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Low Energy The outlook remains murky offshore.

MAY 2018

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MAY 2018 • VOLUME 75, NO. 5

Towing the tension-leg platform Big Foot in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo by Scott Robinson

FEATURES 20 Vessel Report: Special Delivery Shipyards handle a wide variety of niche projects.

30 Cover Story: Slack Tide The offshore service industry continues to wait for a rebound in the U.S. Gulf market.

36 In Business: Island Made Nichols Brothers is still going strong almost 55 years after its founding on Whidbey Island, Wash.


BOATS & GEAR 22 On the Ways • Gladding-Hearn delivers third 599-passenger sightseeing vessel for Circle Line • 499-passenger double-ended ferry for Virginia nears completion at VT Halter Marine • Lake Assault Boats delivers fire-rescue boat to Lake Tahoe, Nev. • Two new 91' aluminum passenger vessels from Midship Marine delivered to Cancun, Mexico • Moose Boats lands contract for San Francisco dive-fire rescue boat • Austal USA delivers its seventh Navy LCS • 28th Sentinel-class FRC from Bollinger delivered to the Coast Guard

40 Power Stations With lower electrical loads, operators of smaller workboats are fueling demand for under 40-kW generators.

AT A GLANCE 8 8 9 10 12 12 14

NEWS LOG 16 16 17 18 19


On the Water: Roger Wilco — Part III. Captain’s Table: PFD use and rowing sculls. Energy Level: Emerging threats to day rates. WB Stock Index: Stocks post another monthly loss. Inland Insider: Will the natural gas glut end? Insurance Watch: Coverage when your Coast Guard license is at risk. Legal Talk: Injured mariners have special protections.

Depressed demand for new barges sinks Jeffboat. $300 million for new maritime training ship included in 2018 federal budget. Maritime recruitment may be affected by legal marijuana. Mississippi River ports sign pact to help boost river container services. Massachusetts yards to build wind power service vessels for state project. • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

DEPARTMENTS 2 6 42 47 48

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




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Finding a silver lining


t’s been about four years since we saw the first signs of an offshore downturn emerging. What most at the time viewed as a temporary slowdown has, unfortunately, turned into the worst downturn many have ever witnessed in the U.S. Gulf. In our annual cover story that begins on page 30, Bill Pike again searches for a silver lining in the depressed offshore sector. Amid all the negative news he did find a small sliver. The Gulf is still the dominant offshore play in U.S. waters, with several big projects and several more major untapped discoveries. Recent discovery announcements from major operators offer some optimism in the deepwater market. One is from Royal Dutch Shell, who said its U.S. unit made one of its largest oil discoveries in the past decade from the Whale deepwater well in the U.S. Gulf. Deepwater is an “important growth priority” for Shell, Andy Brown, the company’s upstream director, said. The announcement, he said, “shows how, through exploration, we are sustaining a strong pipeline of discoveries and future projects to sustain this deepwater growth.” Shell has three U.S. Gulf deepwater projects under construction and has added more than one billion bbls. of oil in the last decade in the Gulf. Another significant oil discovery in the deepwater Gulf was made by Chevron, with partner Total, at the Ballymore prospect. Other companies with recent deepwater discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico include Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Byron Energy Ltd., Deep Gulf Energy Companies, W&T Offshore Inc., and Cobalt International Energy Inc.

David Krapf, Editor in Chief

Even with these positive developments, the near-term outlook for the offshore sector is still murky. As of April 6, the Gulf rig count stood at just 12, down from 22 at the same time last year. The workboat market “is still in the gutter,” Peter Romero, operations manager at Aries Marine Corp., Lafayette, La., told us. “The market is not getting better,” Matt Rigdon, executive vice president and COO at Jackson Offshore Operators, said. Despite this, there is still hope, with most analysts calling for a slow recovery.

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. • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

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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 • General Information: (207) 842-5610



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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 Chris Dimmerling (207) 842-5666 • Fax: (207) 842-5509 Theodore Wirth Michael Lodato

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hanks for the container-on-barge article (“Boxed In,” WorkBoat, March 2018) and helping us get the word out about the many advantages of COB. (; I believe the Tenn-Tom service you talked about was to the Yellow Creek port at the junction of the Tenn-Tom

and Tennessee at Eastport, Miss. (http:// As you can see on their website, they were handling coil steel. One of the more profitable COB operations that I know of is from Norfolk, Va., to Richmond, Va. (http://www. The service provider is Columbia Group, mentioned in your article. The Norfolk to Richmond service relieves conges-

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Getting the word out on COB

26'x8' 'Towboat Tour' project.

tion on I-64. When I visited the Port of Virginia and talked with Andrew Sinclair, director of federal government affairs, he said that the port contacted their container shippers and asked if they would be interested in COB. That is how their present three/six-day-a-week service got started. This service goes against the conventional wisdom that says you need at least 150 miles of travel to make an intermodal shift be worth the transfer cost. I have suggested to some that switching to a special purpose container barge — like my design — after a route is established would make things more efficient. It would permit going fourwide instead of three-wide container stacks while maintaining the traditional 195'×35' barge size for integrated tows. Our “Towboat Tour” project is progressing. The 1/5th scale, half-barge barge, 26'×8' with scale containers, is complete, and the City of Troy 25'×8' towboat is under construction. The boat motors and equipment have been purchased and the frames are being fabricated now. John C. Farmer Captain Knoxville, Tenn.

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

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On the Water Roger Wilco? — Part III


By Joel Milton

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

s I wrote last month, it’s always a balancing act between ensuring full comprehension, time and economy of speech. Continuing on that thought, an area of communication that I periodically revisit with my crew, especially when we have a newcomer or temporary replacement, is the specific vocabulary used and how to use it. This is done in the hope of delivering the maximum amount of useful information quickly and clearly to crewmembers. A good example is calling in distances while docking a barge or coming alongside a ship. In general, crew visibility is usually pretty good, so we don’t really need distances until we’re getting close. The closer you are to a dock or ship the more you need it and the more important accuracy becomes. “Close,” of course, is always a relative and variable term. When we’re a barge-length away, even an error of 50', while not desirable, usually doesn’t

Captain’s Table

PFD recreational use revisited


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@


or mariners, safety is one of the most important things we do. Regular safety drills and exercises strengthen our skills and point out our deficiencies. Safety Management Systems help us work toward continuous improvement and to get ahead of potential safety and operational problems. PFDs, firefighting equipment, and other apparatus are the tools of our trade and we recognize their importance. But does the general public have the same dedication to safety as commercial mariners? I have always believed that the recreational boating community must improve its safety education. I have even called for the licensing of recreational boaters as a way to reduce accidents and fatalities. I recently received a call from a member of a Midwest rowing club who has read several of my WorkBoat columns about the need for lifejackets on rowing sculls. The club’s board of directors,

matter much or at all. At that range the intervals would be 50' anyway. If someone can nail the distance to within plus or minus 20' at that range then they’re doing very well. But once the range narrows to 50' or less, then intervals drop to five feet and accuracy requirements go up. At 10' and under intervals drop to one foot and must be dead-on to be of value. That’s when time is also of the essence. All mariners know from training and practice that feet is used as the measure so there’s no need to keep repeating it over and over. Eliminate all that isn’t needed and keep the flow going with regular short breaks to allow questions or feedback. For example, “40 bow, 30 stern, closing moderate and flattening out. (pause) 30 bow, 25 stern, still closing. (pause) 20 flat, closing slow and steady” provides you with useful information, without all of the typical extraneous filler words. It allows the operator to visualize exactly what is happening so that the right steps to execute the maneuver can be taken in time. How important is this? It’s like looking through freshly cleaned binoculars instead of a pair caked with grime.

at his urging, voted to require that all rowers wear lifejackets while rowing on the river during periods of high water, cold water and strong currents. The board felt that they had a responsibility to ensure the safety of club members and that this was a solid step toward that goal. Operators witness all types of incidents that result in recreational boaters going into the water after an accident. This includes rowing sculls that flip over. Lifejackets give rowers a better chance of survival, no matter what the weather conditions are. There are many who disagree, claiming that competitive rowers are well-tuned athletes who do not need lifejackets. Unfortunately, this is shortsighted. Everyone, athlete or otherwise, can drown quickly after an accident without the proper safety equipment. This subject has drawn a lot of comments from both sides. Some readers have taken me to task for recommending that the crew of racing sculls be required to wear lifejackets. Nonetheless, it is healthy to discuss this openly and honestly and I believe that we are making progress on this issue. After all, safety is central to everything we do on the waters. We have to take every opportunity to ensure safe practices. • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

Energy Level

17-Oct 17-Nov 17-Dec WORKBOAT GOM INDICATORS 18-Jan JAN. '18 18-Feb WTI Crude Oil 63.38 Baker Hughes Rig Count 16 Mar-18 IHS OSV Utilization 25.4% U.S. Oil Production (millions bpd) 9.9

FEB. '18 63.52 17 26.7% 10.3*

Sources: Baker-Hughes; IHS Markit; U.S. EIA


Day rate threats

T • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

25.6% 10.4*


MAR. '17 50.54 22 24.3% 9.1


By Bill Pike

wo emerging factors could negatively affect day rates in the future. The first is the imposition of import tariffs by President Trump. This particularly applies to China, which ships some $50 billion worth of goods to the U.S. each year. In response to the Trump announcement, China quickly announced plans to impose tariffs on $3 billion in U.S. imported goods. As a result, the U.S. stock market was punished and Asian markets opened lower the next day. The tariff issue hits as the U.S. prepares to use its growing unconventional oil and gas assets to increase exports of hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon products. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration estimates that China’s demand for natural gas over the next few decades will grow faster than any other worldwide, to about 57 billion cu. ft. per day by 2040. China’s limited supply cannot meet the demand. Analysts fear that rising tensions over trade could lead China to buy most of its natural gas (and nearly 300,000 bbls. of oil per day) from U.S. competitors, cutting revenue for the oil and gas industry and further extending the time it takes the industry to recover from the downturn. The second factor is the growing move toward alternative sources of energy. That is the message that Shell recently put out under its “SKY” scenario. The scenario is somewhat supported by Shell’s recent investments, including its purchase of Dutch-based NewMotion, an electric vehicle recharging company. While the vision is very long term (stretching to 2070) and the company is hedging its bets by acknowledging that the world will need to keep burning fossil fuels even if renewable energy catapults forward, the idea is not limited to Shell. It is embraced, to some extent, by a num-

20 20 18 16 MAR. '18 17 65.49 12 12

25 20 15 10



5 0

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

ber of oil and gas producers, many of whom predict a switch to renewables over a far shorter period than Shell. These external, publicly driven factors could have dramatic, damag-

ing consequences for U.S. oil and gas prices and markets. As a result, it could negatively affect offshore service vessel day rates. It may take a while but it is worth watching.

