Derelict Trawlers in Astoria Removed by Northwest Demolition

Photo by Peter Marsh.

Fishermen’s News regularly features Pacific Northwest boatyards extending the life of older trawlers with hull inserts or sponsons, but there are also many aging fishing vessels that are beyond repair occupying valuable space on the waterfront.

Four old steel trawlers of 70-to-80 feet in length were hauled out at the Tongue Point shipyard in Astoria, Ore. in the late 1990s and sat there until there was no hope that they could ever be re-launched.

Time finally ran out this year when Hyak Maritime, the property owner, began implementing a plan to turn the former World War II seaplane base into a modern haul-out facility.

After an inspection confirmed there were no hazardous materials on board, Hyak contracted with Northwest Demolition and Dismantling Inc. of Tigard, Oregon to remove all four derelicts.

The company, which has demolished old docks, warehouses and boats in many ports on the West Coast, Hawaii and on Pacific atolls like Midway and Kwajalein, sent a Volvo excavator equipped with a heavy-duty boom and hydraulic shear, which can reduce a quarter-inch steel hull to a pile of scrap in one or two days, with a couple more needed to load the debris into a dump truck for recycling.

Northwest Demolition’s 65-year record includes many high-profile federal projects like dam removal and environmental remediation; it was acquired by Arctic Slope Regional Corp., an Alaska Native corporation, in 2019.