Currently, 154 active, private shipbuilders of all sizes are spread across 29 U.S. states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the U.S. Maritime Administration. The majority of shipyards are located in coastal states, but there also are active shipyards on major inland waterways such as the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River, and the Ohio River.
In addition, there are more than 300 companies engaged in ship repairs or are capable of building ships, but not actively engaged in shipbuilding.
IBIS World recently released its latest study of the U.S. shipbuilding industry. In the report, the international industry analyst pegged the 2022 market size of the U.S. shipbuilding industry at 34 billion – an increase over the previous year of 0.1 percent and a growth rate of 1.8 percent per year on average over the preceding five years.
Overall, the market size of the industry increased faster than the economy overall and generally faster than the nation’s manufacturing sector overall with the U.S. Navy continuing to serve as the largest customer for U.S. shipbuilders. Smaller shipyards continue to deliver and take orders for a variety of vessels from ferries and hydrographic survey boats to offshore service vessels and pilot boats.
Some examples of vessels delivered by U.S. shipbuilders over the past year…
• New York Waterway has added four new 509-passenger, aluminum-hulled, catamaran-style vessels to its harbor ferry fleet. The ferries were built by New Jersey-based Yank Marine and are powered by twin Cummins 2300 hp engines and ZF transmissions. In January, New York Waterway received $7.3 million in federal transportation grant to help fund the installation of the first hybrid engines in its ferry fleet. The grant will be used to repower the propulsion systems on up to four of NY Waterway’s ferry vessels from conventional diesel engines to hybrid technology and can ultimately help them convert to all-electric.
• The Galveston-Texas City Pilots has taken delivery of its fourth pilot boat, Texas City, from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp. The new launch is equipped with a Seakeeper Products 30HD stabilizing gyro, which, according to shipyard officials, will reduce up to 80 percent the vessel’s roll. With a length overall of 73.2 feet, beam of 23.3 feet and draft of 5.9 feet, the all-aluminum, high-speed pilot boat features the Ray Hunt Design deep-V hull. It is powered by three Volvo Penta D13 EPA Tier 3 marine diesel engines, each delivering 800 hp at 2,300 rpm, that are integral to the engines’ triple IPS Pod 1050 system.
• Mobile, AL.-based Austal USA has delivered Expeditionary Fast Transport USNS Apalachicola (EPF-13) to the U.S. Navy. The largest surface ship in the fleet with autonomous capability, the ship features hull, mechanical, and electrical systems that are “highly automated,” along with automated maintenance, health monitoring, and mission readiness capabilities that can operate for 30 days without human intervention. Austal USA also delivered the future USS Augusta (LCS 34) to the U.S. Navy on May 12. LCS 34 is the 17th Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) delivered by the company and the second U.S. Navy vessel to be named Augusta in honor of Maine’s state capital.
• The Puerto Rico Police Department has taken delivery of a 36-foot, Fearless-class patrol boat built by Metal Shark. The craft is the fifth built for the PRPD by the Louisiana-headquartered boat builder. The welded aluminum pilothouse boat, powered by three Mercury 300 hp Verado four-stroke outboards, can reach speeds in excess of 45 knots and is equipped with shock-mitigating crew seats and a Garmin radar array.
• Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding delievered a new pilot boat to the Lake Pilots in Port Huron, Mi. by road transpport. The Resilient Class high-speed launch is the Pilot’s third boat built by yhe Somerset, Ma. shipyard since 1979. The boat is powered by twin Cummins QSL-9 diesel engines, which are fully accessible through large lift-assisted deck hatches. The engines, each rated at 450 bhp, at 2100 rpm, turn a pair of Hamilton Jet HJ-322 waterjets through Twin Disc gearboxes. Top speed is over 37 knots and the fuel capacity is 300 gallons, A Zipwake interceptor auto trim-control system is installed on the transom.
• Senesco Marine has launched the Jones-Act-compliant crew transfer vessel WindServe Genesis. WindServe Marine, a sister company to the North Kingstown, R.I. shipbuilder – both part of the Reinauer Group – will operate the 89-foot CTV. The vessel will initially provide crew transfer support during the construction phase at Ørsted’s Southfork Wind project off the coast of Long Island. Windserve Genesis will later be deployed at the developer’s Revolution Wind project off Rhode Island and Connecticut, and Sunrise Wind off New York.
• China Merchants Heavy Industry Haimen has handed over Ocean Albatros, the sixth Infinity-class expedition ship to be built for U.S.-based cruise company SunStone Ships. Ocean Albatros will be operated by Copenhagen-based Albatros Expeditions on Arctic and Antarctic voyages. It will serve itineraries that will also cover polar destinations alongside earlier sister vessel Ocean Victory, which was delivered in November 2021.
