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Mariners' Mental Health • Subchapter M COIs ®


JUNE 2018




|N OV .2


30 ,2

01 8


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Edison Chouest OSVs at LaShip in Houma, La. Photo by Roy Slaughter

JUNE 2018 • VOLUME 75, NO. 6

FEATURES 22 Focus: Compliance Time It’s time for towing vessels to begin to comply with Subchapter M’s phased-in inspection regime.

26 Focus: Mental Notes More resources wanted to help address the mental health of mariners.

40 Cover Story: Yearbook


• The arrival of Tier 4 engines hits the tug market • Shipyards that build for the passenger vessel, tug and small-boat markets are keeping busy • The barge industry sees demand strengthen while still dealing with an equipment oversupply • Passenger vessels continue to operate in a strong market • Demand still soft in the U.S. Gulf

BOATS & GEAR 30 On the Ways • Pilot and port security boats for the Virgin Islands from Metal Shark • Third Rhode Island fast ferry underway at Gladding-Hearn • North River Boats delivers two fireboats • Two 36' landing craft-style boats for Alaska from Hard Drive Marine • Main Iron Works building four 2,680-hp towboats for Kirby • 37' RIB whale watcher from Armstrong Marine for Washington state has triple Yamaha 300-hp outboards • Silver Ships builds spec 26' fire/rescue boat • Gulf Island awarded Navy contract

AT A GLANCE 8 8 9 10 12 14 16

NEWS LOG 18 18 19 19 20 21


On the Water: Building models — Part I. Captain’s Table: Take time to reconnect with peers. Energy Level: Automation and AI for workboats? WB Stock Index: Stocks dip 4% in April. Inland Insider: Freight trends mixed for barges. Insurance Watch: Has your revenue stream been cut? Legal Talk: Gridlock slows the wheels of justice.

Offshore wind development moves forward. Final barge for Jeffboat launched. Barge industry sees pros and cons from Trump tariffs. Ballast water legislation blocked. Infrastructure plan appears dead for 2018. Offshore wind energy CEO appointed to NOIA board. • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

DEPARTMENTS 2 6 50 55 56

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



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n this year’s Yearbook report (see page 40), we once again report on each of the major workboat sectors. Again, there was good news and bad, and we covered it all. But in this column, I’m just going to highlight the positives. The tug sector continues to hum along. The market saw notable firsts over the year, including the arrival of Tier 4 engines and emission control systems. Tier 4 tug designs from Jensen Maritime Consultants led the way, with the Earl W Redd, a 120'×35'×19'3" offshore towing and ship assist tug for Harley Marine Services. It is outfitted with the first Caterpillar Tier 4 engines installed in a U.S. tug — a pair of 2,675-hp 3516Cs. On the East Coast, McAllister Towing and Transportation Inc. has added the first pair of what will be four Jensen-designed Tier 4 6,770-hp tugs to its fleet. In the shipyard sector, yards that build ferries, military and government patrol boats, tugs and other non-energy related vessels are busy. Another sector that has seen some activity is specialized articulated tug-barges. This includes ATBs for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and ammonia. There have also been several more traditional ATBs built or are under construction. Ferries are one of the hottest sectors of a passenger vessel market that’s cruising along in a favorable economy, adding new vessels and refurbishing older ones. This includes refurbishment work on vessels that are being transformed into overnight inland river cruise boats to meet demand. Passenger vessel operators say they

David Krapf, Editor in Chief

simply don’t have enough space, and that’s why they are building and refurbishing so many boats. Even barge operators seem to be getting close to emerging from a market that has been plagued by oversupply, lower freight rates and bad weather. The dry cargo barge sector is expected to benefit from a surge in demand for export coal, metallurgic coal, corn, fertilizer, soybeans and aluminum. There’s also been strong demand for other barged bulk commodities such as cement, steel raw materials and frac sand, due mostly to overall improvements in the national economy.

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. • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

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Benefits to Tier 4 compliance


he criteria for selecting marine engines has changed considerably with the need for Tier 4 compliance but there are some benefits as well. In the case of the MTU products described in the March 2018 story, “Power Up,” what actually happens with SCR (selective catalytic reduction) is that DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) is

injected into the exhaust and NOx is not “removed” but converted into harmless water and nitrogen through a carefully controlled process with a high conversion rate being the goal. The particulates are not removed in the combustion process, but fewer are formed by higher temperatures now allowed. This results in higher NOx, but which is now dealt with by the SCR system. Depending on the engine, lower fuel consumption is often achieved with this

emissions package. In the case of the John Deere products described in the article, there are not “commercial EPA ratings” per se (EPA does not set ratings), but rather “commercial ratings” for which EPA compliance would have been achieved, depending on the engine, up through the latest and most stringent, Tier 4. John Fischer Palatine, Ill .

Dad’s tug appeared on WorkBoat cover in 1948

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y dad, Capt. O.T. Melvin Jr., received your magazine in the 1940s, and I still get it today. In “WorkBoat Looks Back” on page 52 of your March 2018 issue there’s a picture of the tug Admiral from the March 1948 cover. The tug was built for my dad. He operated several other tugs prior to acquiring the Admiral. My dad had a contract for the tug to assist in docking ships in Port St. Joe, Fla. When the contract expired the tug returned to Louisiana and was sold. Would it be possible to obtain a copy of the cover from the March 1948 WorkBoat magazine? I would like to frame it along with other vessels my family owned. M.T. Melvin Thibodaux, La.

Editor’s note: We only have one copy of the March 1948 issue, but we can email a high-resolution image of the cover to you. Thanks for reading WorkBoat for all these years.

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On the Water

Building models — Part I


By Joel Milton

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

t’s not a pretty picture, no matter what angle you view it from. The findings from the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board after concluding their separate investigations of the now infamous sinking of the 790' El Faro in the Bahamas on Oct. 1, 2015, are sobering stuff. In spite of the fact that various parties representing various interests will continue to dispute portions of the Coast Guard and NTSB reports, the many failures and shortcomings that led to the disaster leave no one untouched. Poor situational awareness, aided and abetted by inadequate professional training, an ineffective safety culture afloat and ashore, and an unwillingness to consider worst-case scenarios and possible alternatives to avoid them, led directly to a series of clearly bad operational decisions. But these decisions did not occur in a vacuum. A complete lack of checks and balances, both on the water and

Captain’s Table Take time to reconnect


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@


n the last decade or so, people’s work lives have become increasingly busy. Some of this is the result of changing technology, which permits us to work faster, and some of it can be attributed to a changing business climate. In recent years, I remember hearing that the new normal was doing more with less. Resources and budgets are tight, yet there is still pressure to produce. As an owner of a passenger vessel business, I am used to coping with economic peaks and valleys, regulatory changes and weather problems. In dealing with all of this change and everincreasing workloads, I believe that we tend to isolate ourselves from one of our most important resources — each other. Interacting with industry colleagues and peers, government regulators and others in industry should be viewed as an essential part of our daily workday. When we come together we learn from each other, share ideas and gain new perspectives. In March, I organized and attended the 2018 Inland Waterways Conference in New Orleans. This conference, which has been held for more

ashore, resulted in the voyage gradually snowballing into a mass-fatality disaster. Insufficient safety support and oversight from every level — corporate, regulatory, etc. — laid the foundation for it all to unravel, resulting in the deaths of 33 crewmembers for no good reason at all. There is much to think about, but I’ll point first to remarks made by NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt at one of the hearings in Washington, D.C. Referring to the El Faro’s captain, Michael Davidson, he said, he “had a mental model that the hurricane would be in one place, and based on that mental model and based on his previous experience he thought they were going to be OK.” That mental model proved to be wrong, and with fatal consequences. Since we all build mental models for everything we do (even if you’re unaware of it) and no one is immune from building a bad one, you might want to consider the serious ramifications of that fact. As for the value of experience, consider this: Davidson’s previous experience did not help him and probably pushed him further into a corner from which there was no escape.

than 40 years, brought together key leaders in the tug, towboat and barge industries, the passenger vessel industry, as well as industry suppliers. It also involved key leaders from the Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers. Attendees had a chance to interact with key industry leaders such as Rear Adm. Paul Thomas, commander, Eighth Coast Guard District, and Maj. Gen. Richard Kaiser, commander of the Corps’ Mississippi Valley Division and president of the Mississippi River Commission. Key industry players discussed working with the Coast Guard and third parties to implement Subchapter M. Commanders from each sector in the Eighth Coast Guard District were present to listen to industry concerns, answer questions and give advice. Representatives from the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center also conducted a question and answer session on mariner licensing. The conference had something for everyone who had an interest in the inland river transportation system. It is important to get out from behind your cubicle or wheelhouse and reconnect with colleagues and peers by participating in an industry event or gathering. There is always something to be learned and shared. When we take the time to do this, everyone benefits. • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

Energy Level

17-Nov 17-Dec 18-Jan WORKBOAT GOM INDICATORS 18-Feb FEB. '18 Mar-18 WTI Crude Oil 63.52 Apr-18 Baker Hughes Rig Count 17 IHS OSV Utilization 26.7% U.S. Oil Production (millions bpd) 10.3 Sources: Baker-Hughes; IHS Markit; U.S. EIA

Automation arrives

25.9% 10.6*


APR. '17 48.90 17 23.21% 9.3


GOM Rig Count


By Bill Pike 25


n recent years, the oil and gas industry has changed rapidly in response to low oil prices. Among the most significant changes is a move toward using automation and artificial intelligence (AI) in operations that should significantly lower costs. It has worked onshore in the Middle East and in places like the Permian Basin, where, with evolving technology, much of it related to automation and AI, production has climbed to over three million barrels of oil per day. This progress is about to move into the workboat sector where the same technologies used in driverless cars are set to transform the shipping industry. “The world may be focused on self-driving cars, but the autonomous revolution won’t be limited to roads and highways,” Joseph Bennington-Castro wrote on NBC News MACH last year. Ship crews will change along with the vessels. Crews will be largely unneeded on most vessels. Captains will still have a job to do, but they’ll monitor multiple autonomous ships from shore rather than a single ship at sea. “The roles are changing, but we will be providing an opportunity to be a seafarer with better working conditions and safer environments,” said Oskar Levander, a vice-president in the marine division of Rolls-Royce. The first benefit will be a reduction in accidents and deaths due, in large part, to fatigue. In addition to saving lives, autonomous ships will cut costs. Levander estimates that a fully autonomous ship might cost 20% less to operate than a conventionally crewed ship. Without the need for crew quarters, a large bridge, lifeboats, and other features, ships can be lighter, more compact and less expensive to operate. Rolls-Royce is developing autonomous systems that can work at sea for weeks at a time without human intervention, Levander said, adding that the required sensor, naviga-

MAR. '18 65.49 12 25.6% 10.4*

20 18 16 17 12 APR. '18 67.61 18 18

20 15 10



5 0

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

tion, and communication technologies already exist. Autonomous technology will be available for vessels ranging from large, oceangoing ships to tugs. The cost sav- • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

ings should be substantial. With the current, low day rates, the benefits could be big for the workboat industry. Look for implementation to be well underway by 2020 to 2022.

