreational vessel, is currently still under construction, according to general manager Eric Engebretsen. As such, it has not yet been christened. After it is completed, it will be given to Engebretsen’s father and Bay Weld founder and president, Allen Engebretsen, as his personal recreational boat.

Bay Weld employs 34 individuals, a team of whom will be finishing construction on the catamaran, led by Engebretsen’s shop floor manager.

“Ian Weatherly is my shop foreman, and he’ll be the one building the 200th boat,” Engebretsen said. “He’s been with us for a long time.”

Catamarans are a relatively new addition to Bay Weld’s repertoire, as this is only their second year building them. The 200th boat dedicated to Allen Engebretsen will be the sixth catamaran that Bay Weld has constructed from the ground up.

“That’s kind of noteworthy, that we’re building quite a few catamarans right now,” Engebretsen said. “It’s tried and proven at this point. We have some experience in it, but it’s new to the company.”

Bay Weld has exciting plans for completing their 200th boat, including using bonded glass, which is a new window technology. When it is finished, the catamaran will also be outboard-powered and fitted with a new joystick control system.

“We always try a few new things…and implement the latest technologies into our personal boats,” Engebretsen said.

Many locals came out on April 21 to celebrate Bay Weld’s milestone achievement. The entire shop was opened to allow guests to wander and admire the ten boats that Bay Weld currently has stored within, several of which are under construction. The company also greeted their guests with food and lively music that set the tone for the evening’s open house.

“Five years ago, we did a similar open house,” Engebretsen said. “So we felt like we had to do it again.”

Bay Weld has done a lot of work over the last five years since their 100th boat celebration, building vessels for nearly every available boat market, including recreational, commercial, passenger, commercial fishing and law enforcement. As they celebrated what they’ve accomplished so far, they look to what the future will bring.

“We love [what we do],” Engebretsen said.

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