Nichols Brothers Boat Builders will be busy for the next two and half years thanks in part to the recent signing of a $94.8 million contract with marine-based travel company Lindblad Expedition Holdings.
Nichols Bros. CEO Gavin Higgins confirmed Friday that the Freeland-based shipyard signed the contract last week with the expedition travel company, which works in partnership with National Geographic, to build two 100-cabin ships. Each is 236 feet long and 40 feet wide.
The first vessel (approximately $48 million) is scheduled for delivery in early 2017, likely May, and the second (approximately $46.8 million) in mid 2018.
Higgins said the company has been working on the deal since September, and with other projects in the yard, means the yard will stay busy until at least 2018.
“It definitely brings steady employment for the next two and half years,” he said.
Along with secured work, the job may also result in some new hires, Higgins said. The company currently has a roster of about 240 workers.
Some of the other projects Nichols is currently working on includes a second Kirby tug, a ferry for American Samoa and the superstructure of another state ferry.