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WorkBoat Composite Index Stocks down again in March


fter seven consecutive monthly increases, the WorkBoat Composite Index has now posted two consecutive monthly losses. After losing 89 points, or 3.7%, in February, the Index lost another 36 points, or 1.6%, in March. For the month, losers topped winners by a ratio of almost two to one. Seacor Marine Holdings was up

over 12% in March. The Houma, La.based offshore marine support vessel operator announced earnings results for its fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2017, in March. Net income was $29 million ($1.20 per share) for the fourth quarter, while the net loss was $32.9 million ($1.87 per share) for the year ended Dec. 31.

STOCK CHART INDEX COMPARISONS Operators Suppliers Shipyards Workboat Composite PHLX Oil Service Index Dow Jones Industrials Standard & Poors 500

Source: FinancialContent Inc.

2/28/18 291.76 3966.64 3340.84 2333.03 134.02 25029.20 2713.83

3/29/18 304.09 3858.96 3322.49 2296.76 135.69 24103.11 2640.87

NET CHANGE 12.33 -107.67 -18.36 -36.26 1.67 -926.09 -72.96

For the complete up-to-date WorkBoat Stock Index, go to:

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“Operating results continued to improve in the fourth quarter,” John Gellert, the company’s CEO said in a statement. “We continue to see strengthened demand for platform and well services performed by our liftboat fleet both domestically and internationally, which helped to drive our improved results. With the consolidation of the Seacor and Montco liftboat fleets in February, we enter the 2018 maintenance and construction season in the Gulf of Mexico with a larger, more capable liftboat fleet that is well positioned to meet growing demand.” Seacor’s results reflect increasing seasonality in some of its asset classes, especially Gulf of Mexico liftboats and North Sea wind farm utility vessels. “However, we remain optimistic that higher oil and natural gas prices are helping build a foundation for an eventual recovery in offshore activity worldwide,” Gellert said. — David Krapf

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Inland Insider

Natural gas glut: Will it end?


By Kevin Horn

Kevin Horn is a senior manager with GEC Inc., Delaplane, Va. He can be contacted at khorn@gecinc. com.

redictions from weather forecasters that called for above-average snowfall to bury the Northeast and subzero temperatures chilling the Plains were accurate this winter. Natural gas suppliers saw this wave of Arctic cold coming and the accompanying spike in prices. There was the anticipation of sustained increases in gas prices for the duration of the winter. The gas price drama was short lived. After a very mild December gas futures declined to a low of near $2.60 per million Btu (MMBtu) and then spiked to a high near $3.60 at the end of January. But then gas futures plummeted back to December lows by mid-February and essentially stayed there for the rest of the winter. Talk of low inventories and sustained shortages (other than the anomaly of New England) faded away. There are lessons here with big implications for future gas prices and alternative energy sources, such as coal, on which the barge transportation sector depends. First, U.S. natural gas production

Insurance Watch Marine professional liability coverage can help cover costs


By Chris Richmond

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@


long time ago, when I was captain of an old wooden sailing vessel, I was bringing the boat into the harbor to tie up to the dock. I had done this numerous times. But this time, when I put the engine in reverse to stop forward movement, the boat went ahead. Quickly losing room in the congested harbor, I tried again to engage reverse propulsion, to no avail. A wooden tour boat tied up ahead of me finally stopped my movement but not before the tour boat suffered some season-ending damage. My vesselâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hull and P&I policy took care of the damage claim, but the Coast Guard felt that I had been derelict in my duties as captain and wanted to conduct an admiralty hearing against my license. I needed professional liability coverage. Typically used by attorneys, accountants, consultants and real estate brokers, professional

has increased nearly 30% between 2011 and 2018. Second, gas consumption has similarly followed, resulting in gas inventories that look very similar over the last three winters. At the same time exports have been rising, growing nearly 50% between 2014 and 2017. However, increased domestic demand and rising exports have not resulted in sustained price increases. In fact the opposite has occurred, with prices declining. Despite the growing demand domestically and from export markets, gas prices are hovering below the target of $3 MMBtu and are now projected to stay in that range. Gas supply is driving the equation, surging out of West Texas and new supersize wells in Louisiana and Wyoming amidst new pipeline infrastructure. The supersize wells have lower production costs and can produce multiple times the volumes of a typical vertical well. These trends are a boon to U.S. homeowners, chemical manufacturers and power plant operators. But gas producers and suppliers of alternative fuels will continue to feel the pressure from sustained low oil prices. As for coal, the future is not very optimistic, and this includes for the transport sectors that move the commodity.

liability insurance provides coverage against claims made against professionals who have not performed up to the standards of their profession. In the marine industry, a licensed mariner is expected to perform up to industry standards and failure to do so can result in a lawsuit. Should a claim occur and the captain be deemed negligent, he or she could be sued (in addition to the vessel). Coverage can include defense costs (against your license, civil legal defense as well as criminal acts defense), coverage for professional equipment, coverage for fines and penalties, as well as a daily subsistence allowance. Loss of income can also be added to compensate for lost wages due to down time resulting from a claim. Whether you are driving a six-pack harbor taxi or a bluewater tanker, your livelihood requires you to hold a valid Coast Guard license. When you are involved in a claim and your license is at risk, professional liability coverage not only helps alleviate the headache of defending yourself, but could also help address some large defense costs. â&#x20AC;˘ MAY 2018 â&#x20AC;˘ WorkBoat

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Legal Talk

Helping injured mariners

M By John Fulweiler

John K. Fulweiler of Fulweiler LLC is a licensed mariner and maritime attorney. He can be reached at john@ or 1-800-383-MAYDAY.

aritime injuries are different from those suffered ashore. The remedies and processes to seek compensation are different. There are two big issues. First, crewmembers must remain wards of the admiralty court. That is, the courts give them special attention and protection. I’ve read a few things lately that advocate a change of course on this. That’s flat-out boardroom talk. But sailors today are in a different spot, with protections afforded by modern technology, strong unions and well-run ships, they say. Not so and the maritime courts don’t seem to think so either. Still, the scope of these protections is not unlimited. The court is not going to unduly favor a crewmember to the prejudice of his or her employer or the shipowner. By tucking a crewmember under its judicial wing, the admiralty court is simply making certain the seas are even and the fight is fair. Second, the Jones Act is a federal statute allow-

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ing a crewmember to sue his or her employer to recover for injuries. In a recent appeal involving the Jones Act, the issue was whether a crewmember could seek damages for an injury caused by excessive stress and an erratic sleep schedule. The appellate court said no, you need an injury caused by a physical peril to recover under the Jones Act handing the employer an appellate win. An elegantly written dissent explained why I, too, disagreed with this outcome. The plaintiff pleaded and proved to a jury’s satisfaction that the company’s working environment, which included average workdays of 16 hours, caused damage to his heart. The jury, the dissenting opinion said, was asked to identify whether the injury was “emotional” or “physical.” It decided it was a physical injury. Deference, the dissent said, should’ve been given to the jury. Indeed, indeed. The injured maritime worker has special protections unique to his or her employment. On top of a Jones Act remedy, injured crew may also have claims for unseaworthiness, maintenance and cure, and punitive damages. Underway and making way.

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14 • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat 508-995-7000

MAY 2018

NEWS LOG In better days Jeffboat employed as many as 800 workers on five production lines.


SUNY Maritime




Inland barge oversupply dooms Jeffboat


effboat LLC, the nation’s oldest and biggest inland shipyard, is closing permanently in May, unable to sustain its operation in the face of persistent low demand for new barges. In peak years the 80-acre Jeffersonville, Ind., yard on the Ohio River sustained 800 jobs on five production lines, and could turn out dry barges in 16 hours and tank barges in three days. But Mark Knoy, president and CEO of parent company American Commercial Lines, said there is no coming back from this slump. “To be financially rewarding we have to build about 250 barges (annually) and employ 600 to 800 employees,” Knoy told WorkBoat. “In reality, it just didn’t appear that was going to happen. It was just too much of a financial struggle.” Established in 1834 to build river steamboats, the shipyard built Navy landing ships and sub chasers in World War II and then specialized in barges


and towboats. Oversupply in the inland barge industry began hitting Jeffboat hard in 2017. Company officials warned that half its workforce would lose their jobs by the first quarter of 2018, but as recently as February said there were no plans to close. Jeffboat ownership had to rethink that position. “There’s just not enough building to support the number of shipyards out there,” said Knoy. “It’s been coming for some time. There’s not going to be enough for everyone to keep going. I wish there was an answer.” The barge industry has been suffering from an oversupply of equipment, particularly barges, over the past two years. New tank barges last year were near the industry’s lowest levels since at least 2000, according to River Transport News. The low price of steel and the availability of funds sparked a rush to build for several years prior to 2016, when the overhang of equipment became a serious problem.

he 56-year-old steamship Empire State VI will be the first U.S. maritime training ship to be replaced by a new national security multimission vessel (NSMV) with $300 million for the first ship included in the 2018 federal budget signed by President Trump. The first NSMV will have dieselelectric drive, berthing capacity for up to 600 cadets or 1,000 persons when the U.S. Maritime Administration-owned vessel is deployed on emergency relief. The Empire State VI at the State University of New York Maritime College is the oldest of the Marad training fleet, along with the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s Kennedy. The next generation of training ships would be designed to teach cadets on modern technology and meet all international safety and environmental standards. SUNY Maritime president Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis said the anticipated building plan would deliver the first NSMV to the Bronx, N.Y., campus in time for the 2022 summer sea term. — Kirk Moore

