Auke Bay to get new Sealift

The Auke Bay loading facility will be getting a new Sealift.

The Juneau Assembly approved the purchase earlier this week.

The self-propelled hydraulic lift — with shipping, set up and training — will cost about 530-thousand dollars. It’s paid for by a federal TIGER grant, which requires that purchases be made in the U.S. The 45-ton KMI SEA-Lift is made in Bellingham, Washington.

CBJ Port Engineer Gary Gillette says the self-propelled boatlift will be safer for operators, more efficient at handling a variety of vessels and will put less stress on boat hulls.

He says it lifts the boat with a pneumatic tube that runs the full length of the boat, exerting even pressure on the hull.

“It’s much more maneuverable. We plan to use it at the Auke Bay loading facility where space is important,” Gillette told the Assembly. “The other lifts require bars that slide out from underneath, which essentially takes up six feet next to the boat that has to be left open. This one can move it in within inches.”

Gillette says the lift is the most cost-effective method for lifting boats, because it doesn’t require expensive infrastructure.