Marine Services Industry Development
Sitka has the largest small boat harbor system in Alaska with 2059 vessels registered in 2016. The needs of our large commercial fishing fleet is an area of potential growth for Sitka. This growth provides opportunities for development of more marine service industry businesses and related infrastructure. In 2015, there were 632 commercial fishing vessels registered/home-ported in Sitka, this does not include charter fishing vessels. Sitka has the largest commercial fishing fleet in Southeast Alaska, making it a great location for marine service industries.
In addition to the commercial fleet, an estimated 233 transient pleasure boats visit Sitka each summer including high end yachts. These boats often travel thousands of miles to visit Sitka, having reliable marine services is a necessity for their safe return.
There are 1,315 boat slips in five harbors owned and operated by the City of Sitka. Currently, the Sitka harbors are at 85% occupancy with slips available for boats under 29 feet. There is a 1 to 5 year wait-list for boats 30-58 feet in length and transient vessels are hot-berthed where possible. As of November 2016, there were 218 Sitka boats awaiting permanent moorage assignment. The Sitka Harbormaster will hot-berth boats on the wait-list as well, if possible. All these vessels require maintenance from time to time and Sitka has room for new marine service industries at the Gary Paxton Industrial Park, Sitka's only marine industry park.