Arness Dock, Nikiski Bay

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The Arness Dock is in Nikiski Bay on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. The private dock was built from surplused World War II Liberty Ships and is used to support oilfield supply vessels for the offshore platforms in Cook Inlet.

Liberty ships were a class of cargo vessel built in the United States during World War II. Though British in conception, the design was adapted by the U.S. for its simple, low-cost construction. Mass-produced on an unprecedented scale, 18 shipyards around the U.S. would each launch a new ship every month, and 2,710 Liberty ships were produced between 1941 and 1945, easily the largest number of ships produced to a single design.

After the war most of the remaining ships were surplused and put into service throughout the world as tramp cargo vessels. Three were eventually purchased and filled with gravel to make the docks in Nikiski Bay. The names of two ships are still visible, SS Edward A. Filene and SS Howell Cobb. The third ship is the SS Harold Winslow. At least two other Liberty ships are in Alaska, the SS Francis A. Retka was renamed Oduna and is currently aground at Cape Pankof on Unimak Island, and the SS Albert M. Boe that was renamed Star of Kodiak and is currently landlocked and used as an office for Trident Seafoods in Kodiak. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore Nikiski Bay and Cook Inlet.

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