Boaters and the Boating Industry Providing Relief During Covid-19

Decades from now when your grandchildren and greatgrandchildren ask you about the world-wide 2020 Covid-19 pandemic crisis, will you have a story to share? Will it be a story of great individual sacrifice for the greater good? Can you say that you resisted the temptations of spring weather and the urge to go boating to follow the Stay-at-Home directives? At a time of great crisis, people rise to the occasion; and whether it’s through great personal sacrifice or with creative problem solving, people are remarkably flexible and resilient. Here are just a couple of the many inspiring stories of people serving the greater good.

A number of owners with boats moored in Port of Everett will have an interesting story to tell their grandchildren, that of donating vital N95 face masks from their supply of brightwork refinishing tools. When first-responders had difficulty finding life-saving N95 face masks during the face mask shortage, the Port of Everett led a drive to collect donated masks from local boaters. A staff member at the Port of Everett Marina realized that many boaters have a supply of these masks onboard for a variety of boat projects, including varnishing and painting. Boaters were asked to search their tool boxes and donate these much-needed masks. The donated masks were then given to area hospital workers and other first-responders.

In Skagit County, efforts have been underway to create partnerships with local businesses, including maritime businesses, to produce personal protective equipment (PPE). Eddyline Kayaks and Chinook Enterprises are at the forefront of this endeavor, along with Skagit Rotary. These efforts benefit both manufacturers and the general public. Needed PPE supplies produced by Chinook Enterprises, a nonprofit manufacturer that employs workers with disabilities, has been able to maintain some level of employment and a small stream of income through their efforts to meet the growing need. Chinook Enterprises, Eddyline Kayaks, and Skagit Rotary have delivered hundreds of needed face shields, made of vinyl sheeting, foam and elastic, to local hospitals and care facilities.

The idea to manufacture the face shields started with Scott Holley, president of the Burlington-based Eddyline Kayaks. He wanted to adjust his manufacturing capabilities to meet a growing need for protective equipment. His company’s team created a face shield prototype, with an initial run of 900. Holley asked Skagit Rotary to fund the materials and help find additional labor to produce the product. Donations came in from other businesses for funding, and Chinook Enterprises joined the effort to produce 1,100 face shields.

Chinook Enterprises and Eddyline Kayaks plan to continue working together to produce personal protective equipment throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Maritime businesses interested in donating materials, or selling materials at a reduced price, can contact Chinook Enterprises at 360-428-0140. Rotary clubs across the state are encouraged to purchase face shields from Chinook Enterprises to be donated through local Rotary clubs.