Mariners might have noticed quite a few upgrades at Petro Marine Services Kodiak facility in the Near Island Channel when it reopened last week. The fuel dock had been closed for exactly one month for something more than a simple remodel, according to plant manager Jaime Flores.
“Well instead of having tires on front we have rub rails made of HMW plastic, and the grating on top, the decking material is all recycled plastic. Just up to date, newer from the wood dock that was installed right after the tidal wave.”
Yes, THE tidal wave – or tsunami – from the Great Alaska Earthquake 49-and-a-half years ago. Flores says the old wooden dock has been built up piecemeal over the years. It used Styrofoam flotation and was attached to the shore with long, hinged support beams. That system was removed and replaced with pilings for the float itself to ride up and down with the tides.
He said the new marina can accommodate anything from a 200-foot crabber or factory longliner to three limit-seiners at a time, and even folks pulling up in small open boats.
“The little skiff guy that’s trying to move around boats, he will have unleaded, for example, accessible on both ends and in the middle. And the dock’s a little farther out on the south side, they can come around the back and also fill. So that might make it convenient for the small guy who sees all these big boats and is intimidated about coming in.”
In addition to unleaded gasoline for small boats and the auxiliaries on larger vessels, the dock provides diesel fuel and Number 1 stove oil for those transporting it to remote sites around the islands. Lube oil can also be dispensed directly into the boats from the float. Flores says another oft-requested improvement has been made in delivering water to vessels.
“We’ve had garden hose, and now we have the option of having up to inch-and-a-half hose to dispense water. Some of our bigger customers would complain of waiting too long waiting for a garden to fill up their water tank. And they make due – you know sometimes they stay a little longer or something, but if they’re in and out real quick and can get the fuel real quick, they want to get the water real quick also.”
Flores says the Petro fuel dock handles at least a dozen vessels a day, with many more in the summer, and “mostly just locals” in November and December. As soon as all the amenities and improvements are complete and running smoothly in the marina, he says upgrades could be coming to the company’s upland offices as well.
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