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Water Taxis • Subchapter M • Metal Trades ®

IN BUSINESS ON THE COASTAL AND INLAND WATERS

Full Steam Passenger vessel sector growth continues.

FEBRUARY 2019


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ON THE COVER

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The 108-passenger National Geographic Quest. FEBRUARY 2019 • VOLUME 76, NO. 2

Photo courtesy of Crowley Maritime

FEATURES 20 Focus: New Regime Excerpts from the Subchapter M Think Tank session at November’s International WorkBoat Show.

24 Vessel Report: Taxi Stand Water taxis are a fast and reliable commuting option.

32 Cover Story: Smooth Sailing Passenger vessels from ferries to dinner boats and inland overnight cruise ships continue to see strong demand.

24

38 In Business: Heavy Metal South Carolina shipyard has successfully diversified its business, and has a strong work backlog to prove it.

BOATS & GEAR 28 On the Ways • New 75' pilot boat for Alaska from Gladding-Hearn • Nichols Brothers to build two 250-passenger high-speed ferries for Kitsap County, Wash. • 118-passenger high-speed crewboat for Alaska from Bay Welding • Second LNG ConRo ship for Crowley from VT Halter • Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding delivers new ATB to Kirby • 6,700-hp Z-drive tug from Gulf Island for Bay Houston Towing • Washburn & Doughty delivers two 6,770hp Z-drives to Moran • Huntington Ingalls to build two more national security cutters for the Coast Guard • Eastern Shipbuilding launches Z-drive tug for McAllister Towing 58 days after Hurricane Michael

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AT A GLANCE 8 8 9 10 10 12 12

On the Water: Open door policy — Part I. Captain’s Table: Saving the Delta Queen, chapter two. Energy Level: The Gulf is sluggish, but far from dead. WB Stock Index: WorkBoat stocks lose 8.5% in December. Inland Insider: The Coast Guard needs new inland cutters. Insurance Watch: Maritime Employers Liability coverage. Legal Talk: Protection for mariners.

NEWS LOG 14 14 16 17 18

New England offshore wind lease sale generates $405 million. New plan for the 1950s cruise liner SS United States. Federal seismic survey permits for East Coast challenged. Coast Guard issues marine safety alert on LED systems. AWO issues guidelines for companies to manage cyberattacks.

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat

DEPARTMENTS 2 6 41 47 48

Editor’s Watch Mail Bag Port of Call Advertisers Index WB Looks Back

1


Onshore Offshore Around the Yards

The news and information you need, when you need it. JOIN NOW www.workboat.com 2

Editor’sWatch

This market is cruising

T

he ups and downs of the offshore market have been well documented since the downturn in the U.S. Gulf began several years ago. The latest, which Bill Pike discusses in his column on page 9, is that the offshore market is on an upward trend but — and there always seems to be a but with the offshore energy market — the recent decline in oil prices has put this in question. U.S. oil prices have dropped by a third since its Oct. 3 high, the largest percentage decline since 2016. As of Jan. 8, West Texas Intermediate was trading below $50 bbl., the minimum price most big shale companies use for budget planning. But enough about offshore. There is another workboat sector that has been dealing only with ups lately — the passenger vessel industry. It has been on an upward trend for several years, helped by the strong economy and consumer confidence. In her annual cover story on the passenger vessel market that begins on page 32, Dale DuPont writes that the continued economic growth that many economists are forecasting for this year spells more good news for this market. John Groundwater, executive director of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA), said he believes that “the passenger vessel industry will continue on a positive economic path in 2019 as well.” The strong growth extends from overnight cruises to ferries and excursion boats in what has been one of the hottest segments of the workboat industry. This is reflected in PVA’s own numbers. “So far this year, we have added 41 new companies to our ranks. In

David Krapf, Editor in Chief

addition to vessel operating companies, some of these new members are vendors and suppliers such as shipyards, ticketing and marketing companies, insurers and others who are looking to expand into the U.S. passenger vessel market,” he said. Groundwater added that net new membership is outpacing last year. With discretionary spending strong, especially from baby boomers, overnight cruising demand has been strong and the market is growing. I’ll have a chance to gauge the optimism this month when the PVA’s annual conference comes to New Orleans.

dkrapf@divcom.com

WORKBOAT® (ISSN 0043-8014) is published monthly by Diversified Business Communications and Diversified Publications, 121 Free St., P.O. Box 7438, Portland, ME 04112-7438. Editorial Office: P.O. Box 1348, Mandeville, LA 70470. Annual Subscription Rates: U.S. $39; Canada $55; International $103. When available, extra copies of current issue are $4, all other issues and special issues are $5. For subscription customer service call (978) 671-0444. The publisher reserves the right to sell subscriptions to those who have purchasing power in the industry this publication serves. Periodicals postage paid at Portland, ME, and additional mailing offices. Circulation Office: 121 Free St., P.O. Box 7438, Portland, ME 04112-7438. From time to time, we make your name and address available to other companies whose products and services may interest you. If you prefer not to receive such mailings, please send a copy of your mailing label to: WorkBoat’s Mailing Preference Service, P.O. Box 7438, Portland, ME 04112. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to WORKBOAT, P.O. Box 1792, Lowell, MA 01853. Copyright 20 18 by Diversified Business Communications. Printed in U.S.A.

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


Sometimes, even the rescuers need to be rescued.

www.workboat.com

PUBLISHER

Jerry Fraser jfraser@divcom.com

EDITOR IN CHIEF

David Krapf dkrapf@divcom.com

SENIOR EDITOR

Ken Hocke khocke@divcom.com

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Kirk Moore kmoore@divcom.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

ART DIRECTOR

PUBLISHING OFFICES

Because they watch over us. Because they give so much. Sometimes, even the rescuers Give to theneed

Capt. Alan Bernstein • Bruce Buls • Michael Crowley • Dale K. DuPont • Pamela Glass • Max Hardberger • Kevin Horn • Joel Milton • Bill Pike • Kathy Bergren Smith Doug Stewart dstewart@divcom.com

Main Office: 121 Free St., P.O. Box 7438 • Portland, ME 04112-7438 • (207) 842-5608 • Fax: (207) 842-5609 Southern/Editorial Office: P.O. Box 1348 • Mandeville, LA 70470 • Fax: (985) 624-4801 Subscription Information: (978) 671-0444 • cs@e-circ.net General Information: (207) 842-5610

to be rescued.

Coast Guard Foundation To learn more, visit RescueTheRescuers.org

Because they watch over us. Because they give so much. Give to the

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Kristin Luke (207) 842-5635 • Fax: (207) 842-5611 kluke@divcom.com

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(207) 842-5508 • Fax: (207) 842-5509 Producers of The International WorkBoat Show, WorkBoat Maintenance & Repair Conference and Expo, and Pacific Marine Expo www.workboatshow.com Chris Dimmerling (207) 842-5666 • Fax: (207) 842-5509 cdimmerling@divcom.com Theodore Wirth Michael Lodato mlodato@divcom.com

To learn more, visit RescueTheRescuers.org

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www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


NEW CONSTRUCTION • REPAIRS • CONVERSIONS

2200 Nelson Street, Panama City, FL 32401 Tel: 850-763-1900 ext 3216 Fax: 850-763-7904 Email: sberthold@easternshipbuilding.com www.easternshipbuilding.com

Thank You

To all our Customers, Vendors and Sub-Contractors for the continued Trust and Support. Hurricane Michael was a direct hit, but it certainly didn’t knock us out. We look forward to serving you in 2019 and beyond! For employment apply online at Careers: www.easternshipbuilding.com/employment

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Station Panama City and Hurricane Michael

I

n the early morning hours after Hurricane Michael made landfall in October, Master Chief Petty Officer Mark Kannan began the arduous journey back to Coast Guard Station Panama City, where he serves as the officer in charge. As he drove back to the station, the magnitude of the devastation forced

him to consider the logistics of his planned mission: getting the station’s search and rescue services back up and running again. “I barely recognized the area,” Kannan said. “I’ve been through hurricanes before, but this looked more like a bomb had been dropped on the city. I planned on calling the crew back to the area as soon as possible, but after driving into Panama City that morning after the storm, I realized that many

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of them may not have a home to come back to.” With ingenuity and no small degree of resourcefulness, Kannan and a small crew of station personnel managed to put together a disaster response trailer to get out to Coast Guard members’ homes to assess the damage. As word of their assessment work spread, Coast Guard personnel who had homes in the area began reaching out, seeking out the welfare of their homes before deciding when it was safe to go back to Panama City. The team wound up assessing over 120 homes of Coast Guard members, putting in over 400 man hours clearing trees, tarping damaged roofs, and removing the detritus that enveloped the city. It was in these early days after the storm that Kannan and the crew realized that the overwhelming needs of the community beckoned them to expand their mission and outreach. Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Dragin U.S. Coast Guard, Eighth District, Panama City Station Panama City, Fla.

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from the Coast Guard Compass, the official blog of the U.S. Coast Guard. You can read the entire blog at http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2018/11/standing-inthe-gap-station-panama-city/.

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WorkBoat encourages readers to write us about anything that appears in the magazine, on WorkBoat.com or pertains to the marine industry. To be published, letters must include the writer’s address and a daytime phone number.

