The Lake Union Dry Dock Company is a marine vessel large-scale dry dock and repair operation in Seattle's Eastlake district. It is located near ZymoGenetics, directly across from the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation. It currently operates two large-scale submersible floating dry docks, as well as numerous shipbuilding and repair facilities, all of which are located on the water.
Founded in 1919 as "Lake Union Dry Dock And Machine Works", Lake Union Dry Dock is amongst the oldest businesses still currently operating in Seattle. It retais the distinction of being the last remaining all-wooden dock in that City. In its earliest years the company was directly involved in the principle shipbuilding of numerous Roaring Twenties-era vessels, including the Principia, the Electra, and the M/V 'Catalyst.
During World War II, the company shifted its focus to wartime production, becoming a major client for numerous naval contracts. This continues to this day, with clients such as the Washington State Ferries and NOAA. However, most of the company's principle work now centers around the maintenance and repair of large commercial cruise and fishing vessels. In recent times, as the Eastlake neighborhood began to lose its industrial status, the company has added private Yacht storage and mooring to its list of services, as well as leasing to a small plane tour company; also houseboats are now a common sight alongside massive fish processing tankers and luxury liners. In recent years, the company has worked on vessels as varied as the Sea Shepard's Farley Mowat vessel, as well as historic restorations for the Center For Wooden Boats.
In recent years, numerous midsized dock companies and other comparable businesses have struggled to maintain profit margins. However, Lake Union Dry Dock has managed to survive and retain its business, largely due to the government and large fish-processing contracts it has received.