Drydock christening marks momentous day for Vigor

Portland, Ore. October 29, 2014

Vigor welcomed over a thousand employees, customers and their families on Saturday to christen the Vigorous, Vigor’s new drydock.

Vigorous drydock at its christening
Kids playing with bubbles on the Vigorous drydock
People signing the Vigorous drydock on its christening

The 960-foot vessel is the largest floating drydock in North America and opens Portland to new markets such as cruise ships and post-Panamax vessels.

Two MARAD cargo ships will be the first vessels in the dock, creating 130 jobs for Vigor workers. The company, which invested more than $50 million to build and deliver the Vigorous, also has a cruise ship booked for repairs in March 2015.

“This is a momentous day for us,” said Dave Whitcomb, Vigor chief operating officer, during his speech at the christening. “Vigorous is here to support family-wage jobs for the men and women of Vigor as well as the marine community here in Portland.”

Wind and rain didn’t deter the crowd from enjoying lively music, food and games for the kids as workers and their families gathered to celebrate the boon for Portland’s maritime sector.

The event also drew dignitaries such as Mayor Charlie Hales who has advocated the key importance of industrial jobs. “Portlanders sometimes forget that there is a strong industrial sector in our economy,” Hales said according to an August press release on his website.

CEO Frank Foti told those gathered at the christening that the choice to sell the original dry dock in 2001 was a difficult decision which took courage. Now, 13 years later he is proud to welcome the Vigorous, which joins 11 other drydocks at locations across the Pacific Northwest from Portland to Ketchikan.

“Over a decade ago many people here probably never thought a day like this would come for Portland or Vigor again,” Whitcomb said. “Please give the employees of Vigor your applause, this is their future.”

Lifting capacity: 80,000 LT
Length: 960 feet (293m)
Inside Width: 186 feet (57m)
Total width: 228 feet (69m)
Height: 70 feet (21m)
Weight: 24,000 LT

Caitlin Sause
Vigor Industrial, Director of Government & Public Affairs