The tide continues to bring new ships to Erie’s port as Donjon Shipbuilding and Repair’s winter season has come to an end.

“We’re really fortunate we have one of the only shipbuilding facilities on the Great Lakes that can accommodate the fleet that goes through the Great Lakes, so it’s a tremendous asset for our community,” said James Grunke. president and CEO, Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership (ERCGP).

It’s been all hands on deck as the winter ship repair season comes to a close.

“We’re a full-service shipyard. We do everything from electrical to piping, painting, and welding. We do joiner insulation — pretty much anything that a vessel would need.” said Rick Hammer, general manager, Donjon Shipbuilding and Repair.

Their facility includes a 1,000-foot dry dock to handle vessels of that size. The general manager said that their winter season was smooth and went according to plan.

“The mild weather certainly makes the job a little bit easier for these employees going out working in the weather every day. It’s definitely a little more bearable,” Hammer added.

While many may think summer is the busier season, winter is when the majority of ships come in for repairs and inspections.

“This year, we actually have two additional dry dockings to do, and we got quite a bit of new construction to complete this summer,” said Hammer.

“The people that they have working there are some of the most highly skilled craftsmen there are. The loyalty that they’ve been able to establish with their employees is a real testament to the company. It’s really, really hard work but the people there just seem to love it,” said Grunke.

Companies throughout the Great Lakes are expected to continue looking to our community to meet their needs over the summer season.