Nearly a half-century has passed since brothers Gregg and Johnny Magnuson looked from the shores of Bainbridge Island to the white-capped waters of the Puget Sound and answered the call of the American dream.
Between them, the brothers Magnuson boasted a wealth of experience, both in Canadian steel and aluminum fabrication facilities and through the University of Washington’s mechanical engineering program. The two were a perfect fit for the demanding and rugged work of the shipyards of the day and they cut their teeth maintaining tugboats moored at the Bainbridge Island Shipyard; as well as caring for the yard’s large fleet of wooden barges.
In 1976 Gregg and Johnny purchased the 50-foot wooden tug “Malolo,” which boasted a 379 horsepower Caterpillar main engine. Soon after taking the reins of their new workhorse, the brothers landed their first contract, the customer: Lone Star Sand and Gravel. The brothers dubbed their fledgling outfit, “Star Marine.” Just a few years after starting the company, Johnny stepped away from the venture to continue his work shoreside and to assist with repairs and maintenance of Star’s vessels.
Star Marine wasted no time making a name for itself as the Puget Sound’s go-to specialized marine towing service. In the interceding years since its conception, Star has provided towing service and assistance for marine construction projects, cable laying operations, dump barge towing and a nearly endless bounty of other contracts up and down the west coast; serving the likes of American Construction, General Construction, Manson, Dutra, Kiewit, the United States Navy, Orion Marine group, Puget Sound Freight lines, Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington State Department of Corrections and countless others.
Perhaps as testament to Star Marine’s loyalty and dedication to providing the most reliable, safe and prompt service for their clientele, their longest continuous customer – the Port Townsend Paper Company – has kept Star Marine as an “on-call” service provider since 1985.
As the mariners of the past relied upon a clear night sky to guide them safely home, so too does Star Marine hold true to our guiding principles.
“Firstly, it’s important that folks feel safe,” says Makai Magnuson, Star Marine’s CEO and son of founder Gregg Magnuson. “We also need to work among people that we trust, both personally and with regard to their abilities on the water. Mariners must necessarily be held to the utmost standards of fitness, etiquette, working knowledge and ethical integrity.”
For this very reason, Makai says he and his staff take great lengths to see that Star maintains an environment which keeps these values evident and at the forefront of day-to-day operations.
Magnuson also notes that Star Marine’s code of ethics aren’t solely on display for prospective clients, but for those who earn their living aboard Star’s vessels and on the docks.
“Ensuring our staff have an opportunity to work among those who may just be beginning their careers on the water, as well as the saltiest, most-seasoned mariners, allows for them to have some sense of what their futures in this industry can hold. They get to see how much potential there is for advancement here.”
Star Marine is also committed to providing unsurpassed value to its clients, providing high volume transportation at low cost, maintaining trustworthy staff and always delivering on time.
Go Green and Ship with Star Marine
Waterborne transportation methods are traditionally one of the most fuel-efficient means of shipping cargo. According to Samuel Ewer Eastman’s “Fuel Efficiency in Freight Transportation” — barges are the most efficient means of transporting cargo.
In examining the average miles per gallon per ton of cargo, Eastman noted, the average barge clocks in at 514 miles. The closest competitor, railways, showed 202 miles, and the least efficient, highway shipping, showed 59 miles per gallon, per ton.
Star Marine's barge "Kashega" has become a nearly iconic fixture throughout the Puget Sound and beyond. Most notably known for her 60-foot ramp, Kashega is capable of operating where no other can. Without the need for port infrastructure, Kashega can land wherever the job calls for. By leveraging the barge's versatility, Star Marine has virtually revolutionized regional timber transportation; which translates to savings for timber harvesters. Instead of paying to truck a fraction of Kashega's 2,500-ton capacity, foresters can load the barge up and deliver en masse.
As Star Marine continues to grow, it became apparent that the time had come to find a suitable home. Port Hadlock, WA proved to be a perfect fit for Star Port, Star Marine's base of operations. The location ensures that Star's fleet remains ready to spring into action to serve clients throughout the Puget Sound, West Coast, Southeast Alaska, and British Columbia.
The services provided by Star Marine continue to grow and remain as varied as the clients we serve. Whether its delivery of a house boat, construction supplies, logs, sand, gravel, wood chips, Star Marine is ready to move your cargo with unsurpassed value and efficiency. Unsure if Star's services are right for your needs? You might be surprised, we are committed to working with our clients to solve even the most confounding of maritime shipping challenges.
Contact Star Marine for a quote on your next project at (206) 842-7198 or by emailing email@example.com.
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