Send letters to: workboat@cox.net MAIL BAG P.O. BOX 1348 Mandeville, LA 70470 www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


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On the Water

Open door policy — Part I

T

By Joel Milton

Joel Milton works on towing vessels. He can be reached at joelmilton@ yahoo.com.

he National Transportation Safety Board determined that the “probable cause of the flooding and sinking of the towing vessel Savage Ingenuity was the absence of company procedures requiring the closure of weather deck doors at all times when underway, which resulted in the rapid down flooding into the engine room when the vessel heeled while perpendicular to a strong current with the head of its tow pushed into a river bank.” That was the conclusion of the NTSB’s Marine Accident Brief 18-21. The brief describes the chain of events that led to the loss of the 68'×28', 1,880-hp towboat in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near Sulphur, La., on Sept. 5, 2017, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Accurately determining and articulating the true causes of any accident, however, often proves elusive. As is almost always the case, human shortcomings resulted in the towboat’s sinking, not some type of unforeseeable circumstance, such as the high water and swift currents generated by Hurricane Harvey’s record rainfall. Specifically,

Captain’s Table

Saving the historic steamboat Delta Queen, chapter two

I

By Capt. Alan Bernstein

Alan Bernstein, owner of BB Riverboats in Cincinnati, is a licensed master and a former president of the Passenger Vessel Association. He can be reached at 859-292-2449 or abernstein@ bbriverboats.com. 8

n 1970 I worked on the Delta Queen for six months. It was my first commercial job on the rivers, and when I first fell in love with this incredible life on the water. That was also the same year that the future operation of the Delta Queen was threatened by the passage by Congress of the 1966 Safety at Sea Act. This legislation applied international SOLAS regulations to vessels carrying 50 or more overnight passengers. It restricted vessels with wooden superstructures from carrying overnight passengers, which in effect, would shut down the operations of the wooden Delta Queen. So, in 1970 the first effort to “Save the Delta Queen” was launched. On board the vessel, I was introduced to Betty Blake and William Muster, the people who got the public involved in urging Congress to exempt the Delta Queen from this law. Betty and Bill worked 18 hours a day on this mission for many months. Everyone told them that they would never be able to accomplish the goal,

which shortcomings were causative and to what degree? How should they be ranked? Those are always debatable points upon which agreement often goes hard aground because the truth is always unpalatable to someone. The Savage Ingenuity, designed with a very-low freeboard, heeled over from the forces acting on it. The towboat took enough water on deck to make it over the very low sill of the engine room door on the low side, and from there the process of down flooding began. The flooding shut down the engines and the towboat’s fate was sealed. Fortunately, there was no loss of life — this time. It doesn’t always go so well. But the costs of this “mistake” were steep: an estimated $1.35 million in damage to the boat, which was later salvaged, and the substantial environmental damage from the 11,800 gals. of diesel that was released, most of which was not recovered. The obvious $1.35 million dollar question is why were the engine room doors open? After the accident, the company updated operating procedures by requiring that “all hatches, doors and portholes on the weather deck shall remain in the closed position” when the vessel is under way.

but that just made them work harder to get the job done. They were a great team and were ultimately successful in accomplishing their goal when Congress granted the first of nine exemptions that would allow the Delta Queen to operate. In late November, Congress passed, and the president signed into law, the Coast Guard Authorization Act which contained language that allows the Delta Queen to once again resume operations. The similarities of today’s exemption and that of the first one in 1970 are incredible. This most recent effort to “Save the Delta Queen” was championed by Leann Ingram and Cornel Martin, past president of the Passenger Vessel Association and a former employee of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company. They were both told that they would never get the exemption. Sound familiar? Their successful effort is an amazing and historic accomplishment. The Delta Queen is a vessel worthy of being preserved. I hope it will serve as an example what overnight steamboat travel was like for many generations. I have a great love for the Delta Queen for many reasons, but mainly for it being instrumental in giving me my start in the river industry. www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


Energy Level

Market slows again, but offshore is not dead

18-Feb Mar-18 Apr-18 WORKBOAT May-18 GOM INDICATORS Jun-18 OCT. '18 18-Jul WTI Crude Oil 67.00 18-Aug Baker Hughes Rig Count 18 18-Sep IHS OSV Utilization 30.1% Oct-18 U.S. Oil Production (millions bpd) 11.2 18-Nov Sources: Baker-Hughes; IHS Markit; U.S. EIA Dec-18

*Estimated

.

DEC. '17 60.46 18 24% 9.8

GOM RIG COUNT

GOM Rig Count

By Bill Pike

30

T

he offshore market is on an upward trend, analysts say, although the recent dip in oil prices has put that in question. U.S. oil prices have dropped by more than a third from an Oct. 3 high, the largest percentage decline since early 2016. As of Jan. 5, West Texas Intermediate was trading below $50 bbl., the minimum price most big shale companies plan their growth around. That’s down from an average of almost $67 bbl. this year through September, according to Wood Mackenzie Ltd. and RS Energy Group. “Something has to give,” said Andy McConn, a Houston-based analyst at Wood Mackenzie. “We expected some minor increases in budgets going into next year but now we see risk to the downside, with budgets flat or down year on year.” Rystad Energy, a Norwegian energy research company, agrees that the offshore recovery will slow, but it will stay on track because the industry has become more efficient and lower costs driven by bankruptcies and consolidations have reduced debt. The company estimates that more than 100 offshore projects will be undertaken in 2019, as opposed to just 43 in 2015. Of those projects, Rystad said, about 30% will occur in the Middle East, 25% in South America, 15% in Africa, 15% in Asia and less than 10% each in North America and Europe. Despite the low amount of estimated offshore activity for North America in 2019, it should be the best year in the last four for the Gulf of Mexico, said Wood McKenzie. The U.K.-based energy research firm said that 2019 will feature the first increase in drilling in four years. “We expect 2019 to be a strong year for the Gulf of Mexico. Following four

NOV. '18 51.46 23 31.2% 11.7*

17 12 18 18 18 DEC. '18 15 44.48 16 24 18 30% 18 11.7* 23 24

25 20 15 10

12/17

12/18

5 0

1

2

3

4

5

6

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years of decline, exploration activity is expected to increase next year by 30% in the Gulf of Mexico,” Wood McKenzie predicts. “Shell and Chevron

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat

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10 11 12 13

will lead the way, but the actual growth in exploration will come from new entrants — Kosmos Energy, Equinor, Total, Murphy and Fieldwood.”

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WorkBoat Composite Index Stocks lose 8.5% in December

T

he WorkBoat Composite Index followed the broader indexes in December, losing 169 points, or 8.5%. The Dow lost 8.7% and the S&P fell over 9%. Twenty-nine of the 30 companies in the Index lost ground in December, with one stock unchanged. The top percentage losers for the month were all oil service issues. Rowan Companies saw its stock fall STOCK CHART

almost 40% in December, despite the Houston-based offshore drilling contractor announcing that it had been awarded contracts for two jackup rigs. In its third-quarter earnings call, Rowan President and CEO Thomas Peter Burke, said the Gulf of Mexico is experiencing a “reasonable recovery.” In the U.S. Gulf, marketed utilization increased from just over 50% a year Source: FinancialContent Inc. www.financialcontent.com

INDEX NET COMPARISONS 11/30/18 12/31/18 CHANGE Operators 319.10 285.19 -33.91 Suppliers 3261.41 3007.21 -254.20 Shipyards 2616.72 2372.62 -244.10 Workboat Composite 1975.01 1806.15 -168.86 PHLX Oil Service Index 104.74 80.60 -24.14 Dow Jones Industrials 25538.46 23327.46 -2211.00 Standard & Poors 500 2760.16 2506.85 -253.31 For the complete up-to-date WorkBoat Stock Index, go to: workboat.com/resources/tools/workboat-composite-index/

Inland Insider Inland cutters next up in USCG's building plan

N

ow well on its way to recapitalizing its offshore fleet, the Coast Guard has turned to its aging inland workboats. Back in September Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz told Congress that with the $25 million they added to the 2018 budget, the service is moving ahead to design its new class of waterway commerce cutter (WCC) now with its own development program. The fleet is currently made up of 35 buoy tenders and construction tenders, the last built in 1994, with an average age of 53 years. Three requests for information have gone out to the inland waterways transportation and shipbuilding industries, seeking input on a design process now in its earliest stage. On Nov. 30 the design team came to the International 10

PERCENT CHANGE -10.63% -7.79% -9.33% -8.55% -23.04% -8.66% -9.18%

WorkBoat Show in New Orleans asking for help. Their challenge is coming up with concepts that will fulfill the missions now carried out by three general types of vessels: inland construction tenders, river buoy tenders and inland buoy tenders, said Aileen Sedmak, manager of the WCC program, which is working with the Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command to come up with design requirements. On top of that, the future workboats need to be designed for conditions across the lower 48 states and Alaska. “Think of it as a system of systems,” said Sedmak. “It is not an easy problem.” Across the rivers and inland waterways, the aging fleet maintains more than 28,200 aids to navigation over 12,000 miles, carrying some 630 million tons of cargo a year, according to the Coast Guard. Along with buoy tending and construction, the new inland cutters need to handle search and rescue, port security, and safety and environmental protec-

ago to around 80% on Nov. 1, with 12 jackups working. “We continue to be guarded in the short term, but are more optimistic as we look to the future ... ” Burke said. “As of today (Nov. 1), all of our jackups are contracted or committed, and we’ve seen some areas with fairly high utilization. Our modern equipment is preferred by our customers and we are particularly well positioned in harsh environments. “Ultradeepwater drillships have lagged jackups in the recovery,” Burke continued, “but a lot has been done across the industry to improve the economics and overall attractiveness of drilling in regions that require these type of high specification assets. We still expect the recovery in ultradeepwater to be gradual in 2019, but gain momentum thereafter.” — David Krapf

tion missions. Coast Guard planners say they are accelerating the effort to get the first new inland cutter operating in 2024 and a new fleet underway By Kirk Moore, in 2030. Those Associate Editor next generation workboats will be taking care of the inland waterways for the rest of this century, so the barge industry needs to be involved now. The WCC design team can be reached at wcc@uscg.mil. Information about the program is on its website at https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-forAcquisitions-CG-9/Programs/SurfacePrograms/WCC/. The team is open to any ideas and potential solutions — new designs that perform the missions more efficiently, with minimum needs for drydocking and shipyards for maintenance.

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


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Insurance Watch Maritime Employers Liability coverage

D

o you send employees out on someone else’s vessel to perform research or some sort of function on board? If you do and an employee is injured, that vessel’s insurance may not react to a Jones Act claim. That’s because your employee is not considered part of the crew of the vessel on which they are working. To properly cover your employees who are on someone else’s vessels, you need Maritime Employers Liability, or MEL. Commercial vessels carry Protection and Indemnity insurance, which provides coverage for crewmembers. But this obligation only pertains to crew who are employed by the vessel owner or operator. Employees that work on someone else's vessel would be covered under MEL. It is an admiralty law that insures loss of life, injury and ill-

Legal Talk A legal lifejacket

W

e used to send the newbies down the pier looking for bulkhead remover. It was a funny joke that never escalated beyond a collective laugh when the newbie returned saying that he’d looked all over and couldn't find any. Still, some shipboard situations aren’t jokes and can put crew in those tough waters between a career and doing what's right. If you find yourself in such a situation, it’s worth remembering a statute titled “Protection of seaman against discrimination.” This federal law aims to protect seaman from discrimination or discharge because, in short, they do the right thing. That is, if you accurately report your hours or refuse to perform your duties because of a reasonable belief of injury, or in good faith you report or are about to report to the Coast Guard a maritime safety violation, this federal law could provide you with some protection.