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WorkBoat Composite Index Stocks post small loss in April


n April, despite operators gaining over 8% and winners topping losers by a ratio of more than 2-1, the WorkBoat Composite Index lost 87 points, or almost 4%. Four of the five top percentage gainers for the month were oil service companies. The lone exception was Gulf Island Fabrication. Despite posting a STOCK CHART INDEX COMPARISONS Operators Suppliers Shipyards Workboat Composite PHLX Oil Service Index Dow Jones Industrials Standard & Poors 500

first-quarter net loss of $5.3 million, or 35 cents a share, stock in the Houstonbased builder of complex steel structures and marine vessels rose over 40% in April. The first-quarter results were an improvement over the same period last year when Gulf Island posted a $6.5 million loss, or 44 cents a share. Kirk Meche, the company’s CEO Source: FinancialContent Inc.

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

4/30/18 329.96 3640.00 3158.04 2209.56 155.83 24163.15 2648.05

NET CHANGE 25.87 -218.96 -164.44 -87.20 20.14 60.04 7.18

PERCENT CHANGE 8.51 -5.67 -4.95 -3.80 14.84 0.25 0.27

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and president, cited several reasons for the improvement including its services division posting stronger results due to improving offshore demand. During the first quarter, the company was awarded a $63.5 million Navy contract for the design and construction of a new towing, salvage and rescue ship (T-ATS). The contract includes options for seven additional vessels which would increase the value of the contract to $522.7 million. Gulf Island also signed a contract with U.S. Wind Inc. for a meteorological (MET) tower and platform for its offshore wind project located off the coast of Maryland. “While this is not substantial as it relates to revenue, it does show Gulf Island’s continued efforts to diversify by being selected for a second U.S. offshore wind project,” Meche said during April’s earnings call with analysts. — David Krapf

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Inland Insider Mixed freight trends


ecent news headlines seem to reflect a mixture of freight trends ranging from “Inland barge oversupply dooms Jeffboat” in last month’s WorkBoat to “North American Freight Numbers Reach Record-High Levels,” from the U.S. Department of Transportation in April.

The most notable recent headline was “Railroad Pay Tracks Higher,” from the April 24, 2018, Wall Street Journal. The story was about two western railroads that are paying signing bonuses in the range of $10,000 to $25,000 for new employees for certain crafts at particular locations where there is record low unemployment. Major rail systems that experienced significant reductions in coal tonnages ranging from 30% to 50% responded

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with extensive employee layoffs. Now four of these systems are seeing major service congestion problems in response to increased business By Kevin Horn but have insufficient resources Kevin Horn is a to move the traffic. senior manager Recalls of laid off with GEC Inc., employees have Delaplane, Va. not been enough to He can be move the freight. contacted at The closure of Jeffboat as a supplier of new barges might well look the same for soft conditions facing rail car manufacturers. The closure is a direct result of the oversupply of serviceable barges for current freight volumes. Barges that are well constructed and maintained have an operating life in the range of 20 to 30 years. Thus, the current surplus of barges means that unless the fleet age pattern is skewed toward older barges facing imminent retirement or there is a rapid growth in cargo, the barge surplus will be around for years. Everyone seems to know about the cyclical nature of freight transportation from equipment suppliers to operating employees. However, the equipment and employment booms and busts seem to be fresh every cycle. For example the current cycle of truck shortages and rapid increases in truck freight pricing seems to have come out of nowhere. It is a reflection of growing consumer and manufacturing sectors taxing the available pool of truck equipment and drivers. Publicly held rail freight carriers are optimistic about 2018. This optimism should eventually carry over to the barge freight sector. Monthly indicators for the first quarter for the barge sector are encouraging, particularly for chemicals. It appears that there is more freight to move in 2018 and that the current capacity struggles are a welcome respite from the doldrums of the recent past. • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

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Insurance Watch Vessel out of operation?

W 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@

hen your vessel is out of service its not making money. What about the business lost when charters had to be cancelled? Your revenue stream has been cut. You’re out of luck, unless you have a loss of earnings (LOE) endorsement attached to your hull policy. When it comes to LOE, there are several important factors to keep in mind. First, there has to be a covered cause of loss. (What’s covered has to be spelled out in the policy or it’s not covered.) A grounding that results in a vessel being hauled for three weeks for repairs causing it to cancel a charter most likely would trigger an LOE. The two weeks of rain and fog which kept potential passengers away from your boat and you at the dock would not. Second, just like with other policies, LOE comes with a deductible. But rather than a dollar deductible, LOE has a “number-of-days-afterthe-claim” deductible. This can vary from three

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days to more than a week. Remember, similar to many sections of your marine policy, this can be negotiable, so ask your agent for a deductible that works best for you. The amount of LOE you have will depend on your good faith estimate on what your loss of earnings would be from a business interruption. This can be based on future jobs you have booked or on a review of the previous year’s earnings. The LOE comes with both a total limit as well as a maximum monthly limit. Your insurance company may request to inspect your records and financial data to verify your request. Of course, the higher the amount of LOE the higher the additional premium. Speaking of limits, for purposes of this coverage, insurance companies define LOE as net profits and continuing expenses. Generally this coverage is specific to a vessel. However, if you have a fleet of similar vessels check and see if you can get blanket coverage limits. If your business shuts down due to your vessel being unable to operate, don’t let a gap in coverage close your doors for good.

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Legal Talk

Political gridlock slows judicial appointments


By Daniel J. Hoerner

Daniel J. Hoerner is a maritime attorneywith Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett LLC. He can be reached at 504-595-3000 or dhoerner@mblb. com.

here’s an old saying that the wheels of justice grind slowly. However, this adage has taken on a deeper significance in recent years due to political infighting and Congressional wrangling in the federal judicial nomination process. The Constitution grants power to the president to appoint all federal judges, subject to confirmation by the Senate. In addition to the nine seats on the U.S. Supreme Court, the president is responsible for the appointment of about 180 appellate court judges and more than 650 district court judges. These are lifetime appointments, so the selection and approval process is serious business. Ideally, any candidate considered for a judicial appointment should be fair and unbiased. Inevitably, however, political ideologies influence the selection and screening process. Often, especially with Supreme Court nominations, judicial appoint-

ments reflect the ideology of the party in power. A system of checks and balances prevents unlimited appointment powers of the leaders in charge. As a result, the president chooses the nominee, but that choice will not make it to the bench without Congressional approval. With increasing frequency, such political bickering has resulted in an unusually high number of vacancies, particularly at the district court level. There are currently 148 vacancies on the federal bench. Senate confirmation for 68 appointments is pending. That leaves a lot of criminal cases and civil suits without a presiding judge. In one of the most glaring examples, there are two divisions in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana without a single sitting district judge. Cases that are pending there can languish, with litigants unable to get a trial date Well-vetted judicial appointees are critical to ensuring an effective and just legal system. Unfortunately, the needs of our judicial system are too often adversely affected by politicians more concerned with advancing their own agendas than doing what is good for the country.

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JUNE 2018

NEWS LOG Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spoke at an offshore wind energy conference April 6 in New Jersey. Teamsters Local 89





hile most Atlantic coastal states push back against the Trump administration’s desire to open more areas to offshore oil and gas, there is a growing — and just as controversial — convergence toward developing East Coast offshore wind energy. Speaking at the Business Network for Offshore Wind conference near Princeton, N.J., in April, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke acknowledged that East Coast governors and state lawmakers have significant leverage with their control over oil and gas infrastructure development on shore and in state waters. Within weeks New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy flexed that power, signing a measure to effectively ban offshore oil and gas support activities in his state. But on offshore wind energy, Democratic governors like Murphy and the Republican Trump administration appear to be aligning. “As we look to the future, wind energy, particularly offshore wind, will


play a greater role in sustaining American energy dominance,” Zinke wrote in an April 16 opinion column for the Boston Globe. “Offshore wind uniquely leverages the natural resources off of our East Coast, bringing jobs and meeting the region’s demand for renewable energy. “While we continue our commitment to the coal miners and other energy workers who built our nation, we also support wind as a valued component of a diverse and flexible energy policy,” Zinke added. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is proposing another wind lease sale of nearly 390,000 acres off Massachusetts, where three wind developers already hold leases. In early May BOEM officials met with fishermen and state energy planners from New York and New Jersey, to discuss the agency’s consideration of large new lease offerings in the New York Bight. President Trump criticized wind power during the 2016 election cam-

SUNY Maritime

Atlantic states resist offshore drilling as wind energy moves forward

early two centuries of shipbuilding on the banks of the Ohio River came to an end April 23 when the last barge built at Jeffboat slid down the ways at the Indiana shipyard. “Jeffboat did more than build barges,” Jeffersonville Mayor Michael Moore told television station WHAS-11 at a somber launch ceremony attended by about 75 people. “They built the city of Jeffersonville.” Founded in 1834 by steamboat builder James Howard, Jeffboat in recent years employed up to 800 workers building barges, towboats and specialty vessels. But overbuilding and oversupply in the inland barge sector hit the company hard, and layoffs were on track to reduce the workforce to around 80. At that level, parent company American Commercial Lines (owned by Platinum Equities LLC) decided that the business was no longer sustainable. Almost 13,000 vessels have been built at Jeffboat. — David Krapf

paign. His administration’s embrace of the budding offshore industry has surprised wind power skeptics, who derided it as a subsidized boondoggle from the Obama administration. East Coast commercial fishermen called on Massachusetts Gov. Charles D. Baker Jr. to take a slower approach on wind development, limiting the first development off Martha’s Vineyard to no more than 400 megawatts while studying the effects of building turbines on the ocean environment and fisheries. • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

United Soybean Board

Zinke acknowledged the seafood industry is raising “well-founded” concerns, but he also stressed wind will be a major new offshore industry. “Just like the pioneers who drilled our nation’s first offshore wells in the 1890s, those men and women who construct wind turbines in American waters in the years to come will continue to set our nation toward clean energy dominance,” Zinke wrote.

will take a hit as demand for bargedriven transport drops and a share of this market shifts to places like Brazil and Argentina. “It’s true that China’s demand of foreign-produced exports is so substantial that the U.S will continue to export to them a significant volume of soybeans,” said Mike Steenhoek, director of the Soybean Transportation Coalition. “However, it does not require a wholesale abandonment of U.S. soybeans to impose trauma on U.S. soybean farmers. A marginal decrease can have a notable effect on prices. Barge companies should view the trade friction with China as unwelcome.”

