Formerly billed as “The largest full-service ship repair and marine construction facility on the Columbia River,” Sundial Marine Construction and Repair, Troutdale, Ore., will turn out the lights and lock the gates on May 6.
The shipyard’s parent company, Tidewater Holdings, Vancouver, Wash., decided to shutter the shipyard after business had declined over the past few years. Tidewater is primarily a tug-and-barge operator on the Columbia-Snake River System.
“It was a cyclical business and over the long haul the return on investment was not meeting our expectations, and unfortunately we were not able to keep that facility going,” said John Pigott, Tidewater’s manager of government and industry affairs at company headquarters in Vancouver.
Located about 15 miles east of Portland, Ore., Sundial Marine had been in business since 1970. Tidewater had been the owner for about half that time. While the yard worked on Tidewater’s vessels, Sundial also handled new construction and repair for other customers including the U.S. Navy, which took delivery of eight 199’x54’, 14,000-bbl., double-hull tank barges from the yard, starting in 2003.
At its peak in 2008, the yard employed about 100.
Pigott said Tidewater had looked into selling the yard, “but we just weren’t able to put a deal together with any credible buyer and we just couldn’t wait any longer.”
Sundial sits on 26 acres of land and has 1,200’ of pier space, one 248’ floating drydock with a 2,100-ton capacity, and a 300’x65’ end-launch building ways. Other equipment includes a 34-ton track-mounted crane, a 50-ton mobile truck crane, a 50-ton crawler crane and two smaller pneumatic-tired cranes.
Pigott said the company would liquidate the assets.
“We are sorry to see it go,” said Pigott. “It was a tough decision, but one that had to be made.