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ness to employees classified as seamen while in service on a vessel. The MEL follows your employees while they are on non-owned vessels. MEL is not required, but it’s good to have. Coverages under MEL include: • Jones Act • Death on the High Seas Act • General maritime law of the U.S. • Maintenance, cure and wages Also, scientific personnel working on board an oceanographic research vessel are excluded from Jones Act coverage. They are still entitled to maintenance and cure but they cannot sue under the Jones Act. If this applies to you, let your underwriter know that your premium should be lower with no Jones Act coverage. Time spent on board a vessel will also help determine the premium. MEL can also be endorsed to cover Similarly, if you give information to a public official relating to any marine casualty that resulted in injury, death or damage to property that occurred in connection with vessel transportation, this statute would prohibit you from being discharged or discriminated against for doing so. I think this law is a good idea and it’s been around for a while, but I haven't seen it crop up much in case law. This law’s low profile could mean one of two things. Either there just hasn't been much need for its protections, or the maritime community forgets that this friendly law is riding shotgun. Whatever the situation, talk to a maritime lawyer to understand your rights because the seas can get easily confused. For example, one court found that merely making inquiries with the Coast Guard, but not reporting a violation or filing a complaint, did not trigger the law. There’s also a troubling instance where an employer tried to recover fees and costs against the employee in an action involving this law. The employer wasn't successful, but that kind of

your employees while on board your own vessel. But MEL is not a compensation policy or a substitute for United States Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (USL&H) By Chris coverage. You will Richmond still need these, if required. When you send your employees out on a job you want to make sure that they are properly prepared and protected. Do not forget to protect yourself as well. Chris Richmond is a licensed mariner and marine insurance agent with Allen Insurance and Financial. He can be reached at 800-439-4311 or crichmond@allenif.com counterclaim is unAmerican. We have a legal system that promotes access to the courthouse by having each party, in most instances, pay for their own fees and costs. If you’re in a situation where this law might help By John K. you, don't delay in Fulweiler taking action. Like many things in the law, the passage of time doesn’t usually improve a claimant’s situation and delay can result in a claim being extinguished. If you’re wondering what to do, hunt up a maritime lawyer and run the scenario past them. Most will usually have time to provide you with some initial thoughts on your situation. John K. Fulweiler of Fulweiler LLC is a licensed mariner and maritime attorney. He can be reached at john@saltwaterlaw. com or 1-800-383-MAYDAY.

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


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FEBRUARY 2019

NEWS LOG NEWS BITTS

Kirk Moore

NEW PLAN TO SAVE SS UNITED STATES

Ørsted’s Gode Wind turbine array under construction in the North Sea.

New England offshore wind auction brings in $405 million

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n offshore wind energy lease auction brought in $405 million for three tracts off New England, in what federal officials call a signal of momentum for the budding U.S. industry. Eleven companies competed in 32 rounds of bidding over two days, leaving Equinor, Mayflower Wind Energy and Vineyard Wind the victors with winning bids of $135 million for each of three tracts totaling 390,000 acres. Three years ago, the same areas received no industry interest when the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management first offered leases on the Outer Continental Shelf south of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. The per-acre average of $1,038 is nearly double what Equinor paid to lease its 79,350-acre Empire Wind site off New York Harbor in 2016. “It’s indicative of the strength of the growing industry for offshore wind 14

energy,” said James Bennett, who leads BOEM’s renewable energy program. “I think what you’ll see with these leases in place is tremendous acceleration down to Virginia.” One week after the December auction, EDF Renewables North America and Shell New Energies LLC announced the formation of a 50/50 joint venture, Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind LLC, to develop an 183,353-acre lease off Atlantic City, N.J. The companies acquired the tract for $215 million from US Wind, Baltimore, which originally paid $1.5 million for it in one of BOEM’s first wind area auctions in 2015. US Wind will use the proceeds to focus on its plan to develop offshore turbine arrays off Maryland and create a mid-Atlantic hub for the industry, US Wind general counsel Salvo Vitale told the Baltimore Business Journal.

Ørsted

N

ew York City-based RXR Realty will analyze the potential for converting the 1950s luxury liner SS United States into a mixed-use development and maritime museum, according to the nonprofit group that owns the ship. For more than 20 years the cruise liner has been tied up at Pier 82 in Philadelphia, changing owners until the SS United States Conservancy acquired it in 2011. In 2016, high-end cruise operator Crystal Cruises, Century City, Calif., considered buying the 992'x101' ship to return it to passenger service, but concluded that it was not feasible. RXR is experienced in converting historic structures for modern commercial use and could restore the ship for use as a stationary mixed-use development and museum in its old homeport of New York or another coastal city — a longtime goal of the conservancy. “In connection with its work, RXR will be paying a substantial portion of the ship’s carrying costs and making other investments during this option period,” said Susan Gibbs, the conservancy executive director, in announcing the plan. “The company will soon be assembling a team to assess the vessel’s interior spaces and explore concepts for the ship’s revitalization.” The SS United States was the world’s fastest passenger ship when it entered service in 1952, clocking a transatlantic crossing at a sustained 35 knots. But in time the ship, like other transatlantic liners, faced mounting competition from the growing airline industry and it went out of service in 1969. — Kirk Moore

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


Ørsted

EDF Renewables operates 2,800 megawatts of offshore wind capacity in Europe. The Paris-based company says its partnership with Shell will enable it “to efficiently transform the U.S. offshore wind sector, beginning in New Jersey.” “Shell has bold ambitions to grow our renewable power business and we see great potential in U.S. offshore wind,” said Dorine Bosman, vice president wind, Shell New Energies. As 2018 ended, Ørsted submitted a bid to New Jersey to build its Ocean Wind project 15 miles from Atlantic City, to provide 1,100-MW of power in response to the state’s request for proposals and ultimate goal of 3,500 MW offshore. Like US Wind, Ørsted obtained one of the first BOEM leases off New Jersey at a time when the political climate was not supporting the steps needed to help develop offshore power and integrate it into the state’s power grid. That changed dramatically when Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, was succeeded in 2018 by Democrat Phil Murphy, who made offshore wind power a centerpiece of his energy policy. “Obviously the political environment was very supportive of offshore wind. That was key for investing here,” said Elisabeth-Anne Treseder, a senior policy advisor with Ørsted. The Denmark-based company would work with New Jersey power company Public Service Enterprise Group’s nonutility affiliates, which would provide energy management services and potential lease of land for use in project development and have the option to become an equity investor in the project. The New York Bight waters between New Jersey and New York are ideal for developing the industry, with consistently reliable winds and “shallow water near the load centers” and sea floor geology that can support turbine arrays, said Rich Baldwin of consultants Ramboll Group A/S, an advisor to New Jersey energy planners. New Jersey’s existing deepwater port facilities, like Paulsboro on the Delaware River near Philadelphia and

An Ørsted turbine array in the North Sea

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E

ight states joined environmental groups in challenging new federal permits for seismic surveys to explore for oil and gas off the East Coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Nov. 30 issued incidental harassment permits to five companies to pursue geophysical work using air gun surveys off the mid-Atlantic states — extending to Florida’s Atlantic coast, despite the Trump administration’s previous assurance in early 2018 that Florida would be exempted from its policy of pushing for new offshore exploration. NOAA Fisheries permits allow air gun use that can cause unintentional disturbance to marine mammals and other protected species. Environmental and fishing groups say the surveys will endanger ocean wildlife and disrupt fish populations, while industry advocates like the International Association of Geophysical Contractors say decades of experience in the Gulf of Mexico and other energy production areas show the effect is negligible. The permits still require surveyors

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to mitigate the effects of air gun use, including monitoring for whales and other wildlife in the area. The IAGC pushed for the permits, which had been dormant for more than three years following a decision by the Obama administration to pull back on East Coast exploration. The lawsuit began with a complaint filed against NOAA in federal court in South Carolina by environmental groups, claiming the agency is violat-

BOEM

East Coast states sue over federal permits for seismic testing

Three wind energy companies bid a total $405 million for three leases (in color) off Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

ing the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Environmental activists have built a coalition with political leaders, tourism and fishing-related businesses in coastal South Carolina who say the risk to the economy outweighs any potential benefit from oil and gas exploration. Two days before NOAA released the permits, the advocacy group Explore Offshore held a briefing in Washington, D.C., highlighting

A seismic survey vessel tows an air gun array.

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat

International Association of Geophysical Contractors

New York Harbor, could make the state a leader in offshore wind power construction, said Baldwin. For moving components for the coming generation of big turbines, with rotor blades more than 300' long, “the marine infrastructure is going to be really critical to the effort,” he said. There will be a need for new larger, U.S.-flag and Jones Act-compliant heavy lift vessels to install towers, generator housings and rotors, said Baldwin. So far BOEM has leased 12 tracts on the OCS off the East Coast, with seven site assessments underway and two construction and operations plans under review by the agency, said Walter Cruickshank, BOEM’s acting director. The latest auction, he said, “makes me very optimistic about the future of wind energy in this country.” — K. Moore


— K. Moore

Safety concerns from LED navigation lights

I

n August 2018 the Coast Guard issued a marine safety alert on light emitting diode (LED) systems, warning that

radio frequency interference from LED lamps creates potential safety hazards for mariners. RF interference has been an issue since LED lamps came into use, and the Coast Guard is addressing it now after many reports of problems with VHF marine radio reception, digital selective calling on the radios and poor reception of automatic identification system (AIS) vessel tracking. Interference noise is inconsistent and difficult to track down, often involving the routing of wiring, antenna locations and interference from interior LED lights. The Coast Guard recommends testing on board, including turning off LED systems on the vessel to see if interference stops. For VHF radios, another suggestion is to try adjusting the squelch just where it cuts the audio on a vacant channel. If the noise comes back when the lights are on, LEDs are a likely culprit.

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat

SignalMate

studies that show South Carolina and neighboring states would benefit from billions of dollars in new tax revenue if East Coast reserves were discovered. “Energy independence requires longterm planning, and taking advantage of the resources at hand,” said Explore Offshore co-chair Jim Webb, the former Navy secretary and Democratic senator from Virginia. “It’s basic common sense for us to be able to use American technology and know-how in order to explore the areas along America’s Outer Continental Shelf to see what’s out there and to have a discussion about where some of these areas might be opened up for oil production.”

SignalMate manufactures LED navigation lights that are monitored for intensity.