— Kirk Moore

Midwest farmers, barge operators eye tariff threat


— Pamela Glass

Great Lakes senators block ballast water legislation


he waterways industry lost its latest bid to get Congress to set a single set of national standards for ballast water discharges when senators from the Great Lakes states persuaded colleagues to block the measure. Waterways operators must comply with the discharge requirements of 25 different states, which industry advo-

Coast Guard

brewing trade war between the U.S. and China could penalize U.S. soybean growers and barge companies, while benefitting operators that carry domestic steel and aluminum. Barge lines that carry U.S.-made steel and aluminum products stand to gain from a 25% tariff that President Trump imposed in April on imported steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum. (On April 30, the Trump administration said that it would delay a decision on imposing the tariffs on the European Union, Canada and Mexico for another 30 days.) Intended to give a boost to the sagging U.S. steel industry, the tariffs have led to increased domestic production and more barge movements of these products on the waterways. Already there has been a “modest resurgence in the river-served primary aluminum industry” when Alcoa announced it would partially restart a plant in Indiana, and it appears that other companies will follow, River Transport News reported. Barged shipments of metallurgical coal used in steel production also showed an uptick Meanwhile, China’s threat to retaliate with a 25% tariff on soybean imports from the U.S. could affect Midwest growers and barge companies that haul grains through the river system to ports in Louisiana for export. If China goes ahead and limits imports of U.S. agricultural products like soybeans and sorghum, barge operators

A soybean barge at a Midwest grain elevator

Coast Guard petty officer Jonathan Braddy checks for salinity in a ballast water sample from a Great Lakes vessel. • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

cates say are confusing and hinder maritime commerce. The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) would exempt a vessel’s ballast water from Clean Water Act oversight under the Environmental Protection Agency, and stop states from regulating the discharges by giving the Coast Guard sole authority over ballast water standards. The American Waterways Operators has sought the change for years and had lined up 60 senators for a key procedural vote that would include it in the Coast Guard Authorization Act. But the measure failed by three votes to advance to final passage. AWO executive vice president Jennifer Carpenter said senators who changed their minds did so to address concerns of colleagues from the Great Lakes who wanted more time before voting. It was not based on policy, she said, explaining that this version of VIDA is far more stringent than versions cosponsored by senators who now voted against it. “This was politics, of senators wanting to stand by their Great Lakes colleagues.” Critics object to removing the EPA’s authority and handing it solely to the Coast Guard, arguing that this would weaken important water protections, open the door to pollution and allow harmful organisms like zebra mussels to be released. They also question whether the Coast Guard is equipped to handle the oversight work. The Chicago-based Alliance for the Great Lakes praised the Senate vote, saying that “people of the Great Lakes region have spoken out repeatedly against this legislation and today they have won. Aquatic invasive species have caused irreparable harm to the Great Lakes ecosystem and cost the region billions of dollars since the late 1980s.” AWO says it hasn’t given up on VIDA 19

this year, and is asking its members to speak with senators who flipped their positions because passing the legislation is important to maritime constituents in their states. “This is absolutely not dead,” Carpenter said. “We’re working to keep the momentum up. This is something that needs to be resolved this year, and VIDA is a very bipartisan and balanced bill.” — P. Glass

Infrastructure plan stalled, operators look to 2019


resident Trump’s plan to pass a comprehensive infrastructure plan — which was a cornerstone of his campaign and rolled out with much fanfare in February — appears to be dead for this year with the approach of fall midterm elections. Instead, lawmakers are focusing on two transportation sectors that need

immediate legislative attention and can garner bipartisan support in an election year — aviation and waterways — rather than tackling the more controversial issues involved in the broader infrastructure package. “Congress appears to be approaching the president's infrastructure proposal in piecemeal fashion,” said Mike Toohey, president and CEO of the Waterways Council Inc., which advocates for a modern, efficient and wellmaintained system of inland waterways infrastructure. House Republican leaders, led by Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, plans to authorize federal water projects through the Water Resources Development Act. WRDA will be an important bill for advancing key policies on waterways funding. WCI is seeking to increase the federal contribution paid into the

Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) that finances river navigation construction, raising the current 50-50 arrangements to 75% federal and 25% from industry gasoline taxes. A 75-25 split could maintain the current $400 million construction level that is being largely consumed for completion of the Olmsted Lock and Dam project on the Ohio River. “That project will finish in August and we’ll drop back to a $220 million program, which will further extend timelines on other priority waterways projects,” said Deb Calhoun, WCI’s senior vice president. The group is also proposing that 10% of revenue from federal hydropower be placed in the trust fund. Delaying the broader infrastructure plan could help waterways advocates get Congress to address their concerns. The tug and barge industry was unhappy with parts of the plan rolled out

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ffshore wind energy developer Deepwater Wind was presented with a prestigious safety award at the April annual meeting of the National Ocean Industries Association. The company’s CEO Jeff Gry-

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by Trump in February. They objected to proposals to charge user or lockage fees on commercial users of the rivers, and to shift the traditional federal responsibility for inland navigation to the private sector. The fees would be in addition to the 29-cent-per-gallon diesel fuel tax that barge operators already pay into the IWTF. Delaying the proposal to next year would be a plus for the industry, as it

The Olmsted Lock and Dam under construction on the Ohio River in 2017.

gives lawmakers and barge companies more time to address the industry’s concerns, and to concentrate on making positive policy changes in WRDA for waterways funding. “We look at it as potentially two

bites at an infrastructure apple,” Calhoun said. “WRDA has a better chance of moving this year successfully and the administration proposal is not helpful in its current form.”

bowski was also appointed to NOIA’s board of directors. NOIA bestowed its 2018 Safety-in-Seas (SIS) Safety Practice Award for Deepwater Wind’s “innovative safety practices during and after the installation of Block Island Wind Farm,” the nation’s first offshore wind farm, according to a statement from the association. NOIA’s election of new board members April 12 was another signal that offshore wind has ar-

rived as part of the industry, with Grybowski’s appointment. “Safe offshore operations, both traditional and non-traditional, are essential in meeting our nation’s energy needs, and I congratulate Deepwater Wind for setting the bar for excellence in safe offshore wind operations while paving the way for the nascent U.S. offshore wind industry,” NOIA President Randall Luthi said in announcing the award.

— P. Glass

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Subchapter M

Compliance Time Companies prepare for Subchapter M’s phased-in inspections.


he letter from the U.S. Coast Guard is clear and unequivocal: “On July 20, 2018, owners and operators will be responsible for ensuring that their vessels comply with the provisions of 46 CFR Subchapter M … vessels are required to obtain a Certificate of Inspection (COI) over a four-year phase-in period …” Those vessels that were previously categorized as “uninspected towing vessels” now must comply with specific standards. The standards were developed over the course of several years to raise the bar for safety on towing vessels. The milestone rulemaking covers both the equipment and the operation of the vessel. Operators must have the vessel ready for the phased-in inspection regime and have a vessel safety management system (SMS) in place. Staring at a hard

deadline, operators are adopting various strategies to comply with the new regulations while attempting to minimize the affect it will have on the bottom line. Tampa, Fla.-based Dann Ocean Towing was one of the first operators to apply for a COI under Subchapter M. Under the rule, Dann Ocean Towing had various options when it came to preparing its COI application. There is the option to schedule a Coast Guard inspection or hire an approved third party organization (TPO) to audit and approve the vessel and the company’s SMS. Dann Ocean’s fleet of 14 offshore tugs operates in international waters and the company has already implemented an SMS that exceeds the requirements of Subchapter M via a classification society.

Dann Ocean Towing

By Kathy Bergren Smith, Correspondent

Dann Ocean Towing was one of the first operators to apply for a COI under Subchapter M.

22 • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

Marc White, captain of Intracoastal Marine’s 1,800-hp tug Hoss, reports for a hitch on his tug with a new laptop to aid in the recordkeeping requirements of Subchapter M.

on tugboats 22 years ago,” said Marc White, captain on Intracoastal Marine’s 1,800-hp tug Hoss. “Back then all that you needed was knowledge of rules of the road and a good feel for the water and boat handling. Not a lot of communications skills were required.” White worked his way up to captain. “Back then, a logbook had minimal entries,” he said. “Today, I spend about an hour-and-a-half on pre- and post- • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat



n April 19, Marine Towing of Tampa, Tampa, Fla., obtained the first Certificate of Inspection (COI) to be issued as part of the Subchapter M towing vessel regulations, Coast Guard officials said. The COI was issued to the Endeavor, a 90'x50'x10.8', 4,200-hp shipdocking module (SDM) tractor tug, operated by Marine Towing in the Tampa Bay area. Built in 2000 by Halter Marine, the tug is a mission-specific vessel for ship assist work. It was designed with diametrically opposed Z-drives. All towing vessels are required to comply with Subchapter M rules by July 20, 2018, and the COI provisions are being phased in. Towing companies have options under Subchapter M, such as using Coast Guardapproved third party inspections and an internal towing safety management system (TSMS) to ensure their vessels are in compliance.

