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Ferries, tugs and government vessel construction and repair work drive activity

VT Halter Marine

n order to gain some insight into the current levels of new construction activity, employment and capital investment at shipyards across the U.S., Marine Log conducted a survey of a broad range of shipbuilders and boatbuilders. We also asked them what markets they thought offered the best prospects for new orders in the near term. Marine Log’s Annual Shipbuilding Survey is brought to you by Viega. See Viega’s brochure in the back of this issue to lear n about the ir cost-effective Viega marine pipe joining systems. Blount Boats Headquartered: Warren, RI Employ: 50 Blount Boats points out that there is currently an extremely robust market for passenger-only ferries in the U.S., particularly in and around New York City. Founded by the legendary Luther Blount almost 70 years ago, Blount Boats is a relatively small yard with a solid track record of building hundreds of vessels in steel and aluminum. Its latest project is a contract in which it teamed with Seattle-based Elliott Bay Design Group on the construction of a 334-passenger, 132 ft ferry that will operate from The Battery in Lower Manhattan

to Governors Island. It will be delivered in March 2019. It delivered the 318-passenger M/V Skyview last year to Shoreline Sightseeing of Chicago and has conducted repairs to seven U.S. Coast Guard boats, including a 42 ft Near Shore Lifeboat, two 45 ft Response Boat-Medium boats, and a 47 ft motor life boat. It is currently completing a 40 ft midbody conversion on the University of Connecticut’s R/V Connecticut, due for delivery next month. Among its accomplishments is the delivery of the first U.S.-flag offshore wind crew transfer vessel Atlantic Pioneer, delivered last year to Atlantic Wind Transfers for the Block Island Wind Farm. “This market has been off to a slow start, but leases have been purchased and offshore wind should develop into a robust market for a variety of vessels,” says Blount Boats President Marcia Blount. Conrad Shipyards Headquartered: Morgan City, LA Employ: 900 With five shipyards in Louisiana and Texas, Conrad Shipyards has been one of the busier shipbuilders in the U.S., delivering four 116 ft Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) tugs, one 3,000 hp inland towboat, five 120 ft inland

deck barges, 160 ft deck barge, one 200 ft deck barge, two 260 ft offshore deck barges, two 83,000 bbl offshore tank barges, and one 55,000 bbl offshore tank barge this year. Besides a fair amount of repair activity, Conrad’s backlog also includes five ATB tugs (ranging from 110 ft-120 ft), four 120 ft offshore tugs, three inland crane barges (from 110 ft-300 ft), four offshore tank barges up to 83,000 bbl capacity, and eight inland deck/ spud barges (from 120 -260 ft). Conrad says it will “continue to concentrate on its core market of tugboats, ferries, offshore and inland barges, and crane and construction barges, as well as continued work for U.S. government agencies. We continue to seek new market opportunities, including LNG vessels of all varieties.” During the last five years, Conrad has invested $61.9 million in capital improvements to its five shipyards. Improvements have included new manufacturing buildings, CNC manufacturing equipment, an automated Panel Line, and the development of the company’s Deepwater South shipyard. Eastern Shipbuilding Group Headquartered: Panama City, FL Employ: Under 1,000 Eastern Shipbuilding Group nabbed two of the biggest recent shipbuilding prizes in September 2017 // Marine Log 19

Marine Log September 2017