LED lifespan in navigation lights is another issue. If you ask anybody who has an LED light how long it’s going to last, chances are they will say 50,000 hours. But no one is sure where that number came from. “You need good thermal management to give them long life,” said David Horst, CEO of SignalMate, Baltimore, which manufactures navigation lights that meet Underwriters

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NEWS BITTS AWO OUTLINES PRECAUTIONS FOR CYBERTHREATS Laboratories (UL) standard 1104 and IMO requirements. “The real problem with UL-1104 lights and inspected vessels are the codes set in the alarm panels,” said Horst. Once the light burns, the filaments in incandescent lights open and set alarms. This forces the captain to go over to the panel and throw the switch from primary to secondary. Over time, LED lights degrade in intensity, but the current to the panel doesn’t change. SignalMate’s UL-1104 goes one step further, Horst said. “We’re still counting the hours and letting you know the life of the light. It’s more important for us to look at that intensity,” he said. “Know the COLREGS (navigation rules). And if it’s not COLREGS, I’m going to simulate an open filament. The processor then recognizes the LED is not 12 candelas. Nor is it (visible to) three nautical miles and shuts the light down.

T

he American Waterways Operators has released guidelines to help the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry in identifying and managing cyberrisks and detecting and responding to cyberattacks or accidents. The document, “Cyber Risk Management: Best Practices for the Towing Industry, Version 1.0,” is available on the group’s website at www.americanwaterways.com. It is the product of a year-long initiative by the Cyber Risk Management Quality Action Team, a working group of the Coast Guard-AWO Safety Partnership. Recognizing that the companies that make up the towing industry are diverse in size and complexity and that one size won’t fit all, the Quality Action Team encourages companies to take a tailored approach to cyberrisk management that incorporates a cyberrisk management policy and related procedures into a company’s existing safety management system. “As our industry continues to integrate cybersystems into all aspects of its operations in order to meet the demand for efficient maritime cargo transport, we recognize the importance of providing our companies with resources to mitigate against the growing range of cyberthreats,” AWO president and CEO Tom Allegretti said in a statement. — Ken Hocke

An alarm then goes off. The captain must throw the switch to the backup. Now they need to figure out what happened to that primary because they’re required to have redundancy. We now have a modular design to take that lens off easily, throw another module in.”

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) took over control and management of the UL-1104 standard from UL and are currently rewriting it. The IMO has recognized this problem since 2007. — Robin G. Coles

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Subchapter M Q&A

New Regime Subchapter M phase in begins.

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t a Think Tank session on Subchapter M at the International WorkBoat Show in November, Editor-in-Chief David Krapf interviewed Christopher Parsonage, president and executive director of the Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau, and Kevin Gilheany, owner of Maritime Compliance International. David Krapf: Have the industry’s choices of what compliance option to use, third party organization (TPO)/Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) or Coast Guard inspections, been pretty much what was expected? Chris Parsonage: Based on Coast Guard statistics, approximately 3,000 vessels have decided to go with the TSMS option. There are a number of other vessels that have gone with the Coast Guard option. But the companies don’t have to declare until they apply for their COIs. So, there’s a number of folks who haven’t decided if they are going Coast Guard or TSMS. Through the middle of November, there’s about 200 COIs that have been issued nationwide. The Coast Guard is very concerned because they are way behind their average of 120 a month needed to get everyone done by the phase in period. There’s a big gap. That’s a problem that 20

people need to be aware of and they need to get on it. Kevin Gilheany: Like Chris said, slightly over half of the vessels out there are falling under a TSMS as of early November. And one-quarter of all the towboats need to get a COI by July. But there’s a requirement that says you have to have a TSMS certificate six months in advance. So that brings us to January 20. So, if a company hasn’t signed up, and getting a TSMS certificate is involved … there’s still going to be a significant amount of boats that are going to have to go with the Coast Guard option for the first quarter of their vessels unless the Coast Guard decides to defer that requirement. Krapf: Do you think that the thoroughness of third-party audits are more than what the industry has been used to in the past, given the recent Coast Guard guidance regarding third party oversight in the wake of the El Faro disaster? Parsonage: Part of our goal as an organization is to look for consistency amongst the auditors and the audit that they perform. So, we give them a very concise process to follow. We give them the checklist they are to use, with the idea that www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat

Diversified Communications

(Left to right) David Krapf of WorkBoat, Chris Parsonage of the Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau, and Kevin Gilheany of Maritime Compliance International discussed Subchapter M at the International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans in November.


Gilheany: The audit issue is huge. My company does not do any external audits for anybody, and there’s a reason for that. We strictly do internal audits. Because the regulations say that the audit should ensure that they

Diversified Communications

each audit should be pretty similar and it should be pretty thorough. I don’t think there is any question that the Coast Guard is going to have significantly more oversight of the auditors. The question I have is the Coast Guard really prepared to review audits very well. The Coast Guard is used to doing inspections. They’re not used to doing audits. The Coast Guard is trying to work with the TPOs when we are out doing audits. They will tag along as an observer to see how the audit is conducted to first train their people and then provide a vehicle for monitoring how well the audits are done and how thorough they are.

The crowd at the well-attended Think Tank session asked about TSMS procedures and several other topics.

are following their standard policies and procedures. When you are doing a TSMS and the regulation says the auditor has to go out there and sign a letter or certificate saying this company is operating in full compliance with this manual, to me that’s huge. So, we try to prepare our clients for that. The

number one thing is that you need to make sure everything is in that manual. In my opinion, that should be done as a plan review. That’s how it’s done under ISM, ABS, etc., and they go through your plan and say ‘yup, it’s all in there.’ And then they stamp it and that’s done. When it comes time to get audited the

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Subchapter M Q&A auditor doesn’t go back flipping through that manual. He’s there to make sure you’re following it. So, imposing this on an auditor to go through the manual every time under a TSMS takes away from the time doing the audit. Krapf: What are the main nonconformities that third party auditors have been finding? Parsonage: Documentation is typically a problem. They’re doing it but they don’t have a record of it. There’s a procedure that they’ve implemented and they have modified the procedure but they haven’t updated it to reflect what they are currently doing. Also, making sure that they have the most current system on board is a challenge sometimes for some companies if they are still on a paper-based system, where they’re not looking at the current TSMS that the company thinks they have out

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there. You have to say what you are going to do and then you got to do it. Then document it so the auditor can look for that information. That’s what they have to see. Krapf: Do you think that the Coast Guard’s exercising of OCMI authority in different zones is helpful, deferring enforcement for example, or does it just add a level of complication to the process? Gilheany: No, I don’t think it’s helpful, especially the way it has gone down over the past year. An example is the flares. It said in this (Coast Guard) sector that they didn’t think you needed flares on the river and here’s why. And they gave a big list of reasons why. (But) what about a boat from that sector that goes to Baton Rouge and the Coast Guard asks where’s the flares? I don’t need them, I’m from that sector.

We’ll, you’re in this sector now and you don’t have them. It’s a requirement of Subchapter M … so I can’t let you operate until you get some flares. That’s not good. Just because the Coast Guard has the authority to defer certain things maybe they should look at the impact on the industry. Parsonage: I would say that the deferred enforcement letter has been a complete mess. Companies are going through audits, going through their survey process … their OCMI said OK we’re good with that and now it’s been revoked, without really a lot of explanation. The companies are very confused, especially the line boat companies that go through multiple sectors every day. And they have one TSMS, and I have a boat up here where’s it’s OK to not have flares, and one down here where I got to have them. It’s a mess. This inconsistency is driving people crazy. As a TPO

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


Krapf: If an auditor asks a towboat captain to explain the company’s bridge transit procedures and he says he doesn’t know but knows where to look it up, should that answer be acceptable? Gilheany: If he doesn’t know but as long as he knows where to look it up, I’ve never agreed with that. It’s nonsense. But people go around saying that including the Coast Guard. In order for the safety management system to be effective in reducing accidents and injuries, you have to follow the procedures.

Diversified Communications

it is driving us crazy. It was probably well intentioned to begin with, but I think how it got rolled out and how it’s been turned off is very messy.

Parsonage: Why do we want to do an audit in the first place? We are

Third party audits under Subchapter M was a hot topic with the Think Tank crowd at the WorkBoat Show.

trying as an auditor to verify that the company is doing their training, that the employees knew what the program is, and that they are continually improving their performance. The object of the auditor is not to go in and say recite procedure 42.2.5 or whatever it is and try to trip the captain up. If the question was in reference to a naviga-

tion procedure that he should know, he sure better have the right answer. And he should be very familiar and very fluent. An audit should add value. It should be a report on your operations as to whether your people are really performing the way you expect them to.

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Water Taxis

Taxi Stand

Local governments are using water taxis to fight congestion and pollution. By Ken Hocke, Senior Editor

C

ities and their surrounding municipalities have traditionally relied on railways, subways, highways, tunnels and bridges to move people in and out of downtown areas. Ferry service has been a less used option over the years, but that approach is changing. Population growth in cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., and Seattle have put a strain on land-based transportation options open to commuters, with complaints about long commute times becoming even longer. With more than 100 tech companies setting up engineering centers in the Seattle area in recent years, the population has been growing. Traffic congestion is making commutes longer, so community leaders, private companies and residents are increasingly looking to the waterways. They’re finding that ferries are a fast, reliable, and

relaxing commuting option. “There’s an uncongested waterway out here where people can move at a fairly good rate of speed and safely and get people to their work and home,” said Ron Panzero, marine operations and maintenance manager, King County (Wash.) Water Taxi. “Politicians are starting to understand that. Their mindset is starting to change, but we’re still pushing a rock uphill.” As for the difference between a passenger-only ferry and a water taxi? “A water taxi would be a passenger vessel only,” Panzero said. “The terms are interchangeable.” King County Water Taxi operates two 104', 278-passenger water taxis on two routes from the Seattle waterfront to West Seattle and Vashon Island.

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John Deere

In Seattle, King County’s backup water taxi recently completed an engine swap out.

