KFnet in T-Town

Jul. 11, 2012 at 7:16am


On my way to an Infinite Soups lunch yesterday I saw an apparition overhead and in the distance. It was a seaplane over Tacoma's tide flats who quickly disappeared. But the idea of seaplanes coming and going here in Tacoma is not a new one but a dream worth dreaming, in my opinion.

So why don't seaplanes land, take off, and ferry people to the San Juan's or Victoria, BC from the ample waters of Tacoma's Commencement Bay? Docks. Proper seaplane docks, that is. They have to be built without large pilings that would get in the way of a plane's wings but also the sides need to be built such that they don't damage the pontoons used for landing and floating.

Tacoma(ish) has only one seaplane dock on American Lake in Lakewood (map). Note the left-most dock has no pilings that stick up into the air. The only other dreamers of note I've found online in a single TNT article haven't been written about since then, in 2010. I can't imagine such a dock would be terribly cost prohibitive to build either along the Foss Waterway or, probably better yet, along Ruston Way or out at the forthcoming Point Ruston. Though it's a bit of infrastructure it's pretty minimal considering the huge draw it might be.

Would you support seaplane docks in Tacoma? If so, where would you put them?

comments [9]  |  posted under seaplane, tacoma, tourism, travel


by TDI-Reporters-Notebook on 7/11/2012 @ 8:01am
Foss Waterway seaplanes? $30K grant will fund a study (TDI, 08/01/11)

by fredo on 7/11/2012 @ 8:11am
$30,000 tax money to study Tacoma's seaplane inadequacy. 

Obama's promise of hope and change realized. Well done sir! 

by cisserosmiley on 7/11/2012 @ 8:26am
They have been trying to fund this study since the excessive Bush administration touted "sea planes for all"

by Cheechmo on 7/11/2012 @ 8:49am
Why promote those gas-guzzlers? Instead, I propose putting buoys in to create canoe/kayak commuter lanes. Suck it, Portland!

by The Jinxmedic on 7/11/2012 @ 9:52am
Foss Waterway, closer to the Commencement Bay end (less taxiing required).

by NineInchNachos on 7/11/2012 @ 9:55am
what about hovercraft ramps?

by cisserosmiley on 7/11/2012 @ 10:11am
Browns point

by L.S.Erhardt on 7/11/2012 @ 10:47am
Let me tell you something a little interesting.

Do you all know about the Puget Sound Pilots?
The big ocean-going vessels aren't allowed to have their own captains pilot the ships in Puget Sound. Too many narrow & shallow passages, too many possible mistakes. Thus, the big ships get boarded by a Pilot at the Pilot Station in Port Angeles.
Typically these pilots will stay aboard a ship until it leaves, except for the breakbulk and bulk carriers. Those sometimes anchor for a month or longer. In that case, the pilots leave and return when the vessel is leaving.

With that in mind, breakbulk carriers often sit for a month or two over at Schnitzer Steel over in the Hylebos waterway.

That seaplane that Kevin saw actually brings in a couple of pilots to the Hylebos.

by Maria on 7/11/2012 @ 4:02pm
Very interesting.

I swim at American Lake often so I've seen my share of sea planes. There aren't that many, but perhaps it's a nice addition for tourism and commuter purposes for Tacoma.

They are loud, annoying and produce smelly exhaust...but again, there aren't that many so I think the impact would be minimal + the port area is way more industrial than American Lake.


Although I have another home on the web I thought it might be nice to lead by example a bit and put this blog system up to the test myself.

So far, so good... Funny how I build web tools for other people that are far better than the one's I have setup over on KFnet.


Hey Clear Channel, Clean Up Your Crap!

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