The tug Endeavor.

Marine Towing of Tampa

OLDER VESSELS CUT In near-coastal waters, operators with older vessels like Intracoastal Marine Inc., Chesapeake, Va., are finding compliance a bit more complex. Like Dann, owner and president Greg Conn has stayed abreast of the rulemaking as it developed and already had an SMS in place. Intracoastal Marine operates a fleet of nine boats, eight of which are subject to the new regulations. Conn, a tug captain himself who built his business from one boat, has decided that that first boat, the 600-hp Carolina, will be a casualty of Subchapter M. The 39'×16' pusher tug was built in 1958. “It is just not worth making the upgrades required to bring her into compliance, even though she is structurally in good shape,” Conn said. “She had other operational deficiencies, so we just will let her go.” His other boats already carry stickers from the Coast Guard bridging inspection program, so with some equipment changes, Conn feels confident his fleet will be in compliance. New safety gear and upgrades to the boats all cost money. “No doubt, the cost of compliance will wind up driving up the cost of towing,” he said. On the operational side, mandated recordkeeping changes for tug captains under Subchapter M create entirely different issues. “I really feel that the entire scope of this career has changed since I started

voyage checks in order to comply with the company’s safety management system. I have pondered whether or not I would go into it now, and of course I would, I love this job.” This aspect of Subchapter M represents a cultural shift, according to Pat Folan of Tug and Barge Solutions LLC, a Daphne, Ala.-based certified TPO. Folan is a member of the Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) and was an owner-operator himself. While the focus on implementation of a safety management system is aimed at making tugboats a safer work environment, Folan said that it also makes it more difficult for a small startup company like the one he ran. “When Subchapter M was created we looked at current operations and designed a regulatory framework that would raise safety across the fleet,” he said. “But what about the start-up company? I put enough money together to buy a tug and went into business for myself. I don’t see how anyone will be able to do that in the near future,” said Folan.

Kathy Bergren Smith

“We try to stay out front when it comes to regulatory and compliance,” said Stephen Dann, president of the company. “We were following the development of the rule, so this has not snuck up on us.” Dann is like many towing vessel operators who, as members of the American Waterways Operators, were briefed regularly and have benefitted from the AWO’s Responsible Carrier Program being accepted as an existing safety management system by the Coast Guard. Dann said he has added a second compliance officer to assist in managing the applications for each vessel’s COI.

The announcement of the first COI in Tampa — issued by the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg — was accompanied by a list with contact information for all OCMI offices. It is worth noting that tugs now fall into the same category under Subchapter M as a Western Rivers towboat and an offshore tug, highlighting the many challenges the Coast Guard faces with this new rule. — Kirk Moore


The Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection will be the vessel operators’ point of contact for scheduling inspections under the Coast Guard option.

He is disappointed in his fellow owner-operators who did not show up during the public meetings to add their input into the rule. To alleviate some of the complexity of recordkeeping, Folan and other TPOs are offering a digital option for their customers. All the documents needed for the required safety meetings and drills as well as the SMS created for each vessel is built into an app. While the TPO option might be handy for such smaller operations, the monthly subscription that runs several hundred dollars per boat may drive them to use the Coast Guard. COAST GUARD HELP Erik Johnson, National Towing Vessel Coordinator for the Coast Guard’s Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance, said that since industry stakeholders collaborated with the Coast Guard in drafting the regulation, word has been out about

the impending deadline for months. “It is the smallest operators that I am endeavoring to reach and educate,” he said. “I have visited as many Coast Guard sectors as I can to answer questions and concerns.” He points to the National Towing Vessel Center of Expertise’s website that contains resources, checklists and job aids for those looking to become compliant. Here, there is a downloadable decision-making aid called “TugSafe” that sends no information to the Coast Guard but allows operators to enter the specifics of their vessels and find the requirements and guidelines on how to comply. “There is also a list of the phone numbers of all the Officers in Charge of Marine Inspections (OCMI) with whom operators need to begin a dialogue as soon as possible in order to schedule an inspection,” Johnson said. As expected, he said most companies are using the

U.S. Coast Guard

Subchapter M

TPO option, but the service structured the phase in to be certain that there would be enough coverage for those selecting the annual Coast Guard option. No matter which option operators choose, compliance time has arrived. “The bottom line is we will have a safer tug fleet and more professional workforce,” said Conn. “But it is going to cost you more when you hire a tug.”


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Mariner Mental Health

Mental Notes The industry is concerned about mariners' mental health.

By Dale K. DuPont, Correspondent



ariners’ unique work environment can be more harrowing than many others. “The day-to-day mariner does an awesome job. There are real challenges and pain at times,” said Rev. David Rider, president and executive director of the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) in New York. “The mariner like any other American brings their humanity to work.” The challenges range from being away from home for long periods and trading an unstructured life for a highly structured one to fatigue and stress — some of it recently made more intense by new safety regulations. All those elements have added up to more discussion of mariners’ mental as well as physical health. “The arena of mental health is something the whole industry is picking up on,” said Naomi Walker, spokesman for SCI, which earlier this year hosted a roundtable on mental health at the International Seafarers Center at Port Newark, N.J. Topics included suicide prevention, medical certificates and a reluctance to report problems for fear of job loss or denial of credentials. “We were approached by various leaders in the inland river industry concerned about mental health, and they want resources to help combat this problem,” she said. SCI, whose chaplains

talk with mariners regularly, created a 40-minute e-learning course on suicide awareness tailored to the inland rivers. “We’re not really saying they are at more risk than the general population, but we do know there are stressors that can contribute to problems if not addressed. It is an issue, and we want to see what we can do to help.” Seafarer suicide data, for instance, is incomplete, SCI’s recap of the event noted. “Anecdotal data on United States seafarers in the domestic towboat industry suggest that their suicides occur off-duty at home by self-inflicted gunshots, often within 48 hours before or after deployment to or from their vessel,” SCI said. The roundtable concluded that more mental health research is needed.

ACBL/Gregory Thorpe

Mariners deal with various stress-related issues, including fatigue and a lack of connection to life ashore.

MARINER HEALTH STUDY Dr. Rafael Lefkowitz, an assistant professor of occupational and environmental medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, and Dawn Null, an assistant professor of nutrition and dietetics at Southern Illinois University, plan to collaborate on a study to learn more about mariners’ health — an issue they’ve both researched. Little data exists on who has depression, anxiety or other conditions and what are the barriers to • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

Seamen’s Church Institute

treatment. “People are too shy to talk about their feelings,” Lefkowitz said. The few mental health cases he’s found “makes us think there are more out there that haven’t been reported.” What really sparked his interest was talking with SCI about the inland mariners they’re seeing. “There certainly are some psychosocial hazards,” said Lefkowitz, who attended the roundtable and whose research is being funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). “Shift work can lead to fatigue and stress, but we also know many of them thrive on such work.” Maybe mariners are just like everyone else, or maybe the isolation on a boat and reluctance to get treatment contributes to problems. “There’s a stigma against mental health,” Lefkowitz said.

In February, the Seamen’s Church Institute held a Seafarer Mental Health roundtable at the International Seafarers’ Center in Port Newark, N.J. In attendance were representatives from flag states, shipowners, P&I Clubs, the medical profession, academia, and seafarer welfare agencies.eafarer welfare agencies.

So the lesson is it’s hard to learn a lot about mental illness, “because it’s not being reported in the same way as, for example, a broken arm,” he said. SCI’s Rev. Kempton Baldridge, senior river chaplain based in Paducah, Ky., talks with mariners almost every day. He hears about both fatigue and a lack of connection to life ashore. There’s stress involved with work-



ing on the water, said Rev. Baldridge, who has a maritime background. But, “for a number of folks, that’s where life makes sense to them.” He often meets mariners on the worst day of their lives and tries to let them know there is hope. And when they’re concerned about being away from their children, he tries to point out that there are “a lot of guys home every

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Mariner Mental Health night who are crummy fathers.” Rev. Baldridge suggests solutions like books with a copy for parent and child, so they can read together by phone. He may not be able to change work schedules, “but we can change the way they approach things.” Null is looking at the physical and activity status of mariners, which “also impacts your mental health.” Her 2012 dissertation on the health and nutrition implications of working on a towboat found that crewmembers are at an increased risk of chronic disease related to factors such as lack of aerobic activity and unhealthy eating practices.

“Only 29% of the men and women who participated met federal physical activity guidelines,” she said. That’s 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Deckhands, who tend to be younger, were more likely to meet the recommendations. “The work itself is grueling, as are the shifts,” which are six hours on and six off for a total of 12 hours a day, seven days a week, Null said in the report, which evolved after a stint training towboat cooks on food safety and nutrition. “It’s such a unique industry, and I really enjoyed working with the companies and people on the boats.”