But Knoy said there were problems even before then. “What separates us is our size,” he said. “We can’t survive on the numbers some of the smaller shipyards can.” “For me this is heartbreaking news that the boat yard will be closing,” said Jeff Cooper, business agent and recording secretary for Teamsters Local 89 and a former Jeffboat worker. “Like so many others, I started my career there as a young man working as a first class welder and pipefitter. I have met so • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

Creative Commons/Photohound

many great people over the course of my time there. “When I say great people, that’s exactly what I mean, people that work extremely hard at building a great big-ass American made product the old-fashioned way like no other, and it was always built under the union label with extreme pride.” As to what will become of the Jeffboat facility, Knoy said that no final decision has been made. “Don’t know what the future holds for that property yet,” he said. Jeffersonville-based ACL is owned by Platinum Equity LLC. — Ken Hocke

Legal marijuana may affect maritime recruitment


n January, Vermont became the ninth state to approve recreational marijuana use for adults, reflecting a steadily growing trend. And in more than half of all states, medical marijuana is legal. But federal law considers marijuana an illegal drug, so weed is off limits for those in safety-sensitive jobs that fall under the watch of the Coast Guard and Department of Transportation. Still, state initiatives are raising some concerns for maritime operators and employees. “The Coast Guard has been abundantly clear that those federal regulations pre-empt any state laws,” said Amanda Gamblin, an employment law attorney with Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt in the Pacific Northwest, an area in the thick of the recreational marijuana world. So the consequences are the same for someone who tests positive for marijuana or alcohol — they face administrative proceedings and may be terminated. Applicants who use medical marijuana are denied credentials. Gamblin, whose focus includes maritime issues, hasn’t heard from any maritime clients worried that they might have to continue to employ people who test positive. “What they’re worried about is being • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

A neon sign at a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles.

able to continue to find employees,” she said. So far, they’re not seeing a lot of failed drug tests. “The bigger question is: Are young people not going into maritime jobs because they know what it means to have that license? And nobody knows the answer to that question.” The one thing everyone agrees on, Gamblin said, is that someone can test positive for marijuana with a urinalysis when they’re not actually impaired. “That’s a huge pickle for maritime employers.” In Maine, one of the states where recreational use is legal, the state has created an especially sticky situation with a provision in the law that bars employers from discriminating against workers who use marijuana in their off time. The state’s Department of Labor guidelines say an employer may prohibit use or possession of marijuana at work and discipline employees under the influence. But they “may not be able to discipline an employee or disqualify a job applicant based solely on a positive marijuana test.” However, a department spokesman said that the state doesn’t regulate or oversee testing of federally regulated employees. Nevertheless, the problem is that the law “doesn’t address the whole drug testing issue,” said Kathryn Russo, an employment law attorney with Jackson Lewis P.C., Melville, N.Y., who specializes in workplace drug and alcohol testing. Traditionally, employers could take action if an employee tested positive no matter where they used marijuana. Now some companies have to decide if they even want to do pre-employment testing. “Most employers are just scratching their heads trying to figure out how much risk they want to take,” Russo said. Others in more safety

sensitive industries probably are still going to need to test employees and applicants. “It’s really a dilemma.” DOT is very clear that they don’t allow marijuana under any circumstances, she said. The state of Maine suggests that employers call their lawyers before taking any action or preparing new drug policies. The drug-testing issue may ultimately get resolved in court. THC, which produces the high, can stay lodged in fatty tissue for up to 30 days or longer for habitual users, said Mark Meeker, assistant general counsel at American Maritime Safety Inc., a White Plains, N.Y.-based consortium that administers drug and alcohol testing compliance programs for maritime operators. Smoking marijuana leaves inactive THC, which is detected in commonly used urine tests. Blood tests can detect active THC. “There’s always a little bit of confusion any time you have state laws conflicting with federal law, especially in an industry where you have a wide variety of age ranges represented,” he said. The concerns they’re hearing include questions about how to handle a crewmember that has a prescription for medical marijuana. “The answer is ‘no’,” he said. “It’s still a Schedule I drug. It doesn’t matter what your state says.” It’s a real challenge for companies to find people because so many people out there are using one kind of drug or another, Meeker said. Positive tests for marijuana rose nearly 75% — from 5.1 % in 2013 to 8.9 % in 2016 — among the more than 10 million U.S. workers tested, the annual Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index showed. CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS In the March issue of WorkBoat on page 41 (“Power Up”), the engine image descriptions are wrong. The red engine image on the top right of the page is the Cummins QSK38, and the white engine image on the middle left of the page is the John Deere 6135HFM85. 17

— Dale K. DuPont

American Patriot Holdings

“Among the federally-mandated, safety-sensitive workforce, which only utilizes urine testing, marijuana positivity increased nearly 10% (0.71% in 2015 versus 0.78% in 2016), the largest ever year-over-year increase in five years,” Quest said. “In Colorado and Washington, the first states in which recreational marijuana use was legalized, the overall urine positivity rate for marijuana outpaced the national average in 2016 for the first time since the statutes took effect.” The Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee has recommended that the Coast Guard keep its ban on medical use of hallucinogens. “Performing shipboard duties under the influence of marijuana, medical marijuana or medications containing marijuana poses a significant safety risk,” the committee said.

The Plaquemines container port in Louisiana will be the southernmost link in a Mississippi River intermodal container system of self-propelled, LNG powered vessels.

Missouri, Louisiana ports to boost river container services


nticipating rising container traffic with the advent of new Mississippi River vessels, port officials in Missouri and southern Louisiana signed agreements recently to share marketing, studies and data. The arrival of bigger containerships through the expanded Panama Canal to the Gulf of Mexico and East Coast has port planners looking at how they might become new import portals to the Midwest states where most contain-

ers now are shipped in by rail from California. In February, the Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District, Belle Chasse, La., signed a memorandum of agreement with the Jefferson County Port Authority, located near St. Louis, as part of the Louisiana port’s ongoing effort to build relationships with ports on the upper river. A similar agreement was formally inked March 27 in St. Louis with five other regional transport and port agencies. The memorandum sets a five-year term for cooperating on new river services with interconnections by barge,

FIRST IN CATAMARANS | (360) 457-5752

18 • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

truck and rail. Meanwhile, American Patriot Holdings LLC, Miami, says it is moving ahead with final engineering for its planned 595'×134' river liner design, having completed scale model testing in Germany in September 2017. The self-propelled container vessel will have a capacity of 2,500 TEUs, compared to 300 TEUs on current Mississippi container-on-barge (COB) services. With liquefied natural gas-fueled diesel electric propulsion and fore and aft thrusters, it will have an upriver speed of 13 knots with low wake. That will make round trips possible from the Lower Mississippi to Memphis, Tenn., in seven days and to St. Louis in 11 days. “The Plaquemines to St. Louis route will be a bedrock service APH intends to implement throughout the Mississippi River Basin,” said Sal Latrico, APH president and CEO. — Kirk Moore • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

Massachusetts yards sought for offshore wind crewboats


ffshore wind power developer Deepwater Wind said it will seek Massachusetts shipbuilders to construct offshore service vessels for its planned Revolution Wind project off Martha’s Vineyard, and fabricate turbine foundations on the state’s South Coast. One Massachusetts builder with a close eye on this market is GladdingHearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, Somerset, Mass. The company has a stable of Incat Crowther catamaran designs in the 65' to 85' range, similar to boats used in Europe, ready for when the U.S. industry grows. Company president Peter Duclos said they have been talking to the wind industry about crewboats that can work the waters offshore New England.

“We’ve been given some basic performance criteria from a number of operators and developers in the past six months but it comes down to what they want to spend to meet those criteria. In our experience the wind farm industry is very much cost driven,” said Duclos. One critical issue for wind developers in this area will be controlling interactions with endangered northern right whales that feed and migrate in those waters. The 2017 season saw high mortality among the tiny population of fewer than 500 animals, blamed on ship strikes and fishing gear entanglements in Canadian and U.S. waters. Seasonal right whale management area rules in some locations hold vessels of 65' or longer to speeds of 10 knots. So it is likely that New England wind farm developments could need a mix of crewboats under 65' and larger vessels to operate under those restrictions, he said. — K. Moore


Special Purpose Vessels

Special Delivery From rail-car barges to dredges to landing craft ferries, shipyards handle a variety of niche projects.



rom barges that carry rail cars or are built to submerse, to big new dredges that deepen harbors for new containerships, workboat designers and builders have been coming out with innovative ideas. Special vessels are one niche in the workboat market (and are often one-off projects) that stand apart from the industry’s cyclical building sectors, such as offshore energy or inland barges. For New York New Jersey Rail LLC, the need for the first new cross-harbor rail barges in many years resulted in the NYNJR100, the first of two 370'×59'×14' car floats to be built at Metal Trades Inc., Yonges Island, S.C. As a kind of simple roll-on/roll-off, the new barges carry up to 18 rail cars 60' long between the Greenville Yard in Jersey City, N.J., and the 65th Street Rail Yard in Brooklyn, N.Y. The barges are part of a short-line railway, operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — a smaller, modernized version of the cross-Hudson River car float fleet that operated from 1867 until the mid-20th century as trucking supplanted railroads. Now there’s renewed interest from the Port Authority, as part of its broad effort to reduce truck

congestion and air pollution from the port using cross-harbor barge services. Nearby in Jersey City, Weeks Marine Inc., Cranford, N.J., finished its own one-of-a-kind barge project, converting the former deck barge Weeks 246 into the submersible caisson barge JG Burke. The 250'×75'×16' barge can carry up to 5,000 tons, and was built for Weeks subsidiary McNally Construction, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, for building a Canadian military port facility at Halifax, Nova Scotia. That job entailed installing caissons, watertight

Weeks Marine

By Kirk Moore, Associate Editor

The submersible caisson launch barge JG Burke was built by Weeks Marine at its Greenville Yard in Jersey City, N.J. • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

Metal Trades Inc.

