Vigor Merges With Aluminum Workboat Builder Kvichak Marine

Photo courtesy Vigor Industrial
Photo courtesy Vigor Industrial

Kvichak Marine Industries and Vigor Industrial have announced that the two companies are merging to draw larger projects and more jobs to the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

Under the terms of the merger, Kvichak will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Vigor. Kvichak’s current owners, Jim Meckley, Brian Thomas and Keith Whittemore, will join Vigor as shareholders and continue leadership roles within the merged company.

“My partners and I are very excited to be joining Vigor. Sharing best ideas and practices across companies will make us even more competitive and create a more stable business base for our workers,” said Keith Whittemore, president of Kvichak. “Vigor shares our values and our commitment to providing long term opportunity to our people.

Founded in 1981 in Seattle, Washington, Kvichak Marine, pronounced Kweejack, specializes in the design and construction of high quality aluminum workboats. The company has built 700 vessels used by commercial fishermen, law enforcement, fire departments, offshore oil spill response teams, passenger vessel owners, the United States Coast Guard and both domestic and foreign military. The company also has extensive experience in the commercial fisheries of Alaska building gillnetters, seiners and tenders.

“Kvichak brings amazing fabrication talent to our company and some of the best customer relationships in the industry,” said Vigor CEO and owner Frank Foti. “The Kvichak team builds the best aluminum workboats in the country, arguably the world. Infusing those fabrication genetics into our broader operations is what industrial evolution is all about. What could be better than creating a team that allows most new fishing boats to be built where they work—in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.”

The transaction builds on the 2014 Vigor and Oregon Iron Works (OIW) merger, which expanded Vigor’s reach into highly complex industrial products in marine, renewable energy, aerospace, nuclear containment, transit, defense, hydroelectric, bridge building, and other commercial construction industries.

“With Kvichak on board, we also see enormous opportunity to strengthen our role in supporting offshore oil and gas operations in the Arctic,” said Foti. “The synergy between Vigor, OIW and Kvichak provides the ability to fabricate larger and more complex components, and expand our offerings for building offshore support vessels, oil spill response vessels and systems, modules, rigs, terminals and related structures.”

The combined company will employ about 2,500 people in Alaska, Oregon and Washington.