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


PASSENGER ONLY While Washington State Ferries carries millions of passengers every year on its large ferries, ridership is growing for smaller, passenger-only ferries. More than 600,000 people in the Seattle area use King County’s water taxi service annually, and that number is expected to increase. To accommodate anticipated growth, Seattle has been updating docking facilities and its passenger ferries, including those owned and operated by King County Water Taxi. Among the updates is the 14-yearold 72'×28', 149-passenger-only vessel, Spirit of Kingston, King County’s backup water taxi. It recently underwent a refit and repower with four new John Deere PowerTec 6135SFM85 engines, each producing 750 hp, to meet the latest EPA Tier 3 requirements. “This is an upgrade from Tier 2 to Tier 3 engines as part of our goal to lower our emissions,” said Panzero. “Spirit of Kingston is our backup, but we work it into the schedule. We don’t want it just sitting in the water.” King County Water Taxi has the

ing region. The upgrade was partially funded with a federal grant. The power-dense John Deere engines are lighter than the vessel’s old engines, shedding nearly a ton of weight, and power the Spirit of Kingston across the water at 39 knots. “Going fast is all about horsepower and weight,” said Panzero. “The John Deere engines are considerably lighter than the next comparable engine.” All American Marine, Bellingham, Wash., which built the King County water taxis, is building two 77', 118-passenger ferries for Kitsap Transit in Kitsap County. The ferries will hit lowwake speeds of 37 knots. The contract is worth $15 million. The ferries are designed to operate on Kitsap Transit’s current cross sound ferry route between Bremerton, Wash., and downtown Seattle. All American was tapped as the sole source to build the vessels as the licensed builder of Teknicraft Design hulls in North America. Teknicraft’s hydrofoil-assisted hull design has a low wake wash energy signature that will not degrade the sensitive shorelines of

John Deere

New John Deere PowerTec 6135SFM85 Tier 3 engines were installed on King County‘s backup water taxi.

goal of reducing exhaust emissions by 22% and particulates by 45% with this improvement. Also, fuel consumption is projected to decrease by 7%. These environmental benefits tie into King County’s strategic climate action plan to achieve a sustainable and thriv-

Rich Passage, shipyard officials said. With deliveries scheduled for 2019, the new boats will fill the need for additional service with one vessel in operation, and the other available as a spare or to fill in where needed. The new boats are currently

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat

dubbed RP-2 and RP-3 after their sistership, Rich Passage 1. RP-1 established the vessel class, when it was built by All American in 2011 as a research vessel for a demonstration study to prove that high speed passenger ferry service could safely operate through Rich Passage without causing shoreline erosion. Extensive wake wash testing and beach monitoring has shown that the Rich Passage 1 is a viable solution. The passenger cabin and deck will be made from composites and an adjustable hydrofoil will be molded in carbon fiber. Quad waterjets and Caterpillar C-18 engines will provide the high-powered propulsion system in compliance with EPA Tier 3 emission regulations. All American is using lightweight aluminum honeycomb panel materials for finishing the interior spaces and will apply high performance bottom paint to further enhance the speed and wake characteristics. CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS Four passenger vessels built by Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark for Potomac Riverboat Co., Alexandria, Va., are now in service. (The water taxis were among WorkBoat’s Significant Boats of 2018.) The BMT-designed 88', 149-passenger high speed aluminum catamaran vessels Potomac Taxi I, Potomac Taxi II, Potomac Taxi III, and Potomac Taxi IV get their main propulsion power from twin Scania DI13 081M engines delivering 500 hp at 1,800 rpm each. The mains are connected to Michigan Wheel 31.5"×33.5", 5-bladed nibral propellers through Twin Disc MGXZ-5114 marine gears with 1.74:1 reduction ratios. The propulsion package gives the water taxis a running speed of 24 knots. Ship’s service power comes from twin Cummins Onan 29QD-MDKDS gensets. “The opportunity there for growth and expansion of ridership is enormous,” Capt. John Lake, Potomac Riverboat’s general manager, told the Washington Business Journal. “We see the river as an opportunity to help move people and create a transporta25


tion service that might alleviate some of the burden from other transportation providers in the area.” The Subchapter T vessels feature an environmentally friendly low wake/low wash hull design, controls by Jastram, a Raymarine electronics suite and capacities that include 950 gals. of fuel and 100 gals. water. The new water taxis were designed to provide commuters in the D.C. metro region with service between Old Town Alexandria; National Harbor, Md.; and Georgetown and The Wharf. BIG APPLE ROUTES The most publicized water taxi service in recent memory is the NYC Ferry operation that began in 2017 in New York. Sixteen Incat Crowtherdesigned 150-passenger, 86'×23'3" aluminum catamarans built at Metal Shark and Alabama’s Horizon Shipbuilding took to five routes that take riders from surrounding areas to downtown Man-

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Metal Shark

Water Taxis

Construction of Potomac Taxi I and Potomac Taxi II was completed in 2017. Potomac Taxi III was delivered in February 2018 and Potomac Taxi IV one month later.

hattan. In spite of a shaky start to some of the routes, the new system has been a huge success overall, most say. The Ocean Queen Rockstar, the first of six 350-passenger vessels to help NYC Ferry meet ridership demands, arrived in New York City in July 2018. Other deliveries have followed. The 97'1"×27'10" Subchapter K boats are powered by twin 12-cylinder, 1,400hp Baudouin 12M26.3 diesel engines

coupled to ZF Marine 3050 gearboxes that turn Michigan Wheel 5-bladed props. In August NYC Ferry began service on a sixth route, that starts in the borough of Queens, heads down the East River to Manhattan’s East 34th Street landing and two new stops on the Lower East Side, before ending at Pier 11/Wall Street.

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


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CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY AT WORKBOAT YARDS

On TheWays

ON THE WAYS

75' pilot boat will operate in Alaskan waters.

G

ladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Somerset, Mass., delivered its first pilot boat to Alaska just before Thanksgiving. That was after the 75'7"×20'6"×3'11" Emerald Island went under its own power from the shipyard to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where it was loaded on a ship and taken to Victoria, British Columbia. From there the Southwest Alaska Pilots Association took the new pilot boat to Valdez, its homeport. The pilots selected the C. Raymond Hunt deep-V hull design after traveling to Texas and riding on two boats Gladding-Hearn built for the Galveston pilots several years ago, said Peter Duclos, Gladding-Hearn’s president. “They went down [to Texas] rode on the boat and liked it.” Changes from the earlier design were required. The Emerald Island is 5' longer and being that it operates in Alaska and not the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, there is “lots of heat,” said Duclos. “The decks are heated, hand rails are heated, roofs, mast, anything subject to ice accretion from flying spray.” All the windows are also heated, as are the cabins. A multizone hydronic system with diesel fired boilers supplies a majority of the heat. Pilot boats for the Gulf generally have platforms on the bow or the top of the cabin that pilots use for boarding but on the Emerald Island pilots board off the deck. “They don’t want anything at all to catch ice,” said Duclos.

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Another difference between the Gulf and Alaska waters is that encounters with ice, debris and tree trunks are inevitable in Alaska. Thus, there’s more framing and thicker plating in the Emerald Island. All the bottom plating is 1/2", whereas it would be 3/8" or 5/16" if the Emerald Island were working the Gulf of Mexico. “There’s a lot of stuff in the waters up there,” Duclos noted. Since the new pilot boat will spend a lot of time running at night, the chances of the pilots spotting that debris are improved with “giant LED flood lights on the mast to light up the water in front of the boat,” said Duclos. The lights are arranged so they don’t shine on the foredeck, which is painted black to avoid light reflection. When another boat approaches, the lights have to be turned off to avoid blinding the oncoming vessel’s crew. A pair of 30-kW Northern Lights generators provides electricity for the LED lights and other electrical needs. The Emerald Island’s crew and accompanying pilots should be in a good position to keep track of what’s approaching while seated in three NorSap shock-mitigating seats that are across the front of the pilothouse. “A lot of eyes looking forward,” said Duclos. “That’s the key there.” Three more NorSap seats are behind the front seats. The pilothouse also has a galley. Down below is a head, separate shower room and two staterooms with double berths. www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat

Gladding-Hearn Duclos Corp.

Gladding-Hearn delivers new pilot boat to Alaska


The Emerald Island’s fenders are a feature that Duclos described as new and different. They are from Fendercare Marine in the United Kingdom and are designed for the weight of the Emerald Island. The fenders have a high-density foam core wrapped with glass fiber impregnated with urethane rubber that’s over a stainless-steel frame, which is stud bolted to the hull without penetrating it. “They are very tough and strong and don’t hang down like a tire would.” When the Emerald Island needs to get somewhere in a hurry, it can run at about 29 knots behind the power from a pair of 1,400-hp Cummins QSK38M1 Tier-3 diesels spinning HamiltonJet HM651 waterjets through ZF 5000 gear boxes. — Michael Crowley

opened up a new marine highway between downtown Seattle and Kingston. “Using Puget Sound as a water highway to reduce the Seattle metro traffic congestion and expand the housing market with very reasonable travel times is a great model for the other counties around Seattle to follow,” said Gavin Higgins, Nichols Brothers’ CEO. The two 140'×37'×12' aluminum high-speed catamarans will be built to Subchapter K regulations and will each carry 250 passengers and 26 bicycles. The catamarans were designed by BMT Nigel Gee to optimize for loading and unloading of passengers as well as in-route time. The vessels can load passengers and bikes through a two-station loading area on the sides, or alternatively through divided passenger/bike lanes from the bow. The vessels will have a top speed of 37 knots and cruise speed of 35 knots at full load. The ferries will be among the first vessels to feature a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) exhaust aftertreatment system powered by two MTU Tier 4 16V400M65L main engines each putting out 3,435 hp at 1,800 rpm.

Nichols Brothers to build two fast ferries for Seattle

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ichols Brothers Boat Builders, Freeland, Wash., has been awarded a contract to build two new highspeed passenger-only ferries for Kitsap Transit with an option for a third. Kitsap Transit, Bremerton, Wash., launched a new fast-ferry service in 2017 across Puget Sound between Bremerton and downtown Seattle with plans to expand the Kingston to Seattle service and launch a new Southworth to Seattle fast-ferry service in 2020. Earlier this year, Kitsap Transit purchased the Finest, a 350-passenger high-speed catamaran from NY Waterway and shipped it to Puget Sound. Following a $7.8 million refurbishment (including the cost of purchasing the vessel) at Nichols Brothers, the Finest’s entered service between Kingston and downtown Seattle the day after Thanksgiving. The new service has

Bay Welding Services

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders

New passenger-only ferries will support Kitsap Transit’s plans to expand and add services in the Seattle area.

Through ZF 9050 gears, the engines will turn Kamewa S71-4 waterjets, reaching 35 knots at full load. Additionally, an active ride control system is being installed, supplied by Naiad. The interceptor system will ensure a smooth, comfortable ride. In addition to the two Kitsap ferries, Nichols is building a 105' hybrid escort tug for Baydelta Maritime and four 105' escort tugs for Foss Maritime. —David Krapf

Bay Welding constructing high-speed crewboat

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ay Welding Services, Homer, Alaska, is building a high speed, 118-passenger catamaran to transport workers to and from the Kensington gold mine in southeast Alaska for Goldbelt Transportation in Juneau. Bay Welding has built a number of passenger vessels, but at 74'×25' this is the largest. The ferry will operate 360 days a year making several two-hour roundtrips per day. “It has to run no matter what the weather,” said Eric Engebretsen, Bay Welding’s general manager. “It’s a pretty simple mission — move people and move a lot of them every day.” Because the ferry will be constantly running on a very tight schedule “redundant systems was a real important part of their planning,” Engebretsen said. “Everything has a backup, so you never have to stop.” The electronics have backups and

When finished, the new crewboat will operate 360 days a year.

