NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory: Letter of Recommendation
26 April 2005
Al Lewis Sunbacker Fiberglass 17453 147th St SE Unit 1 Monroe, WA. 98727
RE: Project Evaluation: Buoy Fabrication
I was employed for many years at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and involved with the design, fabrication and deployment of complex deep ocean buoys and mooring for scientific studies. In the mid 1990’s we were forced to find an alternate fiberglass fabricator to complete a critical buoy project that was not going well at the previous shops. We found Sunbacker Fiberglass in the Yellow Pages, checked out your shop, people, and capabilities, and determined that you were capable of completing the work as needed. That job was not only completed on time and within budget, but the innovative ideas, improved methodology, and easy working relationship that were established, produced a far superior product than we had ever received in the past.
Subsequently, through the government requisition process you were successful in competitively bidding for the fabrication of many ATLAS buoys and for the development of the new DART buoys. These were built with few drawings or specifications. The success and the international acclaim of the US Tsunami Warning buoy systems is testimony to the quality of work, as those buoys are still in service in the North Pacific!
More recently your work on PICO, the next generation ocean observation buoy system, has been extremely valuable to PMEL and to the ocean community. The new materials and methodologies employed are a complete departure from traditional ocean buoy design. Again the buoys have withstood the severe punishment of prototype testing and deep-water deployments have proven the worthiness of that work. All buoy hulls, components, and modifications have been completed on time and within budget.
As a private consultant I am pleased to recommend Sunbacker for any buoy work the government may need.
Hugh Milburn Oceanographic Engineer
Milburn, 16255 37th NE Lake Forest Park, WA 98155 206.818.6183