New York Harbor saw its first newbuild rail barge in many years when Metal Trades delivered the first of two rail-car floats.

Kirk Moore • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

fiberglass small boats. State officials say it was a necessary investment to support newer research buoys, called data loggers, which continuously monitor the bays for signals of ecological stress. Maintenance is critical during the summer months when algae fouling can reduce the accuracy of those readings. A high raked ramp bow is the distinctive profile of the Nordland II, an 86'×25' freight ferry built by Latitude Marine Services LLC, La Connor, Wash., for San Juan Ferry & Barge, Friday Harbor, Wash. The Nordland II, placed in service in January, and Henry Island provide charter landing craft freight service throughout Washington state’s San Juan Islands. A 75'×23' cargo deck open at the stern handles oversized cargo, while a high pilothouse offset to starboard increases deck space and affords good all-around visibility in tight quarters. “It increases the amount of useful deck space without lengthening the boat,” said Capt. Marty Starr, who added that he has delivered 90' utility poles and construction equipment on trailers overhanging the stern. “Basically we’re a landing craft,” doing roll-on, roll-off at beaches and boat ramps in the Salish Sea islands, said Starr.

Eastern Shipbuilding Group

DREDGES, LANDING CRAFTS Among its endeavors, Weeks is a major contractor for Corps of Engineers harbors and beaches projects. To help with this work, Weeks took delivery this year of the 356'×79'6"×27'3" trailing suction hopper dredge Magdalen. Started in 2012 at BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard, Mobile, Ala., Weeks in 2015 contracted with Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, Fla., to finish the dredge. Propulsion is provided by twin GE 16V250 diesels, each producing 5,682 hp. A main 1,600-kW dredge pump is backed by two booster pumps of equal power, and a pair of 445-kW jet pumps. Weeks is a longtime customer of Eastern, and credited its partnership with the shipyard and Dredging Technology Corp., part of the Royal IHC Merwede International Group, for the ultimate success of the muchdelayed project. In late March, the Magdalen was at work off Mantoloking, N.J., part of a Corps’ $128 million beach replenishment project. Another Eastern client, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. (GLDD), Oak Brook, Ill., took delivery in November 2017 of what it says is the largest hopper dredge in the U.S. market, with a carrying capacity of 15,000 cu. yds. The articulated tug-barge trailing suction unit is made up of the 433'×92'×36' hopper dredge Ellis Island, pushed by the 158'4"×52'×32'9" tug Douglas B. Mackie through a

The Robert C. Shinn Jr. is designed to handle research buoys as well as water sampling for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Taisei coupler system. Propulsion is provided by two MAK 12M32C-T3 diesels, turning out 7,831 hp each. A pair of EMD ME20G7C-T3 diesels rated at 5,000 hp each powers dredge pumps on the Ellis Island. Like the Magdalen, the Ellis Island went right to work on an ambitious Corps restoration project on Gulf coast barrier islands, the Mobile (Ala.) District’s Mississippi Coastal Improvements Program. Ecosystem monitoring is the mission of the Robert C. Shinn Jr., a 32'×12'×2' aluminum catamaran that Kanter Marine, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, delivered in May 2017 to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The bow ramp that makes the boat resemble a landing craft helps with deploying and recovering research buoys in the state’s shallow coastal bays. With its shallow draft and pair of Evinrude E-Tech 250-hp outboards, the Shinn is well suited for buoy tending and gathering water and sediment samples. “I had 2,500 pounds, four people and 200 gallons of gas on board and did 30 miles per hour,” said DEP captain Ken Hayek. The $215,000 vessel is a major step up from the state Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring’s fleet of trailerable

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co.

chambers that enable construction work to be done underwater. To deliver the caissons onsite, the JG Burke was flooded to submerge 20' to 30'. It was then drained to surface. The barge can double as a transport and heavy lift vessel. “Overall, it’s an extremely flexible design and perfect for marine construction or even salvage operations,” said David Forrest, naval architect with JMS Naval Architects, Mystic, Conn., who developed the design. “It fits into a niche where a self-propelled, heavy lift ship would be overfill, and a floating drydock too restrictive.”

Eastern Shipbuilding delivered new hopper dredges to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (left) and Weeks Marine to work on Corps of Engineers waterways and restoration projects. 21


On TheWays

ON THE WAYS Gladding-Hearn delivers another sightseeing vessel to New York

is a bandstand for live entertainment. Aft of the pilothouse on the third deck is outdoor seating for 84 passengers under a fixed canopy. The cabins are arranged for significantly improved concession areas, three cocktail bars and a wheelchair-accessible head. A 271,000Btu diesel-fired boiler and six 10-ton water-cooled chillers supply heating and air-conditioning. The crew room, located below the main deck, is outfitted with storage cabinets, a refrigerator, shower and head, and walk-in cooler. — David Krapf

Third of three 599-passenger vessels for New York.


ladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp., Somerset, Mass., recently delivered its sixth new sightseeing vessel built for New York-based Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises Inc., the 599-passenger Circle Line Liberty. This is the third of three 599-passenger vessels built for Circle Line and follows the shipyard’s delivery of three sisterships to the company in 2009. Designed by DeJong and Lebet, Jacksonville, Fla., the 165'×34' vessel is powered by twin Cummins QSK38M1 diesel engines, delivering a total of 2,600 hp. The engines connect to ZF W3355 gearboxes, turning 60", 5-bladed bronze propellers. The combination gives the Circle Line Liberty a top speed of 14 knots. For dockside maneuvering, the vessel is equipped with a 125-hp Wesmar bowthruster, powered by an electric motor. Two 140-kW gensets, powered by John Deere generator-drive engines, supply ship’s service power. The vessel carries 8,200 gals. of fuel and 4,000 gals. of potable water. The 22

pilothouse is equipped with port and starboard wing stations, in addition to the centerline helm. “The new vessels will offer guests an enhanced sightseeing experience on every level. Notably, visitors will enjoy upgrades in classes of service and the introduction of a variety of new and innovative experiences, including improvements in content and entertainment options, viewing sight lines, as well as enhanced food and beverage selections,” Costas Markou, president and chief operating officer of New York Cruise Lines, Circle Line’s parent company, said in announcing the delivery of the first boat, Circle Line Bronx, in 2017. The cabins are equipped with large double-glazed windows, designed to offer spectacular views of the New York City skyline. Interior accommodations include space for loose seating and tables for 275 passengers in the main cabin. The second deck provides space for seating and tables for another 200 passengers indoors and outside seating for 88 passengers. Aft of the seating

Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding

Virginia ferry nears completion at VT Halter VT Halter Marine, Pascagoula, Miss., is building a new steel-hull 270'6"×65'4"×15'6", double-ended, 70-vehicle, 499-passenger ferry for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Jamestown-Scotland Ferry. The new ferry, the Powhatan, will replace the system’s oldest vessel, Virginia, which was built in 1936. The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry is the only 24-hour, state-run ferry in Virginia and transports almost a million vehicles annually. “The Virginia is a boat we’ve gotten our money out of,” said Wes Ripley, the ferry system’s facilities manager. It was built in the 1930s, “and carrying only 25 vehicles on narrow lanes just doesn’t work anymore.” Designed by Alion Science and Technology, McLean, Va., the ferry project is included in the state’s six-year improvement plan, with $2.5 million in funds allocated for the ferry’s design and $25 million for its construction. One of the other ferries on the run, the Pocahontas (262'×65', 70-car, 444 passengers), will be repowered next year, said Ripley. “We’ll use the same Cat engines as the new boat and change out the Voiths.” Main propulsion for the Powhatan will come from twin Caterpillar 3512C HD, Tier 3 diesels, • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat



Moose Boats

Incat Crowther

91' passenger vessels for Mexico.

38' fire/rescue boat for San Francisco. • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

Ken Hocke

Two LCSes sit dockside at Austal USA’s facility in Mobile, Ala.

Bollinger Shipyards Inc.

idship Marine, Harvey, La., has delivered two new aluminum 91'10"×24'7"×6'6", passenger vessels, City Jet 1 and City Jet 2, as part of a six-vessel newbuild program for the Cancun, Mexico-based operator Ultramar. With seating for 300 and a 3'1" draft, the vessels will operate at high frequency across the enclosed lagoon adjacent to Cancun, sparing tourists a lengthy bus trip and reducing travel times by up to 70%. Designed by Incat Crowther, the main deck cabin can accommodate 118 passengers in high-end seating. Sliding doors are fitted at both the forward and aft ends of the cabin for ease of access. The aft deck features a bathroom, electrical closet, standing room for passengers and plenty of room for luggage. Also featured on the aft deck is a raised engine hatch increasing maintenance space in the engine room. As with all other Incatdesigned Ultramar boats, the vessels are fitted with forward and aft-hinged boarding ramps on both sides that facilitate quick loading and unloading. The pilothouse sits on a raised platform for increased visibility over the bow. The roof deck features 140 external passenger seats with room for emergency life floats. City Jet 1 and City Jet 2 are powered by two Yanmar 6HYM-WET engines, producing 591 hp at 2,100 rpm each, connected to twin fixed-pitch propellers. The package provides a service speed of 22 knots at 85% maximum continuous rating. Moose Boats, Vallejo, Calif., has been awarded a contract from the San Francisco Fire Department for the construction of a M2-38 catamaran CBRN, dive and fire rescue vessel. The M2 will be outfitted with an integrated dive/recovery platform and a bow ladder for beach rescues. The boat will also be equipped with a Hale fire pump flowing in excess of 1,500 gpm of fire suppression water, radiation detection equipment, and CBRN positive pressure cabin filtration. A heavyduty push knee will enable the M2-38 to come in contact with larger vessels and San Francisco’s many

The 28th FRC from Bollinger.