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat

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On TheWays there are two 29-kW Cummins Onan generators. “The boat can run on one,” Engebretsen noted. The four 13-liter Scania engines are rated at 700-hp each, mounted in a quad arrangement and matched up with HamiltonJet 364 waterjets. “If any one drops out they continue to run on three.” In the main cabin, miners will be seated in rows of various combinations with two, three or four seats together, in addition to booth-style seats with tables in-between the seats. There are two heads and a small galley. Engebretsen described the ferry’s control system as a “big thing that’s relatively new to the market.” It’s a Glendinning integrated joystick control, designed to give precision control when docking and maneuvering in tight quarters. It comes “with a stationkeeping system that’s like a virtual anchor.” A small hydraulic cargo crane will transfer groceries and other supplies

from the boat to land. When miners have to be unloaded on to a beach or taken off, a ramp with a foldout ladder can be deployed from between the catamarans’ two bows. Goldbelt’s new ferry should be delivered to Juneau at the end of September. “It’s meant to back up our current boat the Majestic Fjord, which is about 21 years old,” Goldbelt Inc. President and CEO Elliott “Chuck” Wimberly told the Juneau Empire. “We need a larger boat with more capacity.” Goldbelt also provides security for the mine. Besides the 118-passenger crewboat, Bay Welding is building two 18-passenger high-end charter fishing boats. — M. Crowley

VT Halter delivers second ConRo ship to Crowley

I

n December, VT Halter Marine, Pascagoula, Miss., delivered

the Taíno, second of two combination container roll-on/roll-off (ConRo) ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), to Crowley Maritime Corp., Jacksonville, Fla. Crowley said the vessels are the world’s first ConRo ships powered by LNG. Taíno’s sistership El Coquí was delivered in July. Crowley said the two 720'×105'×59', 26,500-dwt Commitment-class vessels were built to provide fast, reliable and environmentally friendly shipping and logistics services between Jacksonville, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, a route the company has served since 1954. Crowley invested $550 million in the ships and associated port upgrades. Taíno was scheduled to make her maiden voyage to San Juan on Jan. 8 from Crowley’s dedicated U.S. mainland port at the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) in Jacksonville. Designed specifically for the Puerto

BOATBUILDING BITTS

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding

incantieri Bay Shipbuilding has delivered a new articulated tug barge (ATB) unit to Kirby Corp. The 130'×42'×23' tug Ronnie Murph has a 19' draft. The 521'×72'×41' barge Kirby 155-03 has a 155,000-bbl. capacity. The 8,000-hp vessel has a speed of 12-plus knots. Gulf Island Fabrication Inc.’s shipyard division has delivered the 98'6"×42'8"×16'5" Mark E. Kuebler, a Z-Tech 30-80 terminal/escort tug, to Bay Houston Towing Co. The tug was designed by Robert Allan Ltd., Vancouver, British Colombia, and built at Gulf Island’s Jennings, La., facilities. The new tug is powered by two Caterpillar 3516E, C rating, Tier 4 diesel engines, each producing 3,386 hp at 1,800 rpm. The Cats are connected to Schottel SRP 510 FP Z-drives, giving the new tug a bollard pull of 80 tonnes. The vessel will be operated by G&H Towing. Gulf Island is currently building nine sister tugs that are in various stages of construction. Washburn & Doughty Associates, East Boothbay, Maine, has delivered two 93' Z-drive tugs — the 6,770-hp Judy Moran and the Exporter — to Moran Towing Inc. The tugs are

New Kirby ATB was built in Superior, Wis.

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Gulf Island Shipyards

F

The new Z-Tech tug has a total horsepower rating of 6,772.

now working at Pascagoula, Miss.-based Gulf LNG. Both have bollard pulls of 83 metric tons ahead and 82 metric tons astern. Currently, the shipyard is building two Caterpillarpowered hybrid 93' Z-drive tugs for Harbor Docking and Towing, Lake Charles, La. In addition, three passenger vessels are under construction for three unnamed customers and another 93' Z-drive tug for McAllister Towing & Transportation Co. Inc. Mississippi lawmakers announced in December that the Coast Guard had awarded a $930.8 million contract to Huntington Ingalls to build two more national security cutters. It is the first time two of the 418'×54'×22.5' cutters have been included on the same contract, which calls for the 10th vessel of the class to be delivered in January 2023 and the 11th a year later. The NSC program has a potential total value of $1.7 billion for the Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard. A $95 milwww.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


Crowley Maritime Corp.

Rico trade, the ships carry up to 2,400 20' equivalent container units (TEUs) at a cruising speed of 22 knots. A range of other container sizes and types can be accommodated, including 53'×8.5' boxes and up to 300 refrigerated containers. Enclosed and ventilated roll-on/rolloff decks accommodate around 400 cars and larger vehicles. “The diverse cargo carrying capabilities, as well as the ability to carry in-demand 53-foot containers, means that these high-performance ships will greatly benefit customers shipping goods between the mainland and the island,” said John Hourihan, senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico services. Each of the ships is powered by a single MAN 8S70ME-GI marine engine, producing 26,160 kW (35,054 hp) at 91 rpm. The single engine connects to a 328"×291", 5-bladed prop to

The new ConRo ship is powered by a single engine.

produce a running speed of 22 knots. Fueling the ships with LNG reduces emissions significantly, including a 100% reduction in sulphur oxide (SOx) and particulate matter (PM); a 92% cut in nitrogen oxide (NOx); and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will be cut by more than 35% per container, compared with current fossil fuels, Crowley officials said. The initial design concept was not the least expensive but what met current and known future emissions requirements while providing the most environmentally friendly operation.

lion long-lead time materials contract for the 10th cutter was awarded in March, and another $97.1 million long-lead time materials contract for the 11th NSC followed in October. Fairbanks Morse, Beloit, Wis., has been awarded a contract to build and deliver the main propulsion diesel engines for the Coast Guard’s offshore patrol cutter (OPC) Chase. The cutter will be built by Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, Fla. The 360'×54'×17' cutter will be powered by two FM MAN 16V 28/33D STC diesel engines, each rated at 7,280 kW (9,755 hp). Donald L. Blount & Associates (DLBA), Chesapeake, Va., a division of Gibbs & Cox, has teamed up with Champion’s Auto Ferry, Harsens Island, Mich., for the construction of a new 84'×31' double-ended ferry. The Coast Guard Subchapter T design has been beefed up for all-weather operation. Designed to fit three car lanes by integrating a

USCG

The Coast Guard wants two more national security cutters (NSCs).

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat

“From a business standpoint, Taíno and El Coquí are key components of our integrated logistics offerings that are bringing speed to market and creating a competitive advantage for our customers in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean,” Tom Crowley, company chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “With our own vessels and proprietary transportation and distribution network, we’re reducing friction and complexity while increasing the velocity of customers’ goods moving to market and reducing their landed costs.” — Kirk Moore

lightweight deckhouse design for the local river operation, the vessel will provide an optimal platform for roll on/roll off service enhanced by Champion’s proprietary ramp design. The first vessel will be powered by a twin-propulsion package of Cummins QSL9s and Twin Disc gears. The design will accommodate other propulsion packages from Caterpillar, Volvo Penta and John Deere. Provisions for a modular dry exhaust are being provided to allow for simpler engine maintenance and flexibility. Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc., Panama City, Fla., launched the 100'×40'×16'4"escort/rescue Z-drive tug Ava M. McAllister for McAllister Towing & Transportation Co. Inc. in December, just 58 days after Hurricane Michael devastated the area. The escort/rescue Z-drive tug design from Jensen Maritime Consultants, Seattle, is currently under construction at Eastern’s Allanton facility. Main propulsion for the Ava M. McAllister will come from twin Caterpillar 3516E, Tier 4 diesel engines producing 3,386 hp at 1,800 rpm each. The Cats connect to Schottel SRP-4000 fixed pitch Z-drives in drop-in tubs. Ship’s service power will come from Cat C7.1 turbocharged gensets, sparking 118 kW of electrical power at 1,800 rpm each. Firefighting apparatus are powered by two Cat C18 Tier 3 auxiliary diesels connected to FFS 1200LBS monitors, pumping a minimum of 5,284 gpm. On deck will be a Markey Machinery series TES-40 single drum tow winch (or approved equal), bow mounted. 31


Smooth Sailing Strong demand continues for overnight cruises, ferries and other passenger vessels.

By Dale K. DuPont, Correspondent

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assenger vessel operators head into 2019 fresh from a year of buying, building and branching out — boosted by a strong business climate. The expansion extends from overnight cruises to ferries and excursion boats in what has been one of the hottest segments of the workboat industry. Many economists are forecasting continued economic growth for the U.S. this year, said John Groundwater, executive director of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA), and “we believe that the passenger vessel industry will continue on a positive economic path in 2019 as well.” That optimism is reflected in PVA’s own numbers. “So far this year, we have added 41 new companies to our ranks. In addition to vessel operating companies, some of these new members are vendors and suppliers such as shipyards, ticket-

ing and marketing companies, insurers and others who are looking to expand into the U.S. passenger vessel market,” he said. Groundwater said that net new membership is outpacing last year. Among the additions are two state maritime academies to help operators deal with the challenge of hiring and retaining crew. The economy may be strong at the moment, but much of the industry depends on consumer confidence, which was being tested late last year as the stock market fluctuated wildly amid signs of slowing economic growth. The passenger vessel industry also faces issues such as the proliferation of illegal charters and the lingering impact of the duck boat accident in Missouri last summer that killed 17 and prompted calls for a regulatory crackdown. Banking on discretionary spending, overnight www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


Ken Hocke

American Cruise Lines’ 170-passenger American Constellation underway in Alaska.

cruising has been especially strong and growing. “The outlook for American river and coastal cruising in 2019 and beyond is very exciting,” said Alexa Paolella, spokesman for American Cruise Lines. In October the Guilford, Conn.-based company launched the 342'×59'×8', 190-passenger American Song, which it describes as the first modern riverboat in U.S. history. American Harmony, the second of five in ACL’s Modern Riverboat Series, is due out early this year. Among the other developments: Delta Queen’s owners finally won congressional approval to get the historic steamboat sailing again; global