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She and Lefkowitz plan to survey inland river mariners about their physical and mental health including sleep patterns and health-related behavior off the vessels. They’ll be contacting companies to see if they’ll send the online surveys to their mariners within the next few months. Names, data and companies will not be linked, she said. Results are expected in about a year. “We’re seeing so many more mental health issues,” Null said. “Is there anything we can do to help these men and women lead healthier lives while on the boat?” MEDICAL CERTIFICATES SCI’s roundtable discussions also included key components of mariners’ work — medical certificates — and whether mental illness and related medications are disqualifying and whether certificates are assurances of good mental health. “Screening for medical conditions, including mental health disorders, should take place during the general medical examination for merchant mariners,” a Coast Guard spokesman said. Under the psychiatric conditions section, Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 04-08 recommends a mental health professional’s report on the status of the condition and medications. Applicants with conditions that don’t “pose significant risk of sudden incapacitation or debilitating complication” may qualify for a certificate, the Coast Guard said. For example, people “with uncomplicated depression are generally found qualified” when a doctor documents that the condition is stable and doesn’t require impairing medication. “Medications that may be approved for medical certification include overthe-counter and prescription medications that do not impair cognitive ability, judgment or reaction time.” The Coast Guard also notes, “Since 2014, the number of waivers granted for diagnosed mental health disorders has decreased considerably, from 584 in 2014 to 82 in 2017.” • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat


On TheWays


Two new aluminum boats for the Virgin Islands.


ouisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark has delivered two new custom welded aluminum vessels to the Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) — a pilot boat and a port security patrol boat. The boats, designed by Metal Shark and built at the company’s Jeanerette, La., production facility, were recently delivered to St. Thomas and transferred to VIPA. Both vessels are now operating from the Edward Wilmoth Blyden IV Marine Facility on the Charlotte Amalie waterfront where they serve the islands of St. Thomas and nearby St. John. The new pilot boat is a 45' Defiant-class monohull pilothouse model with a military-proven hull design and a unique deck arrangement specifically designed for pilot operations. The boat’s climate-controlled pilothouse features Metal Shark’s “pillarless glass” designed to improve visibility in a reverse-raked arrangement developed by the boatbuilder with input from numerous pilot groups. Visibility is further enhanced by the vessel’s elevated, centerline helm position. Large opening side and aft pilothouse windows and a wireless crew communication headset system facilitate crew coordination during pilot transfers, and large overhead skylights provide upward visibility while approaching and operating alongside moving ships. “Metal Shark has expanded into the pilot boat market by applying the same principles that made us so successful in the military patrol boat sector,” Metal Shark’s CEO Chris Al30

lard said in a statement announcing the deliveries. Powered by twin Cummins QSM11 diesel engines coupled with HamiltonJet HJ322 waterjets, the 45' Defiant Pilot is designed to provide excellent maneuverability with a cruise speed over 30 knots and a top speed in the 40-knot range. A urethane-sheathed, closed-cell foam Wing collar provides durable and resilient fendering. Shock-mitigating seating is provided for a crew of five, and anti-fatigue floor covering is in the pilothouse and the below decks crew spaces. Additional features include a galley, enclosed head compartment, V-berth, and large walk-in mid-cabin storage compartment. For its new port security patrol boat, VIPA selected Metal Shark’s 32' Defiant, a patrol boat platform that currently has over 100 units operating in military and law enforcement service worldwide. The vessel has been outfitted with a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive (CBRNE) crew protection system to assure safe and uninterrupted operation in a wide range of disaster response scenarios. Powered by twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 300-hp outboard engines, VIPA’s port security vessel cruises at 35 knots with a top speed of around 50 knots. Metal Shark also delivered six new 45' Defiant-class patrol boats to Vietnam in April. The shipyard delivered six of the boats to the province of Quang Nam in 2017. — Ken Hocke • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

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Metal Shark delivers new boats to Virgin Islands


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New towboats for Kirby under construction. • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

New whale watcher for Friday Harbour, Wash.

the vessels will be twin propeller conventional towboats. Main propulsion will be the responsibility of two Caterpillar 3512C-HD diesel engines, producing 1,340 hp at 1,600 rpm each. The Cats turn the props through Twin Disc MG-5600 marine gears with 6.04:1 reduction ratios. Armstrong Marine, Port Angeles, Wash., has delivered the 37'×13' RIB J2 to Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching, Friday Harbor, Wash. The new RIB is a sistership to Maya’s first Armstrong Marine/Naiad RIB J1 built in 2016. The J2 is outfitted with triple Yamaha 300-hp outboards. It has seating for 16 passengers, head, walk-through cabin with fold-out bow boarding steps, custom vinyl graphics, and gullwing style opening windows. Silver Ships Inc., Mobile, Ala., has built a new spec fire/rescue boat, a 26' Ambar series RIB. Powered by twin Evinrude E-Tec G2 250-hp outboards, the center console boat is designed for firefighting, dewatering sinking boats, providing medical treatment, evacuation and search and rescue operations. Wing Inflatables manufactured the foam hybrid collar, Ullman the medium-back Echelon seats, Fell Marine the wireless remote kill switch, Life Cell Marine Safety the Yachtsman buoyant device and ditch control kit, Viconic Defense the impact absorbing boat matting, and Darley the Hercules HE64RP 575 gpm fire pump.

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ard Drive Marine, Bellingham, Wash., finished two of its 36'×11' landing craft-style boats for an unnamed Alaska owner. From Seattle a barge will take the boats to Alaska’s Kodiak Island. One has a wheelhouse aft that sleeps two and will haul equipment and crew to construction sites. An auxiliary fuel system, consisting of a 350-gal. diesel tank and a 250-gal. gasoline tank, along with pumps and nozzles, makes it a mobile fuel station for equipment it’s carrying or for fueling up equipment already on the shore. The second 36-footer will operate on a lake pushing barges carrying construction equipment. There are push knees and a tower instead of a wheelhouse, allowing the boat’s operator to see over the barges. Both boats are equipped with Hard Drive’s Maxgate Landing System. When the landing ramp drops down, 3,000-psi hydraulically operated spikes dig into the shore, pull the boat ahead, reach forward again, and so on. A pair of 300-hp Suzuki outboards powers each boat. In a light condition they should hit 40 knots. Main Iron Works, Houma, La., is building four new 2,680-hp inland towboats for Kirby Inland Marine, Houston. Delivery of the 88'×35'×12'2" pushboats is scheduled for August, October, and December 2018, Main Iron said in announcing the contract. Three of the new boats have been named — Bailey, Bowie and Cochran. Designed by Sterling Marine with 9' drafts,

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On TheWays Gladding-Hearn to build third Rhode Island fast ferry ladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp., Somerset, Mass., is building its third ferry for Rhode Island Fast Ferry Co., North Kingston, R.I. The first was the Millennium, a 400-passenger ferry built in 1998, followed by the 150-passenger Ava Pearl in 2012. The third vessel, the 332-passenger Julia Leigh, is scheduled to be delivered in 2019. Incat Crowther designed both the 110'×30'6"×7' Ava Pearl and the 109'×31'6"×6' Julia Leigh as highspeed catamarans. The Ava Pearl and the Julia Leigh have different passenger capacities but are roughly the same size. The Julia Leigh was built to Coast Guard Subchapter K regulations, which allows for more than 150 passengers, while the Ava Pearl was built to Subchapter T regulations,

Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp.


New 332-passenger ferry will be delivered in 2019.

which limits the ferry to 150 passengers. The Ava Pearl has 226 seats. The Julia Leigh has 290 seats on three decks.

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On TheWays have the choice of interior or exterior seating. All seats are from Beurteaux. A 180,000-BTU HVAC system will heat and cool the main cabin and the wheelhouse on the second deck. To reduce the ferry’s motion, the vessel will have VT/MDI hydraulic trim tabs, as well as the “S” bow hulls, which also provide directional stability. There will be luggage storage on the fore and aft decks, an interior and exterior public address system, and a video entertainment system in the main cabin. The Julia Leigh will have a top speed of around 29 knots with twin MTU-12V4000M64 Tier 3 diesels, each delivering 1,875 hp at 1,800 rpm. To qualify for Tier 3 engines, construction on the Julia Leigh had to start “prior to the October 2017 deadline for being eligible to use Tier 3 engines,” said Tim McAuliffe, engineering liaison at Gladding-Hearn. The MTUs are matched up with

ZF 5055 gearboxes that turn 5-bladed nibral props. Ship’s service power will come from a pair of 55-kW gensets. In addition to the Julia Leigh, Gladding-Hearn is “building a host of pilot boats,” McAuliffe said. Only one of them is for a new customer. That’s a 75' vessel for the Alaska Pilots in Valdez. “That’s our first build with them,” said McAuliffe. The 52' Assistant will be the fifth pilot boat for Delta Pilots in New Orleans. Another longtime customer is the Virginia Pilot Association, Virginia Beach, Va., which is having the 56' Hampton Roads built at GladdingHearn. The Lake Charles Pilots, Cameron, La., is getting its third pilot boat built at the Somerset, Mass., boatyard. It’s a 75-footer. “Currently that’s what’s being welded, cut and fabricated,” said McAuliffe. — Michael Crowley

North River delivers fireboats to Washington and Mississippi


n January, North River Boats, Roseburg, Ore., delivered a new 28'×9'6" (34' length overall) Sounder fireboat to the Poulsbo Fire Department in Poulsbo, Wash. In March, North River delivered a 31'×9'6" (36' length overall) Sounder to the Biloxi Fire Department in Biloxi, Miss. The boatyard is also building a new fireboat for the Narragansett Fire Department in Narragansett, R.I. The 31'×10' (37' length overall) landing craft-style vessel will be delivered in late August. “We meet with each customer and listen carefully to understand the requirements,” Brent Hutchings, CEO and owner of North River Boats, said in a statement announcing the deliver-

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ies. “We then tailor the boat design so that it is perfected to their needs and optimized for their duties.” Poulsbo’s new boat is powered by twin Yamaha 250-hp 4.2L four

New fireboat for Washington state.


stroke outboards. The boat has a Darley HE500 engine-mounted fire pump coupled to a KEM 2.4L 130-hp inboard engine. The fire system draws over 500 gpm at 100 psi. A Task Force

Tips (TFT) remote-controlled roof monitor, TFT valve under monitor (VUM) at the bow with 2.5" takeoff, and an aft monitor with a manual monitor with foam capability have been installed. The fireboat meets CBRNE requirements and has a positive pressurized cabin via an American Safe Room ventilation system. The cabin interior has a suspension seat, two casualty benches for patients on backboards and a storage cabinet/ work station. Oxygen bottle storage is all included as the interior is designed as a small EMT station. Biloxi’s new boat is powered with twin Yamaha 300-hp 4.2L four stroke outboards. The boat has a Darley 1,500-gpm engine-mounted fire pump coupled to a KEM 6.0L 360hp inboard engine. The fire system, which draws over 1,500 gpm at 150 psi., has dual TFT Typhoon bow and stern monitors, with VUM mount- • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

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On TheWays ing and 2.5" take-offs. The boat is also equipped with a Kohler 7.5-kW marine generator, Dometic air conditioner with heat strip, King Air electric interior heat, operator and navigator suspension seats, two casualty benches for patients on backboards and stokes/ backboard storage. Oxygen bottle storage and SCBA mounts are all included making the interior of this boat a small EMT station. The new fireboat for Narragansett will have a 36"-wide folding bow door operated using electric linear actuators. It will feature a 10' walk around cabin with sliding side access door and an aft-hinged bulkhead door. There will be two Shoxs 6300 bolster-mounted shock mitigating seats installed for the operator and navigator plus a bench seat and workbench behind the main seats. The Rhode Island boat will be powered by twin Yamaha 250-hp 4.2L four