piers. SFFD’s new Moose Boat will be equipped with a host of electronics including a Simrad multifunction navigation screen, radar and 3-D side scan sonar, L3 Maritime Systems AIS, FLIR-stabilized thermal imaging camera, Icom communications radios and an Ocean Technology System diver recall system. The boat will be placed in service in the third quarter. Twin Cummins QSB6.7 425-hp turbo diesel propulsion engines connected to HamiltonJet HJ292 waterjets will handle the boat’s propulsion needs. Moose is also building a M1-46 46'×16' fire-rescue catamaran for the North Beach Volunteer Fire Department in Chesapeake Beach, Md. The M1-46 catamaran’s large walk-around climate controlled cabin will be outfitted for patient treatment, search and rescue and incident command. Twin Cummins QSC8.3 600-hp turbo diesel propulsion engines, Twin Disc 5075 SC transmissions and HamiltonJet HJ322 waterjets will power the M1-46 aluminum catamaran. The new boat will be equipped with a Hale fire pump flowing 2,500 gpm. of fire suppression water, Task Force Tips fire monitors and valves and firefighting foam storage. Mobile, Ala.-based Austal USA has delivered its seventh Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) to the Navy. The 421'6"×103.7' Manchester (LCS 14) will be the 12th LCS to enter the fleet. With a displacement of 3,200 MT and a 15.1' draft, the Manchester is the second LCS delivered to the Navy by Austal in less than six months. Bollinger Shipyards has delivered the 154'×25' Nathan Bruckenthal, the 28th Sentinel-class fast response cutter (FRC), to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard took delivery of the FRC in late March in Key West, Fla. The vessel’s commissioning is scheduled for July in Washington D.C. The cutter has a displacement of 353 tons and a flank speed of 28 knots. The FRC is powered by twin 20-cylinder MTU diesels producing 5,762 hp.


producing 1,340 hp at 1,600 rpm each. The Cats will connect to Voith 21R-150 cycloidal propulsion units and give the new ferry a running speed of 12 knots. “What’s great about the Voiths is the maneuverability,” said Ripley. “We have a short run of 2.2 miles, so we’re docking all day long.” The Jamestown-Scotland route uses a four-boat rotation. The other two ferries are the Surry and the Williamsburg, both 50-car, 360-passenger boats. With Memorial Day coming up, demand will increase. “Depending on the weather, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, there are people coming out of the woodwork,” said Ripley. “We run one boat 24 hours, a second boat from 0500 to 2030. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the summer we run a third boat for 10 hours during peak traffic times.” Ship’s service power will be the responsibility of three John Deere 6068AFM85-powered gensets,


Ken Hocke

On TheWays

499-passenger/70-vehicle ferry under construction for Virginia.

sparking 153 kW of electrical power each and a 99-kW John Deere-powered 4045AFM85 emergency generator. The diesel engines power Marathon generators. With a deadweight tonnage of 633 LT and a draft of 11', the new ferry’s capacities will include 20,000 gals. of fuel; 5,000 gals. water; and 784 gals. lube oil. The electronics suite will feature a Furuno TZT14 navnet chart plotter/radar DRS6AX radar, FA 30 AIS, BBWGPS/GP 330B, GPA/WAAS antenna, Dff1 digital black box echosounder, and Richie Globemaster D-6-S

magnetic compass. The Powhatan also will feature a redFox Environmental Services sanitation system, Fairwinds Automation alarm system, and Fernstrum gridcoolers. When the boat is delivered in July, it will be ABS classed Maltese Cross A1, Passenger Vessel, River Service, AMS, ACC. VT Halter is also busy building the first U.S. liquefied natural gas articulated tug/barge unit (ATB). The ATB will be owned by New Orleans-based QLNG Transportation. The company was formed in November and is 20% • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

On TheWays owned by Harvey Gulf International Marine (HGIM) and 80% owned by HGIM CEO Shane Guidry. “We believe this is a significant step towards the USA becoming the premier supplier of LNG as the environmentally friendly maritime fuel source of choice,” Rob Mullins, CEO of VT Halter, said at steel cutting ceremony in March. The ATB’s tug, 128'×42'×21' QOcean Service, will be powered by four GE 6L250 MDC Tier 4 diesel engines, producing a total of 5,100 hp, connected to Z-drives for added maneuverability. The 324'×64'×32'6" barge, Q-LNG 4000, is designed to carry 4,000 cu. meters of LNG and, upon completion, will meet ABS and International Gas Carrier requirements as an LNG bunkering barge. The construction of the ATB is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2020. It is part of a long-term con-

tract with Shell Trading Co. to deliver LNG as a fuel source to various ports in Florida and the Caribbean. “I’m looking forward to developing a long-term relationship with VT Halter Marine and the ATB project is only the beginning,” Guidry said at the ceremony. “The cutting of the steel for America’s first LNG ATB bunkering vessel will pave the way for LNG to become the marine fuel of the future.” Ironically, HGIM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization earlier in that same week. The reorganization plan calls for the HGIM to exit bankruptcy on April 24. — Ken Hocke

Tahoe, Nev. The custom-built boat is in service around the clock. The boat is designed to respond to structural and wild fires, and perform on-the-water rescue operations. Marine 24 features a 1,500-gpm Darley pump (powered by a dedicated V-8 engine), a rooftop remotecontrolled Task Force Tips Monsoon monitor, two deck monitors, and a large diameter hose discharge mounted in front of the pilothouse to supply landbased apparatus. The boat also sports a 74" hydraulically operated bow door (with an integrated ladder), a port side dive door, and hose storage compartments. “The craft’s powerful firefighting system enables the boat to function like a floating fire hydrant, and its rescue capabilities offer first responders the flexibility to respond to any emergency,” Chad DuMars, Lake Assault’s vice president of operations, said in a

Lake Assault delivers fireboat to Lake Tahoe Lake Assault Boats, Superior, Wis., has delivered a 32'×10'6" fire/rescue boat, Marine 24, to the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District (TDFPD), Lake


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statement announcing the delivery. The V-hull, landing-craft-style fireboat is outfitted with twin 350-hp Mercury Verado four-stroke outboard engines and is equipped with the Mercury Skyhook digital anchor and joystick piloting systems that are designed to significantly improve the craft’s on-thewater performance. The pilothouse is 11'×9'6", with center position fore and aft doors, 80" of headroom, and an integrated helm station. Its onboard electronics include dual 12" touchscreens mounted on the dash, Garmin radar and sonar with GPS, chartplotting, structure/side scan, and a forward looking infrared FLIR system. An independent, third-party fire engineer reviewed strategies to address the area’s fire protection requirements and supported TDFPD’s decision to approve the fireboat purchase. “A comprehensive plan has been

Lake Assault Boats

On TheWays

32' fire/rescue boat for Lake Tahoe.

developed to aid firefighting in areas without a traditional fire suppression water supply,” said Scott Baker, fire chief for TDFPD. “The new boat will give our firefighters access to a much larger water supply, and one that is pumped from the lake in a safe and ecological manner. This new capability will directly save lives, property, and our precious Lake Tahoe environment from catastrophic fire damage.” “Homes today around Lake Tahoe are larger, built closer together, and are located farther from the lake, while

emergency access is hampered by narrow roads and limited turnarounds for responding fire trucks,” added Eric Guevin, fire marshal for TDFPD. “That makes this fireboat an important new tool in our firefighting arsenal. We learned about Lake Assault through a neighboring department and had several opportunities to see its boat in action. We really needed this apparatus to meet the code requirements and provide fire protection to homes along the lake that are not yet connected to a municipal water system.” — K. Hocke

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Slack Tide

The U.S. Gulf plods along as operators and others wait for a long-awaited rebound to take hold. By Bill Pike, Correspondent


he outlook for offshore oil and gas exploration, development and production in the U.S. Gulf continues to be uninspired. As of April 9, oil prices were around $63 bbl., having moved up from the dramatic lows seen in the last several years. But is this price stable? No. Not with recent news that Saudi Arabia will keep its first quarter output below production caps that have been in place since last year, a powerful earthquake in Papua New Guinea that disrupted oil and gas operations, and Libya’s National Oil Corporation’s (NOC) shut in of the 70,000-bpd El Feel

oilfield after a protest by guards closed the field. These events point to higher oil and gas prices, bolstered by data from the Energy Information Administration that showed U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly fell 1.6 million bbls. in the week ending Feb. 16. But prices haven’t spiraled upward. That is because any recovery from the recent, devastating downturn is just beginning, if at all. Plus a general apprehension about the future market is still pervasive in the offshore industry. Recess isn’t over yet, globally or in the U.S.

The offshore downturn has resulted in the increased scrapping of rigs and offshore service vessels.

30 • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat


Shell’s Stones is the world’s deepest oil and gas project, operating in around 9,500' of water in the ultradeepwater U.S. Gulf. The host facility for the project is the Turritella, a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

the East Coast and in Alaska. These efforts have been largely unsuccessful due to continuing, bipartisan opposition from certain coastal states to offshore oil and gas development. The negative affect of shunning East Coast exploration and production is compounded by very poor results in the most recent Gulf of Mexico lease sale. The March 21 federal lease sale for the Gulf of Mexico, billed as the largest in U.S. history, performed far below other lease sales held earlier this decade. The sale covered some 77.3 million acres, an area twice the size of Florida, and included discounted royalty rates on the shallower tracts. But faced with multibillion-dollar price tags to develop the acreage and tempted by better terms overseas, companies bid on just 1% of the area made available, winning with bids that averaged only $153 an acre. That’s 35% below last year’s levels, and a fraction of the 2013 average when oil prices were higher, according to the data. In all, the auction brought in slightly more than a smaller Gulf of Mexico auction last year, but only 10% of the amount pulled in during a much smaller lease sale in the Central Gulf in 2013. Ken Hocke

OFFSHORE MARKET Energy demand and pricing is driven by utilization rates. Projections for energy utilization rates in the U.S. are not encouraging for oil over the next several years. But the outlook for natural gas is much better. In fact, predictions call for natural gas consumption growth staying in line with developing renewable energy sources. This news may be good for the U.S., but it’s a mixed blessing, at best, for the offshore market. With the proliferation of gas production potential in cheaper onshore shale plays over the past few years, the majority of the increased demand for natural gas will not be met by offshore exploration and production. Not much has been done to boost the U.S. offshore energy industry, except for the Trump administration’s push to open previously closed waters to exploration and production, primarily along • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