American Cruise Lines

The former 257'x78' casino boat Kanesville Queen was cut in half at Gulf Island Shipyards late last year to add a 60' midbody and paddlewheel. When completed the vessel will become American Queen Steamboat’s 362', 245-passenger American Countess riverboat.

behemoth Viking River Cruises moved closer to entering the market with U.S.built vessels; and American Queen Steamboat Co. is buying the original Cape Cod Light and Cape May Light to expand into the Great Lakes. Entertainment Cruises also looked north with the purchase of Torontobased Mariposa Cruises, extending the company’s reach into Canada for the first time. The Chicago-based company, which specializes in dining and sightseeing outings, will have 48 vessels serving approximately 2.3 million passengers in 11 North American cities. Here’s a closer look at two particularly robust parts of the business. STRONG ALASKA DEMAND UnCruise Adventures is making company history with an April 6 cruise — its earliest start to a season that stretches for 26 weeks and begins one week earlier than last year. “It’s a wonderful time to be in southeast Alaska,” said Tim Jacox, the Seattle company’s president. There’s not much rain then while visitors catch glimpses of bears, gray whales and view the Northern Lights. “Where we are operating with our boats, there’s really no one else there. The big cruise ships don’t go in that early.” For big ships or smaller ones like UnCruise’s fleet of seven with capacities ranging from 22 to 90 passengers,

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat

Alaska is hot. Demand for the 49th state reflects a steady growth in overnight cruising on U.S. inland and coastal waters, a desire to see spectacular scenery, and a rejuvenation of the U.S.-flag market there nearly a decade after the demise of a major player. Only time will tell if it’s getting too crowded. “The cruise industry is growing pretty rapidly worldwide,” said Heather Haugland, senior project manager, McDowell Group, an Alaska-based research and consulting firm. Alaska accounts for 4% of the total. Ships with 250 or fewer passengers appeal to those who don’t want to be in a port with tens of thousands of others. Alaska small ship cruising has increased from 10,000 passengers in 2013 to 19,200 in 2018, McDowell’s numbers show. Total cruise volume was 999,600 in 2013, close to 1.2 million in 2018, and is projected to grow to nearly 1.4 million this year. The busiest ports are Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway. And while Alaska’s oil and gas employment dropped by 4,400 from 2015 to 2017, the tourist industry workforce grew by 3,500. “The economy in the lower 48 has definitely improved,” said Julie Jessen, spokesman for the Alaska Travel Industry Association. More than half of the state’s visitors arrive by sea. As for UnCruise’s early start, she said, the association “is definitely working with 33


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Fantasy Cruises

The 115'x26'x11' Island Spirit, a former fast supply vessel, has room for 32 passengers. It was converted for cruising in 2002.

Alaskan Dream Cruises

our members to encourage more shoulder season travel.” UnCruise’s April 6 voyage is getting a good response, and they’re “pretty much sold out” in the peak months of May to September, Jacox said. Alaska is the company’s top destination accounting for about 70% of overall business. Hawaii is second. Alaska bookings for 2019 are about 15% ahead of where they were at the same time last year. In 2021 they plan to start operating a vessel in Prince William Sound. Bookings also were ahead of last year for Fantasy Cruises, which runs the Island Spirit, a former fast supply vessel. The 32-passenger 115'×26'×11' vessel that does nine- and 14-day cruises was converted for cruising in 2002, said Capt. Jeff Behrens, owner of the Seattle-based company. And it’s “perfectly silent at night” when it runs on battery power — 72 two-volt battery cells charged during the day to handle all the hotel equipment at night, he said. “It’s so quiet you could hear humpbacks snorting about a mile away.” Operating in Alaska about 10 years, Behrens is cautiously optimistic about the future and says the next few years will be really interesting. “What we’re seeing is a growth spurt with other vessels,” he said. In December Lindblad Expeditions launched the National Geographic Venture, bringing to four the number of its vessels offering Alaska cruises. Its sistership, the 100-passenger 238'×44'×10' National Geographic Quest, debuted in 2017. “Alaska demand continues to increase, and we have seen a particular interest in American’s small ship Alaska cruises,” said Paolella, of American Cruise Lines, which has been building new vessels for U.S. waters at a steady clip. They’re adding an 11-day roundtrip Juneau cruise in 2020. For Alaskan Dream Cruises, “2018 was a very strong year, and 2019 looks to be even better,” said Zachary Kirkpatrick, spokesman for the Sitkabased company owned by a family of native Alaskans. They’re adding four

Alaskan Dream Cruises is adding four deluxe staterooms to the 76-passenger, 207' Chichagof Dream.

deluxe staterooms to the 76-passenger, 207' Chichagof Dream, one of its five vessels with capacities ranging from 10 to 76. Three of the ships once belonged to Cruise West which shut down in 2010 amid a tight financial market. The 60-plus-year-old Seattle business that billed itself as the largest U.S. smallship cruise line operated 10 vessels at one point. It didn’t take long to fill the vacuum. Alaskan Dream soon began overnight cruising after 40 years of daytime excursions. And UnCruise jumped in with discounts of up to $300 per person

to Alaska and an offer to match Cruise West’s published fares on their own Columbia-Snake River vessels. FERRY EXPANSION In peak season, Miller Boat Line runs three ferries weekdays and a fourth on weekends to two popular resort islands on Lake Erie. Business on the islands has grown, said Bill Market, president of the Put-in-Bay, Ohio, ferry company. The company is transporting more people but also more goods — everything from groceries to lumber. “Our newest vessel is 20 years old,” he said, so they

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


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Red and White Fleet’s Enhydra Hybrid Electric Passenger Vessel Voted “Boat of the Year” by WorkBoat

hybridrive.com CS-18_A96


is tentatively scheduled to run for three years from November through April. Ridership this past November between St. Petersburg and Tampa was 9,300 up from 7,000 in the 2016-2017 trial season. (It didn’t run last year.) “I think we’re just at the beginning of the trend upward,” said Michael Anderson, director of marine transportation for consulting firm KPFF and former head of Washington State Ferries, the country’s largest ferry system. Building more infrastructure on the land side is challenging and highway travel time is unpredictable, so ferry service is starting to make more sense. While ferries may have slightly higher operating costs than bus or light rail, the capital costs are less. “So, if you look at the total life cycle cost, ferries compete very well,” Anderson said. Most transit systems have a 25-35% farebox recovery, while passenger ferries get 30% “and can work themselves up to 50%.” Operators are adding to their fleets, replacing older vessels or just buying insurance policies. The Golden Gate Bridge and Highway Transportation District in San Francisco is leasing Rhode Island Fast Ferry’s Millennium for a year for $2.8 million to keep up with demand while some of its seven vessels are out for maintenance and upgrades. Service was

Rhode Island Fast Ferry Inc.

decided to build a new one to keep up with the demand. The 140'×38'6", 26-car, 600-passenger all-steel ferry being built by Fraser Shipyards, Superior, Wis., is due for delivery Oct. 1. Among its benefits will be faster transits which mean more time for loading. From coast to coast and in between, ferry service is expanding significantly as commuters seek relief from congested roads and resorts get busier. The U.S. Department of Transportation is collecting data now for its 2018 National Census of Ferry Operators expected out in the fall. The 2016 census showed that the 163 ferry operators who responded carried 118.7 million passengers on 609 vessels, up from 128 operators carrying 115.1 million on 500 vessels in the 2014 survey. The government uses the data to set funding formulas. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, for example, provides $80 million annually through 2020 for construction of publicly owned boats or terminals. Ferries are “a safe, cheap, efficient way to commute,” said Matt Miller, president of HMS Ferries Inc., Bainbridge Island, Wash. “Demand will continue to grow. You just can’t build any more roads in the city.” In Florida, HMS recently restarted fast-ferry service on Tampa Bay, which

Rhode Island Fast Ferry's 400-passenger Millennium, built by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, is being leased by the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway Transportation District in San Francisco for a year. 36

expected to start early this year. The district’s Larkspur/San Francisco service is “incredibly popular” and at capacity with 7,500 passengers weekdays, said spokesman Paolo CosulichSchwartz. From 2009 to 2017, annual ferry ridership grew from 1.9 million to 2.5 million. They’ve applied for federal funding to build a new vessel and are seeking environmental regulatory approval to increase their 42 trips a day to an as-yet unspecified number. Maine State Ferry Service’s new $8.8 million ferry will replace the Philbrook, built in 1992. The Philbrook will become the primary spare vessel replacing the 50-year-old Governor Curtis which will be sold. The new 154', 23-vehicle, 250-passenger ferry designed by Gilbert Associates Inc., Braintree, Mass., is being built by Washburn & Doughty, East Boothbay, Maine. “We are taking a long-term strategic view of the ferry service and planning out the next 25 years for the fleet,” which now includes five daily vessels, one part-time and a spare, said state department of transportation spokesman Ted Talbot. The service carries 500,000 passengers and 190,000 vehicles annually. For Capt. Cliff Clark, CEO and owner of South Ferry Company Inc., Shelter Island, N.Y., whose family has been providing transportation to Long Island’s south fork since the 1700s, a new vessel will ensure that they can meet the demand of the seasonal and year-round community they serve. South Ferry carries about 1.25 million passengers and 730,000 vehicles a year. “We think the economy is in pretty good shape, so we’re reacting to that right now,” Clark said. “Our traffic has been steadily growing.” South Ferry’s new vessel, the DeJong & Lebet-designed Southern Cross, will be built by Blount Boats, Warren, R.I. The 101'×40' double-ended ferry will have room for 150 passengers and 15 vehicles. It will be powered by two Caterpillar C-18 Tier 3 engines, each rated at 470 hp at 1,800 rpm. The new ferry will be delivered in 2020.

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


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Metal Trades Inc.

Heavy Metal

Diversified business and steel fabrication work spells success for South Carolina shipyard.