Gulf Island Shipyards LLC, Houma, La., has been awarded a $63.5 million contract from the Navy for the detail design and construction of a towing, salvage and rescue ship (T-ATS). The T-ATS will have a minimum length of 131' and a minimum beam of 36'. In addition, the new boat must have an ABS-classed DP-2 system or better, a bollard pull of 130 short tons and a working deck area of 5,000 sq. ft. The contract includes options for seven additional vessels, which, if exercised, would bring the total value of the contract to $522.7 million. The new boat is scheduled for delivery by September 2020.  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration announced in April the availability of $19.6 million in federal funding to support capital improvements and employee training at small U.S. shipyards. The grants are provided through the Small Shipyard Grant Program, and help eligible shipyards modernize operations, increase efficiency and reap the benefits of increased productivity. Applications for the grants were due by May 22. Marad plans to award grants by July 23. stroke outboards and an Imtra electric bowthruster for improved docking and stationkeeping. The boat will have a Darley 500-gpm engine-mounted fire pump coupled to a KEM 2.4L 130-hp inboard engine. The fire system, which

draws over 500 gpm at 100 psi., will be fitted with a TFT Tornado bow monitor and TFT VUM mounting system with a 250-gpm foam eductor. — K. Hocke



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The Mardi Gras and two sister Z-drive tugs were built to handle bigger cargo ships.


New tugs bring more pull, lower emissions By Kirk Moore, Associate Editor


he tug sector saw notable firsts over the year, including the arrival of Tier 4 engines and emission control systems. Designs from Jensen Maritime


overcapacity (see page 43). On the positive side, bigger tugs with more bollard pull and new, lower emissions engines continue to be built (see below), and passenger vessel operators are coming off yet another excellent year, with strong demand and healthy advance bookings (see page 48).

Consultants, Seattle, led the way on Tier 4, with the Earl W Redd, a 120'×35'×19'3" offshore towing and ship assist tug for Harley Marine Services. Built by Diversified Marine Inc., Portland, Ore., it is outfitted with the first Caterpillar Tier 4 engines installed in a U.S. tug — a pair of 3516Cs producing 2,675 hp each. On the East Coast, McAllister Tow-

ing and Transportation Inc. has added the first pair of what will be four Jensen-designed Tier 4 tugs to its fleet — the 100'×40'×18', 6,770-hp Capt. Brian A. McAllister and Rosemary McAllister. Applied to engines above 804 hp, Tier 4 air emission standards reduce diesel particulate matter by 90%, and nitrogen oxide, major contributors to urban smog and ground-level ozone • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

Crescent Towing


il prices have improved from a year ago, but for OSV operators, day rates and utilization are still at historical lows (see page 46). Shipyards that have diversified away from energy are staying busy (see page 42). Inland barge operators, which had enjoyed several years of slow, steady growth, had another sluggish year, with uneven demand and equipment

HYBRID TUGS Hybrid propulsion is another route toward efficiency and lower emissions. Washburn & Doughty, East Boothbay, Maine, is building two hybrid Z-drive versions of its proven 93'×38' tug design for Harbor Docking and Towing, Lake Charles, La. Caterpillar Marine is supplying the hybrid setup of two 3512E mains turning out 2,550 hp each at 1,800 rpm, with two C18 565-kW generators plus a C7.1 200-kW genset, and MTA 628 azimuth drives. The vessels will be able to operate in four modes: all electric propulsion, diesel, hybrid with both diesel and electric for a combined bollard pull of 80 metric tons, and firefighting mode with diesel pumping and electric for maneuvering. Jensen Maritime and Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Freeland, Wash., are making their first mark in the hybrid tug field with a 100' Z-drive ship assist and tanker escort tug for Baydelta Maritime, San Francisco.



tion, by 80% compared to the old Tier 2 standards for marine diesels. Better efficiency and lower fuel consumption can be another result. McAllister’s newest tugs and others were ordered in anticipation of the new, ultra large container vessels (ULCVs) with capacities over 14,000 TEUs that are now calling at East Coast ports.

The Commander is a new Damen-designed tug for Edison Chouest’s Alaska tanker missions.

The Elrington is a general-purpose tug in Edison Chouest’s new Alaska fleet.

Its Rolls-Royce hybrid technology will be powered by a pair of Cat C3516C Tier 3 diesels, for a total of 5,350 hp, in concert with three Cat C9.3 generators turning out 300 kW each. The dieselelectric power system will run two Rolls-Royce 255FP Z-drive thrusters. With a 7- to 8-knot speed in all-electric mode, the tug will save fuel during transits and waiting for a ship, then have 90 tons bollard pull in combined diesel-electric mode. In January Bryan Nichols, director of business development for Jensen Maritime, called the Baydelta project “a historic build ... our work reflects our commitment to innovative, environmentally friendly design combined with powerful, high-quality performance.” New Z-drive tugs continue to find favor in Gulf ports and on the Mississippi River. Offering more thrust and maneuvering control for the same horsepower as traditional propellers and rudders, Z-drives are also less prone to damage

from floating debris. Rolls-Royce Z-drives went into several notable newbuild tugs: the Gladys B, an 80'×38'×15', 5,362-hp azimuth stern drive tug design from Robert Allan Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia, and built for E.N. Bisso & Son Inc. by Signet Shipbuilding & Repair, Pascagoula, Miss. Jensen and Steiner Shipyard, Bayou La Batre, Ala., teamed up to deliver three new 92'×38'×17', 5,500-hp Zdrive tugs, the Arkansas, Mardi Gras and South Carolina, to New Orleansbased Crescent Towing. In April a powerful new class of tugs began arriving in Alaska as Edison Chouest Offshore begins its marine services contract with Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. to provide tanker escort and emergency services in Prince William Sound. The first of what will be a fleet of Damen Shipyards Group-designed tugs are the 140'×54', 12,336-hp Commander, and the 107'×43', 6,008hp general-purpose tug Elrington. Purpose-built by Edison Chouest in Louisiana in partnership with Damen, the new tugs are taking over from longtime Valdez operator Crowley Marine Services. Alyeska president Tom Barrett says the new fleet is a leap forward with 20% more power and better towing equipment. “Many marine architects deem these designs ideal for the unique and difficult work in the Sound's often challenging conditions,” Barrett wrote in a March opinion column for the Anchorage Daily News. A similar partnership with Foss Maritime, Seattle, is bringing a new version of the Damen ASD 2813 tug

Jensen Maritime

Nichols Brothers is constructing a 100' hybrid tug for Baydelta Maritime. • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat


to the U.S. market, with delivery of the first four scheduled for 2019. It’s anticipated that at least 10 of the azimuth stern drive tugs will be built at the Foss Rainier shipyard.


Shipyards stay busy with tugs, passenger vessels and small boats By Ken Hocke, Senior Editor

Ferries, military and government patrol boats, and tugs have been keeping U.S. shipyards busy over the past year. In WorkBoat’s latest Construction Survey published in April, patrol boats led the way with 221 newbuilds, passenger vessels were next at 93, and tugs posted a strong 83 new vessels. “We’re seeing good representation from every market,” John Groundwater, executive director of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA), said at PVA’s annual convention in Savannah, Ga., early this year. “Positive economic conditions are driving this.” More discretionary income means more people have the means to take vacations and use ferries and book dinner, excursion and overnight cruises. The ferry construction market has been strong lately. VT Halter Marine, Pascagoula, Miss., is building a new steel-hull 270'6"×65'4"×15'6", doubleended, 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. Designed by Alion Science and Technology, McLean, Va., main propulsion for the Powhatan will come from twin Caterpillar 3512C HD, Tier 3 diesels, producing 1,340 hp at 1,600 rpm each. The Cats will connect 42

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 Wes Ripley, the ferry system’s facilities manager. “We have a short run of 2.2 miles, so we’re docking all day long.” Ripley said the crowds really build up after Memorial Day. A much anticipated delivery from All American Marine this summer is a 128'×30' hybrid-electric 600-passenger vessel for the Red and White Fleet in San Francisco. The Enhydra is a 500-passenger aluminum monohull tour boat for Argosy Cruises, Seattle. The new tour boat will be the first aluminum hulled, lithium-ion batteryelectric hybrid vessel built from the keel up under Coast Guard Subchapter K passenger vessel regulations and the latest guidelines for structural fire protection. ATBS New ATB projects in 2017-2018 included significant first arrivals in the U.S. fleet, including transports for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and ammonia. The 139'×44'×19', 8,000-hp Abundance was built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Freeland, Wash., to push the 508'×96'×51' Harvest, built at Vigor, the first complex ammonia transport barge built in the U.S. for Jones Act work since 1982. The ATB delivers raw material for Florida-based Mosaic Co. to manufacture fertilizer. Another new ATB plying Florida waters is the combination of the Millville, an 8,000-hp, 129'4"×42'×23' tug, and the 578'×78'×42' barge 1964 to transport gasoline for the convenience store chain Wawa Inc. Built by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wis., the Millville-1964 has a capacity of 185,000 bbls. Bay Ship has another ATB under construction that consists of a 130'×42'×23', 8,000-hp tug and a 521'×72'×41', 155,000-bbl. oil and chemical tank barge for Plains All American Pipeline. The ATB is set for delivery later this year.