GULF OF MEXICO ACTIVITY But despite the poor lease sale results and the failure to open additional

offshore waters to oil and gas development, some positive activity has been seen in the deepwater Gulf. The Gulf is by far still the dominant offshore play in U.S. waters despite its dismal performance over the last few years. Although hopes for a recovery of sorts are rising among some, activity levels remain very depressed. But recent discovery announcements from major operators offer some optimism in the deepwater leasing arena. Royal Dutch Shell said its U.S. unit made one of its largest oil discoveries in the past decade from the Whale deepwater well in the U.S. Gulf. Whale is operated by Shell (60%) and coowned by Chevron USA Inc. (40%). Evaluation of the discovery is ongoing, and appraisal drilling is underway, Shell said. “Deepwater is an important growth priority as we reshape Shell into a world-class investment case,” Andy Brown, upstream director for Royal Dutch Shell, said in a statement. The announcement, he said, “shows how, through exploration, we are sustaining a strong pipeline of discoveries and future projects to sustain this deepwater growth.” Shell has three Gulf of Mexico deepwater projects under construction and has added more than one billion bbls. of oil in the last decade in the Gulf. 31

Chevron, with partner Total, made a significant oil discovery at the Ballymore prospect in the deep offshore in the U.S. Gulf, its largest discovery in the area. “While already deemed commercially viable, we will work together on the appraisal of this discovery and a cost-effective scheme to ensure a rapid, low breakeven development,” Arnaud Breuillac, Total’s president for E&P, said in a statement. Other companies with recent deepwater discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico include Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Byron Energy Ltd., Deep Gulf Energy Companies, W&T Offshore Inc., and Cobalt International Energy Inc. OSV MARKET Despite these promising deepwater discoveries, activity levels remain very low. As of April 6, the Gulf rig count stood at 12, down from 22 at the same time last year. The industry “has been struggling for a while,” said Peter Romero, operations manager at Aries Marine Corp., Lafayette, La. The workboat market, he added, “is still in the gutter.” Matt Rigdon, executive vice president and COO at Jackson Offshore Operators, Houston, echoed Romero’s analysis. “The market is not getting better,” he said, with no increase in rigs or day rates. Rigdon noted that the hint


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of optimism that seems to be growing in the industry might be a “false” one. Richard Sanchez, senior marine analyst with IHS Markit in Houston, agreed. With the “flooded spot market,” he said, the industry “should be very pessimistic.” He pointed to the market bust of the mid-1990s, noting that the market picked up only when vessel availability among operators stood at one, or none, which drove up day rates. Statistics from February support the pessimism in the market, Sanchez noted. For platform supply vessels (PSVs), utilization rates are low, with a large number of vessels working in the spot market at significantly reduced day rates. During the current downturn, the industry has seen vessel stackings, vessel scrappings, crew layoffs, financial distress and bankruptcies. Owners have been forced to remove vessels from the market, primarily through stacking. But as maintenance costs, and mini-


Source: VesselsValue Ltd., March 27, 2018

32 Source: VesselsValue Ltd., March 27, 2018

mal crewing costs, continue even on stacked vessels, operators — especially those with older vessels — are increasingly turning to scrapping to cut costs and rid the market of excess tonnage. Aries Marine has stacked five out of its 10 PSVs and sold one of the older ones. But it may not be enough. Romero said the bigger working boats require nine hands plus four dynamic positioning operators (DPOs). And, then there is the cost of annual drydocking and inspections, costs that are hard to justify under current day rates. As a result, Romero and others have told clients that they can’t cut any more costs without compromising safety. Some clients have been responsive. A few vessel operators that have fixed term contracts, like Jackson Offshore, are doing somewhat better. But they have not been unaffected by the current crisis. There have been no increases in rig counts and day rates, according to Rigdon, and term day rates have been adjusted downward. Like others, Jackson Offshore has been looking for ways to cut costs, including fleet optimization incorporating advanced battery technology and dual-fuel vessels, and further vessel automation to reduce crewing requirements. The offshore service vessel market has also been plagued by bankruptcies. Perhaps the most dramatic is Tidewater. On July 31, 2017, the New Orleans-based OSV operator emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy after successfully completing its reorganization. As of Sept. 30, the company owned or chartered 237 vessels (excluding eight joint-venture vessels, but including 91 stacked vessels and three leased vessels) and eight ROVs available to serve the global energy industry. • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat


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After emerging from bankruptcy, the company, to better reflect the current OSV market, adjusted the estimated useful lives for its vessels from 25 years to 20. Salvage values at the end of the vessels’ estimated useful life were changed from 10% of original cost at year 25 to not more than 7.5% of original cost at year 20. Both Harvey Gulf International Marine and GulfMark Offshore also declared bankruptcy in the last year. GulfMark emerged from bankruptcy in November, and Harvey Gulf, citing severely depressed oil prices and the sharp drop in offshore Gulf of Mexico work since 2014, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in March. LOOKING AHEAD Many feel the offshore market cannot get much worse, but few expect it to improve significantly in the near future. According to McKinsey Energy In-

Big Foot is one of Chevron’s major capital projects in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

sights, exploration and production capital expenditures (capex) is projected to grow by 16% through 2021, driven by a rebound in the Americas. However, this increase will still not bring capex spending back to 2014 levels. Most analysts and owners expect a slow recovery from what Romero calls the “the lowest of lows that I have ever experienced.” Some agree with Jackson Offshore’s Rigdon that an increase in demand, driven by a recovery, will get day rates back in balance at about the mid$20,000s but not until 2021. From

there, significant growth might be possible. But significant growth in the workboat market is mainly in the hands of the vessel owners, according to Sanchez. He said that operators must control supply, even with significant numbers of vessels stacked. He pointed to the past (2005, for example) in which vessel owners limited supply and drove prices up. It can work, he said. Limiting the availability of offshore service vessels is the best method to raise rates, Sanchez said.

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Nichols Brothers Boat Builders

Island Made

Northwest shipyard has weathered the ups and downs of the boatbuilding business for over 50 years.

By Ken Hocke, Senior Editor



ichols Brothers Boat Builders has a long history of building and repairing workboats dating back to 1964. Frank Nichols, father of the boatyard’s executive vice president Matt Nichols, founded the yard. “With a crew of 10 men and women Nichols Brothers started building a variety of vessels, as it still does today,” said Matt Nichols. “We have a very diverse portfolio.” Nichols pointed out that the Pacific Northwest is the hub of the maritime industry, which puts the boatyard in a prime location among naval architect firms, marine suppliers and busy waterways. Its geographic location close to a strong client base in Seattle has enabled the yard to develop a skilled and loyal workforce that spans several generations. “The shipyard industry has become more technical, from modernized equipment, to construction techniques and production methods. It’s an evolving industry,” said Nichols. Gavin Higgins, the shipyard’s CEO, said the biggest change he has seen in the industry has been the continued development of computer involvement. “In the design and then the integration of that into production,” he said. “CNC cutting is the obvious direct spill over from integration of

computer technology in our business. Today we are developing computer controlled micro-panel lines, pipe benders, paint booths … Interestingly we are seeing a lot of this development coming from overseas, to stay competitive in the world market. We as American shipbuilders with the highest labor rates need to be leading this technology.” The shipyard on Whidbey Island, Wash., is well known in the industry, but the company also has two repair and conversion yards in Freeland, Wash., and Langley, Wash. The Freeland facility features an 18' draft and can handle vessels up to 250' and 2,500 short tons. Langley boasts a 20' draft, and its pier is capable of handling workboats up to 250'. Nichols Brothers has a strong order book dating back several years. Last year the yard’s work included the delivery of the Abundance, a 138'×44', 8,000-hp ATB tug, which together with its barge Harvest built at Vigor, was one of WorkBoat’s Significant Boats of 2017. In addition, the shipyard built fully outfitted superstructures for two 135' high-speed ferries for the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA); two 120' linehaul tugs, the Mount Baker and Mount Drum, • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders

A 4,900-hp tug for Kirby (left), 139' ATB tug (center), and 100-passenger coastal cruise vessel for Lindblad (right) under construction last year.

for Kirby Offshore Marine; and the 240' cruise ship National Geographic Quest for Lindblad Expeditions Holdings. Nichols is currently building the second of two 8,000-hp ATB tugs, the sistership to the Abundance, the second of two 100-passenger cruise ships for Lindblad, the Venture, and a 100' hybrid escort tug for Baydelta Maritime. “In addition to that we have a number of refit service projects we are working on including the 125' highspeed ferry Finest for Kitsap County,” said Higgins.