By Kirk Moore, Associate Editor

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assing the Metal Trades Inc. dock on South Carolina’s Wadmalaw River, you might think someone was planning an invasion. A row of 74'×21' landing craft mechanized (LCM) vessels were lined up in slips. The craft represent the latest in the shipyard’s long track record of serving the Army’s small boat needs. On the ways behind them a bigger cousin, the 174'×42'×9' LCU (landing craft utility) Brandy Station, was undergoing last preparations before launch in a few days. “We have a pretty significant backlog on the Army watercraft,” Shaun Flynn, Metal Trades’ president, said in an interview at the company’s Yonges Island facility, located about 15 miles southwest of Charleston. MTI’s relationship with the U.S. military dates back to the Vietnam War,

but diversification has been key to the success for the family-owned company now in its 56th year. The shipyard and steel fabrication plant has deep roots in the island community located in southern Charleston County. Company founder J.E. Corbin Jr. started out in 1962 with a pickup truck and a welding machine. In the early years, Metal Trades focused on steel and sheet metal fabrication. In the 1960s there was the need to fix local workboats, plus the demand created from escalating U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. MTI became certified as a master ship repair contractor to the Army and Navy, a key business line today. The company established an operation at the Charleston Navy Yard. But with the end of the Cold War, the yard ceased operations, a result of recommendations from the Base Realignment www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat

Kirk Moore

Army landing craft mechanized (LCM) vessels at the Metal Trades dock at Yonges Island, S.C.


Kirk Moore

TIME TO DIVERSIFY As Navy work wound down, costs went up and “we were spending $1 million a year there on maintenance,” recalled Flynn. In 2006 the company sold its lease at the Navy Yard and consolidated at the Yonges Island facility, investing $18 million in new improvements, he said. “We had a period of time when we really had to reinvent ourselves as a heavy steel fabricator,” said Flynn. Military contracts are still a big part of the business. Army landing craft have been the company’s bread and butter for years, and MTI is full of modules for Army floating causeways that are being reconditioned. But the government vs. commercial breakdown has changed to where about 70% of the yard’s business now is commercial, he said. Heavy steel fabrication, building housings for heavy power generators, barges and ship repair are strong business lines, and helped MTI come out of the 2008 recession relatively unscathed. “We diversified in time to stay out of trouble,” said Flynn. With 13 acres active on its 47-acre

Kirk Moore

and Closure Commission, created by Congress to take on the messy process of downsizing the U.S. military infrastructure. South Carolina took a big hit at the Navy Yard when it closed in 1996.

The Army landing craft utility (LCU) Brandy Station was being finished after a refit at the Metal Trades yard in October 2018.

property, MTI’s facilities include 100,000 sq. ft. of fabrication space and a 300' long sandblast and paint building. The site is located three miles from the Atlantic and adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway. The pier has been extended to 200' in the last couple of years and has a 35' depth alongside. In its shipyard work MTI competes with Gulf of Mexico boatbuilders, and has established a niche in building specialty barges, ranging from double-hull fuel barges for the Navy to barges for landings used by passenger ferries that carry visitors to Liberty Island in New York Harbor. “New York City has been a great customer of ours,” said Flynn.

A welder works on an Army LCM at the Metal Trades yard. Repair work on Army and Navy small craft has long been a business line for the company.

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat

In 2017 MTI delivered another notable barge there: the first new railroad car barge for New York Harbor in decades. The second arrived at New York Dec. 16. The 370'×59'×14' barges can carry up to 18 railcars 60' long, for a total load of 2,298 long tons. New York New Jersey Rail LLC, a short-haul railroad operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, use the barges to shuttle cars between Jersey City, N.J., and Brooklyn, N.Y. WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT Like most shipyards MTI must contend with a tight labor market to maintain its workforce, which was around 135 in the fourth quarter of 2018. The Charleston Navy Yard closure was a significant factor, Flynn said. “When the yard closed down the experienced people went with it.” “We were at a suppliers’ conference in Newport News (Va.) and everyone had the same comment” about finding workers, said Flynn. MTI has had to spend up to $900,000 a year in temp services, a big chunk of its $4.5 million payroll, and the company is taking active measures to recruit and train. MTI does internal training, partners with South Carolina state workforce development officials and Trident Technical College based in Charleston. With the college, MTI uses a building in 39


Metal Trades

Metal Trades Inc.

In 2017 Metal Trades delivered the first new railroad barge for New York Harbor in decades.

nearby Hollywood, S.C., as a welding training center. “The pool of people here can’t supply everyone’s needs,” said Flynn.

MTI is recruiting in small communities in a 30-mile radius to find workers who will take on training for long term work in welding and other skilled

trades. “You can make good money as a welder.” There is growing competition for those workers too, with plans by Boeing, Daimler and other manufacturers to create thousands of new jobs in the area. But in the big picture, MTI has done well. Along with the Army and Navy work, the company has a strong heavy steel work backlog, including transformer housings. Barge newbuilds have slowed with continued oversupply in that sector. “Right now, the market appears very soft on new barges,” said Flynn. “We are looking to diversify more into the defense sector.” MTI has picked up some new work there, in surface craft and submarine components.

RETURN OF THE CAR FLOATS

NY State Archives

nusual barges are one specialty of Metal Trades Inc., and the company recently delivered two newbuilds not seen for decades in New York Harbor. The railroad car barges NYNJR100 and NYNJR200 are in service with the New York New Jersey Rail LLC, a short-haul and terminal operator owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Also known as car floats, the barges are the first of their kind in decades, for what once was a thriving cross-harbor freight ferry industry between New York and New Jersey. “The car float 278, which is currently in active service, is estimated to have been built in the late 1940s or early 1950s for the Pennsylvania Railroad, so (it is) approximately 70 years old,” Port Authority officials said in an email. The Port Authority could not find the exact construction date for the 278. The 278 has capacity for 14 standard 60' railcars, while the new NYNJR100 and NYNJR200 each have capacity of 18 railcars, for a 28.5% increase in capacity per trip. As 2018 drew to a close in December, the railroad floated cars between its terminals at Greenville in Jersey City, N.J., and the 65th Street Yard in

A tugboat moving boxcars by rail car float across the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey in 1936.

40

NYNJR

U

A rail car float at the New York New Jersey Rail Greenville terminal in Jersey City, N.J. Brooklyn, N.Y., eight to nine times per week on average. There is significant seasonal variation in the service, according to the Port Authority. The first quarter of 2018 was especially rough with weather cancelling floats, while a milder December allowed 11 to 15 trips per week. By Dec. 20 the railroad had moved about 4,900 loaded railcars in 2018, totalling around 490,000 tons of cargo. That is “the equivalent of 20,000 to 25,000 heavy trucks removed from the region’s highways and roads in 2018,” noted Port Authority officials, who are also promoting more use of container-on-barge services to reduce congestion and air pollution around New York Harbor. Eastbound freight to Brooklyn is typically building materials such as lumber and cement powder, bulk food products like edible oils and flour, and biodiesel fuel. Westbound floats carry loads of recycled commodities such as cullet (ground glass) and scrap steel. Loads were about evenly balanced between the New York and New Jersey sides in 2018 but the ratio can vary year to year. For the railroad, the trend in car floats is up. Traffic volume hit a low of 873 loaded railcars in 2009, the first full year when the Port Authority owned the NYNJR. Last year’s total of 4,900 loaded cars is up about 20% over 2017’s 4,081. – K. Moore

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


PortofCall

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ev: Apr 09 revious edition will not be used

1

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PortofCall

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Subchapter M §140.435 First Aid Equipment

Commercial Vessel Medical Kits Coastal & Offshore Configurations Available in Three Sizes

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


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SERVICES

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PortofCall

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For Port of Call advertising, email wjalbert@divcom.com or call 800-842-5496

ADVERTISERS INDEX Advertiser / Page AdvanTec Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

MTU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Ahead Sanitation Systems Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

PuraDYN Filter Technologies Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

All American Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

R M Young Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

BAE Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

R W Fernstrum & Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Derecktor Shipyards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Seakeeper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Duramax Marine LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CV3

St Johns Shipbuilding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Eastern Shipbuilding Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Tandemloc, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Furuno USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Twin Disc Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CV2

Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

USA Pumps 24, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Karl Senner, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CV4

Vigor Industrial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Louisiana Cat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

Yanmar America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Metal Shark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Mitsubishi Turbocharger and Engine America, Inc . 7

www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat

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LOOKS BACK FEBRUARY 1949

• Barge and boat builders have been virtually assured of supplies of steel plate and shapes that the industry finds adequate — 20,000 tons a month in January and 25,000 tons each month after for a period dependent on congressional action. The 25,000-ton allocation will be in effect for at least six months whether or not Congress extends the authority of the

Commerce Department to recommend steel quotas. Last year’s fourth quarter was the first one that inland transport was granted allocations. It operated at a 20,000-ton allocation, which was generally welcomed by industry though some yards reported shortages and spotty deliveries. • The keel for the first of three new “Round the World” luxury liners for American President FEBRUARY 1959 Lines is

scheduled to be laid in March. The 536'×73' ships, to be built by New York Shipbuilding Corp. at Camden, N.J., will cruise at 19 knots. The V-2000 one-class 228-passenger ships will each have 522,000-cu.-ft. of cargo space. Each ship will cost approximately $11 million.

diameter. The first stage of the dam • Construction of the $13.5 million is scheduled for completion late next New Cumberland Dam at Stratton, summer. Work will then begin on the Ohio, began recently with the pouring second stage, next to the West Virginia of 125 cubic yards of concrete for the shore. structure’s base. Approximately 3,000 cu. yds. of rock are being removed from the river bottom inside the firststage cofferdam. Located adjacent to the locks on the Ohio side of the river, the 160'×500' cofferdam consists of 19 steel sheet pile cells, FEBRUARY 1969 each 55' in • The first oil to reach the Louisiana coast by pipeline from acreage purchased in the June 1967 federal offshore lease sale is flowing from Shell Oil platforms in the Main Pass Block 290 field. The new 38-mile, 12" pipeline, completed in late September, is moving production into Shell’s Main Pass Block 69 shore facilities. From there the crude is transported through 48

the Delta Pipeline system to Shell’s Norco Refinery, 100 miles up the Mississippi River. The new pipeline is the second deepest line laid in the Gulf of Mexico, with water depth reaching 300' at the platform in Block 289. • American Commercial Barge Line Co. has begun operating the facilities of Coyle Lines Inc., a major Gulf Intracoastal Waterway operator. www.workboat.com • FEBRUARY 2019 • WorkBoat


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Keeps seawater out of your vessel and your bilge dry. The DryMax™ engineered nitrile rubber ring rotates with the shaft and creates a hydrodynamic seal with the DuraChrome™ mating ring.

Superior sealing and wear life. The proprietary rubber polymer seal ring and the DuraChrome™ alloy mating ring have been engineered to provide optimal sealing and long wear life.

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Profile for WorkBoat

WorkBoat February 2019  

Cover Story: Passenger vessels from ferries to dinner boats and inland overnight cruise ships continue to see strong demand. Focus: Excerpt...

WorkBoat February 2019  

Cover Story: Passenger vessels from ferries to dinner boats and inland overnight cruise ships continue to see strong demand. Focus: Excerpt...