Maritime Industry in Skagit County: Facts You Should Know

Monday, April 17, 2017

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Skagit County has a rich maritime history with generations of ship builders, fishing families, and marine conservationists calling this area home. With a natural deep water port in Anacortes, the county hosts major ship building and repair facilities and is a key destination for import and export businesses, and recreational boaters.

Ship Building and Manufacturing

Skagit County is home to several large ship builders and marine manufacturers. Dakota Creek Industries employs over 400 people and is a complete shipbuilding and repair facility for steel and aluminum vessels up to 400 feet. TRANSPAC MARINAS designs, manufactures and installs custom floating docks and wave attenuation systems. Tomco Marine Group and Nordic Tug are well-known tug and trawler manufacturers. Eddyline Kayaks manufactures premier touring kayaks and paddles.


It’s not all business in Skagit County. Boaters from across the Pacific Northwest enjoy sailing or cruising through our waterways and visiting places like the Port of Skagit’s La Conner Marina, which is a popular stopping point for those looking to fuel up, moor their vessel, restroom and shower facilities, or dinner off the boat. La Conner is a charming sea village and a destination in and of itself, as are the beautiful San Juan Islands which are only two hours away by boat.

Plan your trip here.

Boat Shows

Boating in Skagit County is a recreational pastime enjoyed by many of our residents. If you have yet to dip your toes in the water, join us at a local boat show to learn more about various vessels, the latest boating equipment, and how fantastic it can feel to sail or cruise through the majestic waters of the Puget Sound.

Anacortes Spring Boat Show, April 6th – April 9th

Located at the Cap Sante Boat Haven, this popular show features over 75 boats that range up to 65 feet.

You can visit the show to get everything you need to enjoy spring and summer boating and with the San Juan Islands being only two hours away, this is a prime destination to start your vacation.

La Conner Classic Car and Boat Show, August 5th

Boat and classic car lovers enjoy this exciting summer event. You can see everything from yachts to beautifully restored sailboats and trawlers before checking out your favorite classic cars.

With other events like a pancake breakfast and food vendors, there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy. 

The Marine Environment

Our location on Puget Sound makes Skagit County a popular destination for marine conservation research and educational programs.

Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is located in Skagit County.  Padilla Bay is home to over 8,000 acres of eel-grass meadows. It is one of 29 national sites designated for coastal research, education, and monitoring. Children visit from throughout the Pacific Northwest to learn about estuaries and the importance they have on our entire ecological system. They are intermixed with research staff collecting and processing samples for a true working and learning environment focused on environmental research and preservation. You can even attend classes here:

The Shannon Point Marine Center in Anacortes supports and promotes Western Washington University’s instructional and research programs in the marine sciences. It provides access to facilities for visiting scientists from around the world; supports supervised, independent research for undergraduates nationwide via federally-funded programs; and promotes ocean literacy among the general public through targeted K-12 and public education initiatives.

The Skagit County Marine Resource Committee is also dedicated to environmental stewardship.

You will find them educating and training Skagit County residents on how they can participate in conservation of the Salish Sea and Puget Sound.

Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County

EDASC is here to facilitate programs and provide assistance to the businesses, families, and students living and working in Skagit County. Our primary goal is to facilitate economic development and we are proud to have such diverse ecological resources in our backyard. If you work in the maritime industry or own a business that complements it, there are a variety of tools we can offer you to help make your business more successful. Learn more by contacting our office today.

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