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders

HYBRID TUG Jensen Maritime, Seattle, designed the Baydelta Z-drive tug Delta Teresa, the first hybrid tug designed by Jensen to reach the construction phase. It will also be the first installation of a hybrid system at Nichols. The new tug will use Rolls-Royce hybrid technology. Scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2019, the tug will feature the same ship assist and tanker escort capabilities of existing Valor-class harbor tugs, but with multiple operational modes. The Rolls-Royce hybrid system is designed to permit the vessel to operate in the direct-diesel, dieselelectric or fully electric mode while assisting large containerships and tankers that call at U.S. West Coast

ports. The concept is designed to save fuel and reduce emissions, while supplying Baydelta with the same power and vessel characteristics needed for their operations. The flexibility provided by the drive system will allow loitering and transit at up to 7-8 knots in electric-only mode, then a bollard pull of 90 tons in combined dieselelectric mode. The new tug will be powered by a pair of Caterpillar C3516 C Tier 3 diesel engines, producing a total of 5,350 hp at 1,600 rpm, and by two Rolls-Royce supplied 424-kW electric motors. The Z-drive system, two Rolls-Royce 255FP units, can accept power from the diesel engines, electric motors, and from both power sources. The electric motors will be powered by three Cat C9.3 generators, sparking 300 kW of electrical power each, and one harbor generator, a Cat C7.1 producing 150 kW of electricity at 1,800 rpm. Key equipment on the Delta Teresa will include a Rapp Marine electric hawser winch and a single drum tow winch. The tug is designed to carry up to 71,000 gals. of fuel and 4,300 gals. fresh water. MORE PASSENGER VESSELS Nichols has grown right along with the domestic cruise and passenger vessel sectors. The boatyard’s long track

The 4,900-hp tug Mount Baker was delivered to Kirby Offshore last year. • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

record in the cruise segment helped them land the contract for the Lindblad vessels. The Jensen-designed National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Venture are 238'×44' cruise boats designed to carry 100 passengers and 50 crew exploring coastal waters, shallow coves, and fast-moving channels where wildlife congregate. Accommodations include 50 guest cabins with private balconies, open decks for wildlife viewing, a partially covered sun deck, an expansive lounge serving various purposes, floor to ceiling windows, a mud and exploration equipment room, gym and spa. The new Lindblad boats are outfitted with modern exploration equipment. Two cranes launch eight Zodiac boats that can either take guests on tours to explore the waters around them or ferry them to shore for landside exploration. Nichols also built the National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion for the company in 1982. Both are still in operation. Nichols is working on plans for the next generation of boutique cruise vessels. It envisions future cruise ships to be contemporary, luxurious, and adventurous boutique cruising vessels. The yard is developing new boats with advanced propulsion systems, state-ofthe-art motion compensated hulls, and refined interior/exterior arrangements designed to enhance the passengers’ experience. PERSONNEL Being able to count on its shipyard workers’ loyalty is a luxury that shipyards in other regions of the U.S. don’t always have. “We have over two dozen people who have worked with us for 25-plus years,” said Nichols. “Now they are teaching the next generations the tricks of the trades — just like the old timers did 25 years ago. Shipyard work isn’t for everyone, but there are people out there that fit right in and become great tradesmen.” At present, Nichols Brothers has approximately 275 personnel. “It can be difficult to find employees,” said Higgins. “Currently ship37

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders

building in the Northwest as around the country is in a slow down so capacity isn’t an issue. That said, we work hard to establish and maintain a high quality of employee,” said Higgins. To do this, the shipyard has a threeyear state-certified apprenticeship pro-

gram so it can develop a steady stream of highly qualified employees with the skills required for their trades.     Nichols has been successful recently landing apprentice-related grants. The yard has received grants for expanding and improving its apprentice programs

Sistership to the ATB tug Abundance under construction at Nichols.

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and is preparing to invest for the benefit of current and future apprentices. The largest grant is from the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), totaling $957,255. It is administered by Washington state’s Career Connect Washington Initiative The 21-month WIOA grant will expand the shipyard’s state-certified apprenticeship program, which began in 2013, from five to seven positions. Nichols Brothers hopes to nearly double its apprentice workforce from 48 to around 90 workers over the next 18 months. Nichols said a key to producing firstclass vessels is the desire to do good work and a love for what you’re doing. “The marine industry has always been challenging, rewarding and beneficial,” he said. “The industry as a whole is one of a kind, from the people to the complexity of the ships we build. I have enjoyed every minute of it.”

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Power Stations New generator offerings meet lower power demands.


Cummins new Tier 3 generators will be available in 40- to 65-kW models.

By Michael Crowley, Correspondent



ew generators from Northern Lights, Cummins and Kohler are in the lower power generating ranges — 28 kW to 40 kW, a range that seems to be attracting the attention of operators of smaller workboats. One explanation is that electrical loads on many workboats aren’t as great as they were in the past, according to Rick Stinson, Northern Lights Gulf region sales manager. That has resulted in a growing need for smaller generators “because the electrical loads are less demanding with more efficient electronics,” Stinson said. For example, he said, towboats that for years “relied on real powerful halogen lights for deck lighting and flood lights to shine over the barges, but now everyone’s going to LED lights, which have a low power requirement.” Northern Lights newest entry in the 40-kW and under genset market is the 30-kW M944W3F generator, introduced late last year. The first of the new generators was scheduled to arrive at Northern Lights New Orleans facility in late March,

destined for installation on a small towboat. “With its power output and compact size, we see it as a hot item on the market,” said Stinson. The M944W3F 30-kW at 60-Hz generator is 59.1"x29", 30.7" tall, and weighs 1,360 lbs. unhoused. The M944W3F is designed with an emphasis on low maintenance. “Most generators today have all electronic sensors,” said Stinson. “This one is all mechanical.” It’s the second model where “we have solved emissions issues without a computerized engine,” said Jim Wilke, Northern Lights sales manager for the Southeast and Gulf. The generator’s engine is a Tier 3 4-cylinder Lugger. One of its features is a partial flow particulate filter on the exhaust. “It doesn’t plug,” said Wilke. If it does become full of soot, the generator won’t shut down. “We try to engineer everything with a good limp-home capacity.” From Northern Light’s perspective, avoiding electronic control systems keeps things “simple and reliable” both in operating the generator and troubleshooting problems. “It’s a passive device,” said Wilke, “rather than a electronically controlled system.” He does allow that electronic systems will probably come at some point in the future for Northern Lights. CUMMINS Cummins newest entry into this market will be the 40-kW Onan Marine QD, which will also be available in 50-, 55- and 65-kW models. The first generators will be available in June. • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

Northern Lights

head or the side of the boat. So for maintenance efficiency, Cummins has located key components that need to be serviced on one side of the generator. “It’s single side service,” said Jelinek. “You can get to them by opening just a single panel.”

Northern Lights new 30-kW M944W3F genset.

The Onan Marine QD is matched up with a four-cylinder, turbocharged Tier 3 John Deere. That Tier 3 rating is what Cummins needed to “get us back into the U.S. market,” said Steven Jelinek, Cummins marine marketing manager. Without a Tier 3-rated engine, Cummins didn’t have “an engine that would support the North American market, specifically the U.S. market.” Workboats are one part of that market that Cummins is targeting because as operators “add more and more components,” said Jelinek, “everybody wants more and more power.” Cummins 30- to 65-kW generators with Tier 2-rated John Deere engines are in workboats operating along the East Coast and Gulf but that market was closed to Cummins when Tier 3

air emission requirements went into effect in 2014. Upgrading the Tier 2 engine to a high-pressure, common-rail diesel has allowed Cummins to meet the emissions requirements. “Now we are looking to do more with Tier 3 now that we have the correct emissions,” said Jelinek. The Tier 3 John Deere not only gets Cummins new generators into the engine rooms of workboats, but as Jelinek emphasized, “the engine is cleaner burning and their life expectancy is much better than previously.” The 40-kW at 50 Hz Cummins generator measures 68.3"×32.4", 39.1" high and weighs 2,200 lbs. unhoused. Generators in this power and size range are apt to be close to a bulk-

KOHLER In early April, Kohler was expected to come out with the first of a line of generators rated at 28 kW, 32 kW and 40 kW. “It was a ground-up development” starting with a much-needed Tier 3 compliant engine that came out of Lombardini Srl, Kohler’s Italian engine company, said Greg Klompenhouwer, senior product manager, global marine generator sets at Kohler. There are two engine versions, a 2.5-liter turbocharged, common-rail engine for the 28 kW at 50 Hz and 32 kW at 60 Hz generators and a 2.5-liter turbocharged, common-rail engine with charger cooling for up to 40 kW at 60 Hz. The use of the Lombardini engine reduced the size of the generator package when “compared to our conventional current 40-kW Deere naturally aspirated 4.5-liter engine” without sacrificing any power, said Klompenhouwer. The 40-kW generator, model 40EKOZD, is 50.17"×25.33" and 28.86" high, while weighing 1,250 lbs., unhoused.


generator produces two types of noise — airborne and structural. Airborne noise can be prevented from working its way through a boat by a well-insulated engine room. But it won’t keep structural noise from causing pipes to rattle, panels to shake and potentially jacking up the crew’s irritability level while creating long-term maintenance issues. The key to blocking out structural noise is isolating the generator from the engine beds it’s mounted on. That’s what the TSC T15 isolation mount from Christie & Grey Ltd., a United Kingdom-based manufacturer with an office in Fairhaven, Mass., is designed to do. The TSC T15 combines rubber and a steel spring that are both isolated from the surrounding casting, thus preventing vibrations from being transmitted through the mount to the boat. Both the spring and the rubber bear the weight of the generator while the rubber also keeps the spring properly aligned. Christie & Grey is the only company with that combination for the marine market, said Matthew Coombs, • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

vice president of North American operations at Christie & Grey. “Most everything in the smaller market was always straight rubber,” Coombs said. A Christie & Grey TSC T15 That type of mount had vibration isolation mount. a service life of about seven years, whereas the TSC T15 is designed for 10 to 12 years. “It’s going to last as long as the generator.” A Christie & Grey isolator is also about one-third the size of a rubber isolator mount. The TSC T15 will work with Cummins and Northern Lights generator units but not the smaller Kohler generator. For that size genset, Christie & Grey said it could build custom isolators. — M. Crowley

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Captains, Mates, Engineers, AB’s and Deckhands Dann Ocean Towing is A leading provider of marine towing services, serving the Eastern Seaboard, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and beyond.


To Apply Please Visit 3670 S Westshore Boulevard Tampa, FL 33629

Phone (813) 251-5100

42 • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

To advertise please contact us • 207-842-5496 • MARINE GEAR

Have you thought about the accomplishment you have made by obtaining a Captain’s License? The many hours of study and time at sea?

1-800-584-0242 Working, Fishing, Towing Subchapter M

§140.435 First Aid Equipment


Commercial Vessel Medical Kits

The Source For Medical, Emergency & Safety Equipment - Since 2006

Coastal & Offshore Configurations 1-866-788-2642

Available in Three Sizes



PRECISION TANK MEASURING SYSTEM! Accurate tank Accurate tank soundings have soundings have TANK TENDER ™ never been easier Accurate tank never been easier when one TANK when one TANK TENDER monitors soundings have upTENDER to ten fuel and monitors up to ten fuel water tanks. never been easier Reliable andnon-water tanks. Reliable nonelectric and easy when one TANK to install. electric and easy to install. ™



Push button in and hold, pump slowly. Do not test with deck fill pipe full. Pressure over red line may damage gauge. ™

HART SYSTEMS, INC. Gig Harbor, Washington

TENDER monitors

up to ten fuel and HART SYSTEMS, INC.


