Naito purchases Nichols Boatworks

News staff writer

February 3, 2007

Nichols Boat Works Co. announced Thursday it sold its 5.27 acre parcel of land on the Hood River waterfront to Naito Development of Portland for an undisclosed price.

Naito is a well-known Portland developer. Among its projects is the One Waterfront Parkway Building.

Condominiums, hotel rooms and a restaurant are among the uses Naito is considering for the Hood River location.

“We are in discussions with a fabulous hotel operator, and we have architects drawing pretty pictures as we speak,” said Bob Naito of Naito Development Thursday.

We're pretty excited,” he said about the deal.

“In simple terms, we're tickled to death to close the deal,” said Bob Nichols. He is the third Nichols generation to operate the family business that began in 1941.

The property has been on the market for more than eight years, after declining timber product use in the Northwest reduced the demand for the barges and tugboats that were the company's mainstay.

In its 57-year history, Nichols Boat Works built hundreds of boats of all types — barges, fishing boats, ferries, tug boats, barge tenders and boom boats among them — but is best-known for building the sternwheeler Columbia Gorge for the Port of Cascade Locks.

Naito said the only cloud on the horizon is what he called “Nichols Island,” a sandbar created by flooding in December that currently blocks access from the river to the basin by the boat works.

“One of the things we really wanted to do with the hotel and condominium development was to put in a marina,” Naito said. “It's a natural fit.”

The presence of a sandbar, he added, made that portion of the proposed development questionable.

“The (Army Corps of Engineers) acknowledges its obligation to maintain a connecting channel,” Naito said.

“But all you have to do is look at all the small harbors on the coast like Garibaldi where they don't have funds to maintain the harbors. Fortunately, the marina isn't a deal-killer.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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