Bay Welding building sightseeing vessel for Juneau

Ken Hocke

Bay Welding Services, Homer, Alaska, is constructing a new 53’6″x17’4″, 49-passenger, aluminum whale watching boat for Juneau Whale Watching, Juneau, Alaska. Designed by the yard, when completed in early May, the new sightseeing boat will weigh 15 tons and have a 24″ draft.

Juneau Whale Watching’s custom boats sail from Auke Bay Harbor, set to explore Alaska’s Inside Passage for maximum whale watching. From May through September, humpback whales, orcas and dolphins are a common sight in Juneau’s waters. In fact, the nutrient-rich waters cater to one of the largest concentrations of humpback whales found anywhere, according to Juneeau Whale Watching’s web site. That’s how Juneau Whale Watching is able to guarantee that customers will see whales.

Main propulsion will be the responsibility of four Yamaha 350-hp outboards, with Yamaha controls. The steering system will come from Sea Star. A Garmin multi-Function Display will be a major part of the wheelhouse electronics system. The boat will have a master and two crewmembers and be USCG certified.

“We’re excited about the boat,” said Brad Conley, Bay Welding’s project manager. “It’s going to be a really nice addition for them.”

Juneau Whale Watching’s customers are also likely to see bears roaming on the periphery and bald eagles above. It’s a bird watcher’s fantasy with a myriad of birdlife populating the skies, according to Juneau Whale Watching officials. On top of that, customers will witness glaciated mountains and dense rainforest.

New 53' whale watching boat is under construction at Bay Welding Services. Bay Welding Services photo