At VT Halter, another specialized fuel carrier is taking shape. The shipyard began work recently on the first liquefied natural gas articulated tug-barge unit in the U.S. for Q-LNG Transportation, New Orleans. The LNG ATB will consist of the 5,100-hp, 128'×42'×21' Q-Ocean Service and the Q-LNG 4000, a 324'×64'×32'6" barge with a capacity of 4,000 cu. meters of LNG. Delivery is scheduled for 2020. “We believe this is a significant step towards the USA becoming the premiere supplier of LNG as the environmentally friendly maritime fuel source of choice,” Rob Mullins, VT Halter’s CEO, said during a beginning of construction celebration in March. VT Halter is also building the 112'×35'×17', 4,000-hp tug Evening Breeze for Bouchard Transportation Co. With an Intercon coupler system and Tier 4-compliant engines, the new tug will push the B. No. 252, a 317'6"×70'×28', 55,000-bbl. barge under construction at Bollinger Shipyards as part of Bouchard’s newest ATB. KNOCK OUT PUNCH Not every shipyard fared well over the past year, however. The prolonged ghost town effect in the Gulf of Mexico’s oil and gas fields and the overbuilding of both dry and tank barges for the inland rivers system were too much for some yards to overcome. Jeffboat LLC closed its doors in May because it was the only choice left for the shipyard, according to the barge builder’s parent company, American Commercial Lines (ACL), Jeffersonville, Ind. “To be financially rewarding we have to build about 250 barges (annually) and employ 600 to 800 employees,” Mark Knoy, ACL’s president and CEO, said in a WorkBoat interview. “In reality, it just didn’t appear that was going to happen. It was just too much of a financial struggle.” The collapse of the offshore energy industry in the Gulf of Mexico led to BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards in Mobile, Ala., closing its • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

VT Halter

doors. UK-based BAE acquired the yard from Atlantic Marine in 2010. The facility built new vessels, but its primary function was ship repair, working on many offshore service vessels, drilling rigs and semisubmersible platforms over the past eight years. “It’s a prolonged downturn in our primary business at that yard which is tied to the oil and gas industry,” said Karl D. Johnson, director of communications, platforms and services. The company expects to lay off 155 of its 170 workers by the end of June, said Johnson. Those workers will be finishing up a newbuild project, a 350', 7,000-gt multiservice vessel for Oceaneering International, the last for BAE in Mobile. Horizon Shipbuilding, Bayou La Batre, Ala., filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late 2017. Two big contracts were the main reasons for the shipyard’s downfall — a multiboat contract with Hornblower Cruises & Events to build 85' aluminum catamaran ferries for NYC Ferry and four 100'×40' Tier 4 tugs for McAllister Towing and Transportation Co. The shipyard delivered 10 of the ferries to New York but only one of the tugs to McAllister.

VT Halter Marine is busy with repair and new construction work.


Barge oversupply lingers, but demand for services strengthens By Pamela Glass, Washington Correspondent


he last year has been one filled with mind-spinning adjustments for barge operators who have had to reinvent business under a volatile market driven by overcapacity and commodity

shifts and deal with unrelenting bad weather conditions from ice to flooding. Weather was a big story throughout the river system with closures, traffic backups, groundings, disrupted operational schedules and soaring barge freight rates due to logistical disruptions. In October, the problem was low water levels; in January and February, it was bitter cold and ice floes; in March it was high water and flooding from heavy rainfall that affected navigation on just about every section of the inland system. High water levels continued to cause restrictions and

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out the volume backlog this spring, they will also face a much-welcomed improvement in demand for their services from many commodity sectors. The market to move steam coal domestically is still depressed and will continue to decline, as the coal industry has been squeezed by environmental restrictions and competition from low natural gas prices, which has forced many coal plants to close. But the dry cargo barge industry is expected to benefit from a surge in demand for export coal, metallurgic coal, corn, fertilizer, soybeans and aluminum. There’s also been strong demand for other barged bulk commodities such as cement, steel raw materials and frac sand, due mostly to overall improvements in the national economy. A drought in Argentina has boosted U.S. corn exports, while an increase in domestic steel production — due UPTICK IN DEMAND While operators will be busy clearing largely to the Trump administration’s planned tariffs on imported steel — has increased demand for coal used in steel production. “Met coal is booming right now,” said Stephaich of Campbell October. 17 & 18, 2018 Transportation. “We’re seeing new REGISTER TO ATTEND FOR FREE met coal mines open up.” & ENTER TO WIN There are other $100 AMAZON GIFT CARD! bright spots. Barged Monthly Prize Drawings start October 2017 shipments of USE CODE WBYB ethanol were strong through the end of Register at last year, especially in exports to Brazil, China, India, Singapore and the Middle East through the Gulf Coast, acBOOK YOUR cording to River EXHIBIT SPACE Transport News (RTN). Soybeans TODAY! continue to be a steady barge customer with 2016-17 exports reaching a

headaches through the early spring, and pushed opening of the navigation season on the Mississippi River this year from an average start date of March 22 to April 11. River conditions negatively affected operations and the bottom lines of many barge companies as they were forced to idle equipment and delay deliveries until waters receded. In the upper Ohio north of Pittsburgh, for example, where the highest level of rainfall has fallen since recording began in the 1800s, Campbell Transportation Co. hasn’t been able to operate its fleet fully and make deliveries for its customers for months. “April is shot, we’re hoping for a good May. We haven’t had one good month to operate this year, it’s been terrible,” said Campbell’s chairman and CEO Peter Stephaich.


record high level, although a slight dip is expected this year. And buoyed by a significant increase in global aluminum prices, there’s been a small bump in the domestic aluminum industry with reactivation of Alcoa’s Warrick smelter in Evansville, Ind., and the expected restart of other plants in response to U.S. tariffs on imported aluminum from certain countries. Meanwhile, tank barge operators are seeing improved demand and higher utilization of their equipment due to a spike in demand to move crude oil, refined products and biofuels from the Midwest, RTN reports. According to Department of Energy data cited by RTN, the aggregate barged shipments of these commodities from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast totaled nearly 12.6 million bbls during the fourth quarter of 2017, up 20% over the comparable year-ago volume. Overall, barged shipments of petroleum and biofuels in this geographic sector reached their highest level since the end of 2015. At Kirby Corp., the nation’s largest inland barge operator, market improvements are beginning to show. The Houston-based company reported an 18% jump in first quarter 2018 earnings compared to the same period last year, despite poor weather conditions that affected operations. The inland sector continues “to show early signs of recovery during the first quarter, with spot market pricing increasing 10 percent to 15 percent compared to the 2017 fourth quarter,” John Grzebinski, Kirby’s president and CEO, said during April’s earnings call with analysts. “Increased customer demand and unusually poor seasonal operating conditions contributed to right market dynamics across the industry.” He said that the U.S. economy is performing better, and as a result, more crude oil and other petroleum products are moving on the waterways. OVERSUPPLY Operators continue to work in a market influenced by the overbuilding of barges that occurred a few years ago during a shale boom that was followed • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

The market to move coal domestically remains depressed and is expected to continue to decline.

David Krapf

by a collapse in oil prices, a decline in barge demand and dip in prices. This oversupply led to consolidations, fleet trimming (helped along by current high scrap steel prices that will encourage barge operators to scrap old equipment), and a slump in demand for new barge construction. Although improvements are underway, many believe it will be a slow process to reach equilibrium. The poor outlook for new barge construction is hitting some shipyards hard. Citing weak demand as the key factor, Jeffboat, the country’s largest inland shipbuilder, announced that it would close its yard on the Ohio River in Jeffersonville, Ind., laying off 278 workers and ending 184 years of boat building. The last barge rolled off the assembly line on April 23. Mark Knoy, CEO of parent company American Commercial Lines, said that an anticipated energy renaissance led to the overbuilding of barges during the past five years, which knocked the barge market out of balance and caused a drop in new orders. Other factors have been the low price of steel and availability of cheap money to buy barges. “Unfortunately, the current barge market is inEVKanWater oversupLubricated Stern Tube Seal ply situation and the outlook for new barge construction is very poor for the

foreseeable future,” Knoy said in announcing the closure. Also hit by a drop in demand has been Trinity Industry’s inland barge building unit, which reported a 55% drop in revenues during the final quarter of 2017 compared to the same period the previous year. The company delivered just 142 new hopper barges in 2017, down from 660 in 2016, according to an analysis by RTN. Some operators see evidence of a supply-demand balance in the offing. As demand for barges has been increasing from petrochemicals and with oil prices rising, barge supply has been rationalizing, Grzebinski of Kirby said.

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Operators continue to see strong demand By Dale K. DuPont, Correspondent


ow hot is the ferry market? Just look out west where San Francisco’s Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) is in the midst of a $175 million expansion that includes four new 400-passenger ferries. WETA, which has seen a healthy 78% growth in ferry ridership since 2012, operates 14 vessels with capacities ranging from 199 to 400 passengers. Now, it’s looking at the other end of the scale. The WETA board recently decided to

study whether to add smaller vessels — fewer than 149 passengers — to ease traffic congestion. The idea came from the Bay Area Council, a business advocacy group that suggested the smaller vessels could serve new locations, navigate shallower areas that don’t need to be dredged, help in off-peak periods, cost less than $2 million each, and be delivered in under a year. Ferries are one of the hottest sectors of a passenger vessel market that’s cruising along in a favorable economy, adding new vessels and refurbishing older ones. Operators also had success in getting some of what they wanted in higher property damage limits. Challenges persist, however, with TWIC, illegal charters and tension between commercial and recreational boaters. MORE BOATS Everywhere, waterways are getting more crowded. NYC Ferry this summer is debut-




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ing two new routes that could add about 50% more riders to the system that served nearly three million in its first eight months of operation. The initial four routes that opened last year exceeded early ridership projections by around 34%, according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation and ferry operator Hornblower. The service runs 16 vessels with three new 350-passenger boats from Metal Shark due this year and three more next year. The Ocracoke Express, North Carolina’s first passenger-only ferry, is expected to begin service in July between Hatteras and Ocracoke Village, an Outer Banks tourist spot. US Workboats, Hubert, N.C., is building the 92'×26'×7' aluminum catamaran that will have a 26-to-28-knot cruising speed. Because of shoaling, the current car ferry can take twice as long as scheduled causing two- to three-hour waits in summer, a state spokesman said. On the green front, Washington state recently allocated $600,000 to develop a request for proposals to convert its three Jumbo Mark II ferries that run on the busiest routes to hybrid-electric propulsion. Recommendations are due in June 2019. And Alabama’s Gee’s Bend Ferry is being converted into the first zeroemission, all-electric passenger/vehicle ferry of its type in the U.S. The work being done at Master Marine, Bayou La Batre, Ala., is expected to be completed this summer, said Matthew Miller, president of HMS Ferries, which operates the 95'×42'×5' steel vessel. “Everything I’m seeing right now is encouraging,” said Gus Gaspardo, owner of Padelford Riverboats, St. Paul, Minn., and president of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA). “We seem to be tracking well,” for the 2018 season, which runs from April to October, he said. Corporate bookings are a big driver, and “they seem to be reinvigorated.” But his post-recession model means less reliance on the corporate market and a more even split with private passengers. They’ve also come up with new • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