253-858-8481 FAX 253-858-8486

water tanks.

253-858-8481 FAXReliable 253-858-8486 electric and easy


Push button in and hold, pump slowly. Do not test with deck fill pipe full. Pressure over red line may damage gauge.

HART SYSTEMS, INC. Gig Harbor, Washington

to install.

HART SYSTEMS, INC. 253-858-8481 FAX 253-858-8486


Left-Hand and Right-Hand Matching 42" Diameter NIBRAL Boat Propellers with 33" pitch and 3 ¾" Hub with International Standard Bore. Bushing can be used to convert Metrics to SAE English bore. Props have been checked for balance, measure and metal composition by local propeller shop.

PVF_WB18_May.indd 1 • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

Condition: New-not used at all Propeller Weight: Gross with pallets: 2 – props: 661.38 lbs.

Scott C. Hannah Phone: +1 (425)-466-2750 Fax: 425-740-0117 4/5/18 1:51 PM



Your Source For Employment, Equipment & Services MARINE GEAR & SUPPLIES Lake Superior Cabs, Inc. Building Pilot Houses, Equipment Cabs and Control Houses since 1992

8-500kW Marine Generators // Pull harder in the harshest marine environments // More copper and premium corrosion resistance // Superior motor starting and low operating temps // Better fuel economy and longer engine life // Easy to service and worldwide dealer support // Proudly made in America 1.800.777.0714 toll free 121 W. Harney Rd Esko, MN Toll Free: 800-328-1823 Fax: 218-879-4640 Dean Myers



Classified Advertising Contact: (207) 842-5496 44

DUVIC’S PUMPS “Greater Downtown” HARVEY, LA 70059 Box 1237 • 504-341-1654 PH/FX • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

To advertise please contact us • 207-842-5496 • MARINE GEAR & SUPPLIES

Marine Equipment

Ship Supply


Now Manufacturing and Installing Fire Retardant Bunk Curtains

◆ Ship Launching Airbags ◆ Ship, Barge & Dock Fenders ◆ Anchors & Chains ◆ Wire Rope & Rigging ◆ Tow Plates & Tow Shackles ◆ -Skid ◆ Mooring & Aquaculture Buoys ◆ Winches & Capstans ◆ Dredge Pipe Floats & Hose


We are a Custom Manufacturer of Wheelhouse Tinted Shades & Crew Quarter Blackout Shades

We custom build every shade to fit each window in our facility. They are Incredibly durable, driven by over-sized clutches and operated by a stainless steel pull chain. We offer measurement and installation services in Southern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. We carry $5,000,000 workers’ compensation, and liability insurance policies with U.S.L.&H. and the Jones Act.

Download our order form to purchase your shades today.

Contact: Edward Kass III | 504-615-5833 | |

Keel Coolers

USCG License Software Affordable–Merchant Marine Exam Training

Trouble free marine engine cooling since 1927!

THE WALTER MACHINE CO, INC Freelance Software, 39 Peckham Place, Bristol RI 02809


Tel: 201-656-5654 • Fax: 201-656-0318

We Build the Ship First. Production Lofting Detail Design 3D Modeling St. John’s, NL | Vancouver, BC | New Orleans, LA 709.368.0669 | 504.287.4310 | • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat



Your Source For Employment, Equipment & Services TRAINING


Mari2me Ins2tute of Technology

Coast Guard & State Pilotage License Insurance


925 Cherry Street

Panama City, FL 32401

Available Coverages; Legal Defense for CG, NTSB and State Pilot Hearings; Federal and State Civil Actions Reimbursement for Loss of Wages Group Coverage Also Available

USCG Approved Courses Basic First Aid, CPR & AED

Leadership & Managerial Skills

STCW (Basic Safety Training)

Radar Renewal

Able Seaman / Lifeboatman Limited

Exam Prep (500 / 1600 / 3rd Mate)

100 Ton Master (Upgrade)

T O A R (Towing Operator Assessment Record)

200 Ton Master (Upgrade)

Visual Communications (Flashing Lights)

Celestial Navigation

OUPV (Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vehicles)

R.J. Mellusi & Co., 29 Broadway, Suite 2311 New York, N.Y. 10006 Tel. 1(800)280-1590, Fax. 1(212)385-0920,

Become a Certified and Accredited Marine Surveyor

Fishing Vessel Qualified. Complete course and examination for all vessel types and uses. 1-800-245-4425 or

2021 Dauphine Street

Classified Advertising Contact: (207) 842-5496

(800) 823-1324

New Orleans, LA 70116

(504) 945-8917

Is your old 401k working as hard as you do? Annuities are tax deferred investment products that may be used to help you increase & protect your savings and generate a stream of income at retirement. Call me... I can help! Lannum Insurance Services 530-350-8121 Office/ 530-556-0111 Cell “Life Happens... Are You Protected?”

46 • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

To advertise please contact us • 207-842-5496 • SERVICES GULF COAST MARINE SURVEYS

Buyers or Sellers Surveys


Workboats, PSV, AHTS Crew Boats Vanuatu Annual Port State Inspections

Ahead Sanitation Systems Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Call or email Today!!! 985-413-7546

Armstrong Marine USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

BAYFRONT MARINE, INC. WORLDWIDE VESSEL DELIVERY SERVICE EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS Licensed Masters, Engineers and Crews Call Mel or Diane Longo (904) 824-8970

Aventics Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Baltic Workboats US LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Blount Boats Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 C & C Marine and Repair LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Duramax Marine LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CV3 ExxonMobil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Furuno USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Imtra Corp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 International WorkBoat Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Karl Senner, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CV4 Louisiana Cat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Lubriplate Lubricants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 MAN Engines & Components Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Marine Machining & Mfg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 McDermott Light & Signal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Mitsubishi Turbocharger and Engine America, Inc . . . . . . . . 27 Motor-Services Hugo Stamp Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 MTU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Northern Lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Research Products/Blankenship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 R M Young Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Rolls-Royce Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 R W Fernstrum & Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

VESSELS TUGS/BARGES FOR RENT BARGES SIZED FROM 8’x18’ TO 45’x120’ ALSO “SHUGART” SECTIONAL BARGES “TRUCKABLE TUGS” HERE Smith Brothers I nc., G alesville, MD 20765 (410) 867-1818 w w • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat

Smith Berger Marine Inc/Marco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 TEUFELBERGER Fiber Rope Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Twin Disc Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CV2 Volvo Penta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Yanmar America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28



• On this month’s cover is the steelhulled Meriwether Lewis. The 105'×28' towboat is powered by a 360-hp Enterprise diesel. St. Louis Shipbuilding & Steel Co., St. Louis, designed and built the vessel for Butcher-Arthur Inc., Houston. The Meriwether Lewis is the first of six identical towboats. Each boat will push tows consisting of a pair of 20,000-bbl. integrated barges,

16 of which are being built at St. Louis Shipbuilding. • U.S. Rep. Robert E. Jones Jr., D-Ala., has introduced a companion bill to the one Sen. John H. Overton, D-La., introduced in the Senate to increase Federal Barge Lines’ capital stock from $15 million to $33 million. The Jones bill is now before the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, which has taken much more interest in FBL MAY 1958 than the Senate. Jones is

hopeful that he can obtain a full-dress hearing for his bill before final adjournment. Of FBL’s authorized stock of $15 million, the Treasury Department holds $12 million, with the balance unissued.

• Barge tonnage fell 19.7%, barge loadings dropped 12.1%, and gross freight revenue posted a 15.3% decline in the first quarter of 1958, compared to the same period in 1957, according to the Inland Waterways Common Carriers Association. Also, barge loadings dropped to 7,707 during the quarter compared to 8,768 a year earlier. First-quarter tons transported dropped from 9.54 million in 1957 to 7.66 million for the same period MAY 1968 in 1958. • The barge industry is releasing case histories that show the savings from improved water-rail coordination. Floyd Blaske, chairman of American Commercial Lines, announced that the new campaign would “appeal to the business of self interest of shippers and railroads involved in particular movements of traffic.” The first case involves steel pipe moved from Pittsburgh to 48

• San Francisco tug and barge operator Tom Crowley Jr. has purchased four 126' wooden-hulled Army surplus tugs. Built during World War II, the tugs were bought at auction sales over the past several months for an average price of $100,000.

Texas for use in the oil industry. Blaske suggested barge transport to Memphis, Tenn., then rail to Odessa, Texas. The annual tonnage between Odessa and Pittsburgh is over 20,000 tons. The current all-rail rate is $30.80 a ton for a minimum weight of 35 net tons. “Our analysis shows a potential savings of $6.18 a net ton ... and annual savings of $123,000,” Blaske said. • MAY 2018 • WorkBoat



Engineered for Optimum Sealing Performance.

The DryMax™ seal is a robust, environmentally friendly, water-lubricated stern tube seal system. Engineered to accommodate the most axial and radial shaft movement of any seal design while eliminating wear on the shaft.

Reversible DuraChrome™ mating ring gives 2X the life extending drydock intervals

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.

Virtually maintenance free. An inflatable seal is built into the housing allowing seal inspection and primary sealing ring replacement at sea without dry docking.


DryMax™ is ideal for vessels operating in both brown and blue water. It accommodates shaft sizes and stern tubes up to 36".


The DryMax™ seal is also available as a rudder stock seal.

For more information on DryMax™ Shaft Seal or to purchase contact: Duramax Marine at 440-834-5400 or go to

Duramax Marine® is an ISO 9001:2008 Certified Company

Products And Knowledge You Trust

p: 440.834.5400 f: 800.497.9283


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WorkBoat May 2018  

Cover Story: Slack Tide The offshore service industry continues to wait for a rebound in the U.S. Gulf market.

WorkBoat May 2018  

Cover Story: Slack Tide The offshore service industry continues to wait for a rebound in the U.S. Gulf market.