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cruise promotions. A senior day last year targeting aging Baby Boomers, offered from 10 a.m. to noon with a live band, was “highly successful,” he said. So they’re doing it again this year and adding late-night blues cruises. Gaspardo, who also headed PVA’s regulatory committee, said TWIC is still a thorn in their side. “It’s burdensome,” he said, especially for senior deckhands who are seasonal workers. Because the labor market is so tight, he’s eating the cost of TWICs. “I’m not against security, but we have to use common sense security measures.” At the other end of the Mississippi River, two operators expect to add more entertainment choices by late summer. New Orleans Steamboat Co.’s City of New Orleans will join the Natchez for dinner and sightseeing cruises. The former 189'×55' diesel-electric powered sternwheeler Casino Rock Island is getting an interior refurbishment,

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Riverboat Louis Armstrong also will sail under charter. Overnight cruising options on America’s rivers keep growing, too. “Business is very good. A lot of our cruises are sold out. The year is largely full,” said Ted Sykes, president of Memphis, Tenn.-based American Queen Steamboat Co. “The Lower Mississippi is always our most popular,” and Columbia-Snake river cruises attract a lot of repeat customers. Last year, the company launched its third vessel, the 314'×100'×14' riverboat American Duchess. It was formerly the Iowa casino boat Bettendorf Capri. And next year it plans to introduce the 248-passenger American Countess. The former 257'×78'×14' casino boat Kanesville Queen will receive a 60' midbody extension. American Cruise Lines has begun construction on the American Harmony, the second of five vessels in its Modern Riverboat Series, which is due to start sailing on the Mississippi in mid-2019. The 190-passenger, 342'×59'×8' American Song — first in the series — begins cruising in October on the Mississippi and will move to the Columbia/Snake next year. This spring ACL introduced the 175-passenger American Constitution, which sails along the East Coast. “We don’t have enough space. That’s why we’re building so many boats,” said Charles Robertson, who heads both the Guilford, Conn.-based cruise line and Chesapeake Shipbuilding,

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Salisbury, Md. Other good news came from the regulatory front. The Coast Guard has raised the limit on damages that trigger a marine casualty report to keep pace with inflation and eliminate the need to chronicle and investigate minor incidents. The new property damage limit is $75,000, up from $25,000, and the limit for a serious marine incident, which requires mandatory drug and alcohol testing, is $200,000, up from $100,000. PVA welcomed the move as an improvement, although it was less than its preferred $100,000 for the first limit and $400,000 for the serious event.


Activity still soft in the Gulf of Mexico By David Krapf, Editor in Chief


n the last year, the U.S. Gulf offshore oil and gas market remained in a depressed state. Though one could argue it hasn’t gotten worse, it hasn’t improved significantly either, despite some analysts’ predictions. There were plenty of lowlights in the past 12 months. Most recent was the disappointing March 21 federal lease sale for the Gulf of Mexico. Billed as the largest in U.S. history, it performed far below other lease sales held earlier this decade. The sale covered some 77.3 million acres, an area twice the

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size of Florida, and included discounted royalty rates on the shallower tracts. But faced with multibilliondollar 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. The depressed market also resulted in the bankruptcies of several offshore service operators, most notably Tidewater and GulfMark Offshore. Tidewater emerged from bankruptcy in July 2017. In March, the New Orleansbased OSV operator reported net loss for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2017, of $23.6 million, or $1.02 per common share. John Rynd, president and CEO of Tidewater, told analysts in the company’s March earnings call that the company’s results for the quarter “reflect continued weakness in the offshore supply vessel market.” Oil prices have improved and appear to have somewhat stabilized, and Rynd said Tidewater’s customers have in some cases committed to new offshore projects. However, he said, “the increase in spending is not yet significant enough to offset the declines over the past several years.” Rynd said that despite a modest pickup in bidding activity and customer inquiries, “we expect the global OSV market to remain challenging in 2018.” A big problem in the OSV sector continues to be overcapacity. Rynd said that “older, less capable vessels can only serve to impede the sustained improvement in OSV utilization and day rates, and ultimately will cause the OSV sector to generally lag expected increases in offshore drilling activity.” In the last four years, Tidewater has disposed of 76 vessels, 28 of which were sold as scrap. GulfMark emerged from bankruptcy in November. In its fourth quarter earnings call with analysts in March, president and CEO Quintin Kneen was more optimistic than Rynd. • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat

Vito will be Shell’s 11th deepwater development in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s located in more than 4,000' of water, approximately 150 miles southeast of New Orleans.


“As this market recovers, which it is beginning to do so, we will continue to see asset values rise and liquidity and tonnage improve,” said Kneen. “For us in particular, and most likely for other large global fleet operators, overall utilization is continuing to improve.” GulfMark saw improvement in the North Sea market in 2016, but during the second half of 2017 the company began to see utilization improvements in the Americas and Southeast Asia, too. “We are not seeing uplift in day rates just yet, but rates have stabilized,” Kneen said. “I suspect we will see all of our markets continue to proceed through a gradual improvement. Discussions with customers indicate improving drilling demand this year, but meaningful increases are not anticipated until 2019.” More positive news this year has been investment and discovery announcements from major operators that offer some optimism in the deepwater sector. In April, Shell announced the final investment decision for Vito, a deepwater development in the U.S. Gulf with a forward-looking, break-even price estimated to be less than $35 bbl. The field is estimated to contain more than 300 million bbls. of recov-

erable oil. The target start-up date is 2021, when it will begin pumping 100,000 bbls. a day of oil from eight subsea wells hooked up to the fourcolumn, semisubmersible platform. Shell’s Vito project manager, Kurt Shallenberger, highlighted the significance of this development, not only for Shell but also for the industry. “In the offshore business there are pivotal moments: Cognac, Bullwinkle, Auger, Perdido. All groundbreaking moving deepwater. Vito is another

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pivotal moment but not about going deeper, but making it affordable and repeatable. Vito plays into deepwater’s future by learning how to make the possible affordable.” 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 co-owned by Chevron USA Inc. (40%). Evaluation of the discovery is ongoing, and appraisal drilling is underway, Shell said.


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Marine Machining & Mfg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 McDermott Light & Signal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Metals USA - Plates & Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Mitsubishi Turbocharger and Engine America, Inc . 25 Motor-Services Hugo Stamp Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 MTU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 MyTaskit Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 PuraDYN Filter Technologies Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Affordable–Merchant Marine Exam Training

Research Products/Blankenship. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

R M Young Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34


Freelance Software, 39 Peckham Place, Bristol RI 02809


Safran Electronics & Defense. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Buyers or Sellers Surveys

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

Scania. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

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

Simrad - Navico . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

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

Victaulic Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

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

Vigor Industrial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Volvo Penta. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

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Washburn & Doughty Associates Inc . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Yank Marine Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Yanmar America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 ZF Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

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 • JUNE 2018 • WorkBoat



• Two bills affecting the future of the Inland Waterways Corp., the federally owned barge line, are bogged down in Congress. The bills, one to sell the barge line to the private sector and one to increase IWC’s capital stock to $33 million, are diametrically opposed to each other. Both bills suffered sharp setbacks recently. The death of Sen. John H. Overton, D-La., the driving force behind the

bill to increase the capital stock, appears to have taken the steam out of the bill. His death has stalled consideration of the bill in the Senate. The bill to sell the barge line has made more progress, but has become entangled in parliamentary procedures. • On the cover is the towboat Harry Truman, taken during sea trials in New Orleans on Maritime Day, part of the first integrated tow on the inland waterways. The JUNE 1958 1,200' tow is a Federal

Barge Lines test. It is made of three 26'×54' barges, two 83'×54' units and five 167'×54' bottoms. The Harry Truman is powered by a pair of 1,600-hp GM Cleveland diesels.

• A proposed House bill that would • A new 87' offshore cargo-passenger regulate the nation’s four million recrevessel, the Capt. Jake, was delivered ational boaters has been endorsed by a recently to Arthur Levy Boat Rentals. special Michigan study group appointed The vessel, built by Sewart Seacraft last year by Gov. G. Williams. Represent- Inc., Berwick, La., is powered by a pair ing more than 35 public agencies and of Detroit GM 6-110 diesels. It will private boating organizations, the Michiwork for Shell Oil in the U.S. Gulf. gan Water Safety Study Commission has urged Congress to pass the Bonner bill, which would set up a numbering system under state control for all inboard and JUNE 1968 outboard craft. • John T. Gilbride, president of Todd Shipyards Corp., said that shipbuilding will become a U.S. growth industry in the coming decade. He said policy decisions and budgetary considerations had forestalled the anticipated rebuilding of U.S. shipping. However, he said, the need for ships to strengthen the nation’s seapower would eventually result in a shipbuilding effort “of higher priority 56

and of greater magnitude.” • Tidewater Marine Service Inc., New Orleans, and Halcyon Line NV, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, have formed a joint venture to provide marine equipment in support of North Sea offshore activities. Tidewater Halycon is negotiating with a Dutch shipyard to build four 165' supply vessels to meet North Sea requirements. • JUNE 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



The STEERPROP LM Thruster Line is specifically designed for diesel-electric vessels by incorporating an integrated Permanent Magnet (PM) Motor vertically mounted on the L-drive.

The PM motor maintains high efficiency throughout the speed range, even at lower powers and rpm.

Available in power ranges: 900kW â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 12,000kW

No intermediate shaft lines or alignment allows for plugand-play installation, convenient serviceability, and the compact design allows for space savings onboard.



WorkBoat June 2018  

Cover Story: Yearbook The arrival of Tier 4 engines hits the tug market • Shipyards that build for the passenger vessel, tug and small-boat...

WorkBoat June 2018  

Cover Story: Yearbook The arrival of Tier 4 engines hits the tug market • Shipyards that build for the passenger vessel, tug and small-boat...