•The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Portland District has welcomed Beeman, its newest hydrographic survey vessel Beeman replaces and continues the work of the vessel Patterson, which surveyed Oregon’s coastal entrances for 22 years. Beeman was built by Pacific Northwest builder Worskiff and was specially designed with a shallow draft ideal for safe operation in constrained areas and coastal conditions. The craft is propelled by a pair of 250-horsepower Honda Marine outboards.
• Silver Ships delivered a multi-mission Explorer 40 landing craft to the Suffolk County Public Works Department in Suffolk County, N.Y. The 40-foot vessel is powered by triple 250-hp Honda outboard motors and includes a Vetus 8-hp bow thruster to facilitate maneuvering and docking in close quarters. The Explorer 40 operates with a 12-volt, electrically actuated bow door that is connected to a stainless-steel braided cable routed through a series of pulleys. In addition to transporting heavy equipment to remote and hard-to-reach areas, the workboat is equipped with a Maxilift hydraulic knuckle-boom crane for additional material handling requirements. The vessel also features an enclosed cabin, a deadweight capacity up to 10 tons, and a 14-foot beam.
• Seastreak is now operating the new high-speed 750 passenger Seastreak Courageous, an Incat Crowther aluminum catamaran design, built by Harvey, La.-based Midship. The company’s ferry fleet links midtown and downtown New York City with the Jersey shore, as well as New England destinations during the summer months.
• Spring, Tx.-based Seaside LNG has acquired the liquefied natural gas fueling barge Clean Jacksonville from TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico LLC, a subsidiary of TOTE Group LLC. The barge was built at the Conrad Industries shipyard in Orange, Tx. And was the first LNG bunker barge built in North America, in 2018. The Clean Jacksonville has a towing speed of up to 8 knots and a storage capacity of 2,200 cubic meters of LNG held in atmospheric membrane tanks that conform to the hull shape to maximize use of space. The barge is operated by Polaris New Energy, Seaside LNG’s maritime subsidiary, which will continue to fuel TOTE’s Marlin Class LNG-powered containerships, and other commercial customers. Acquisition of the Clean Jacksonville makes Seaside operator of the largest roster of LNG barges in the U.S.
• Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding delivered the first hull in its new LMF 33 workboat series to the University of New Hampshire’s School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering. The LMF 33, designed as a landing craft by Response Marine of Newburyport, Mass., was built to withstand the rigors of extreme marine environments and designed to allow operators to land the boat on rocky beaches without damaging the hull.
• The U.S. Navy has officially received the fleet replenishment oiler, USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), from General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) in San Diego. The Navy accepted delivery of the T-AO 206 following the conclusion of acceptance trials, conducted in collaboration with the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey to assess the ship’s preparedness and capabilities. Harvey Milk, the second vessel of the 20-ship class, has been assigned to Military Sealift Command for operational purposes. NASSCO also delivered the future USS John L. Canley, the fourth expeditionary sea base ship built at the NASSCO shipyard. The 784-foot-long sea base vessels are floating Marine bases, with a 52,000 square-foot flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, repair spaces, weapons magazines, mission planning spaces and accommodations for up to 250 personnel. Their missions include mine counter measures, anti-piracy operations, maritime security, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and crisis response.
• The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Highway Patrol’s Tactical Marine Unit has taken delivery of a new Interceptor-classed rigid inflatable boat (RIB) built by Annapolis, Md.-based Ocean Craft Marine. The 31-foot patrol craft features the builder’s concave reverse-chine hull form and is equipped with a hybrid CE closed-cell foam-filled tube-set, a heavy-duty full coverage T-top, re-configurable shock-mitigating seating custom-built by Shockwave Seats, and a robust aluminum bow-guard with push knees. Its advanced navigation and communications electronics include color video, thermal imagery, and a digital wireless headset crew-communication system from the David Clark Company. The boat is powered by two Mercury Marine Verado 350 outboard engines controlled by Mercury Racing’s digital throttle shift (DTS) while also utilizing Mercury’s proprietary trim control system to increase fuel economy and mission range. The new RIB can reach a top speed of 53 knots and is capable of heavy weather seakeeping and tight high-speed tactical turns.
• Bollinger Shipyards has delivered USCGC John Patterson to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Fl. This is the 179th vessel Bollinger has delivered to the Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 53rd fast response cutter (FRC) delivered under the current program. The cutter is the fourth of six FRCs to be home-ported in Sector Boston. The sector is responsible for coastal safety, security and environmental protection from the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border southward to Plymouth, Ma. out to 200 nautical miles offshore.
• Derecktor Shipyards turned over R/V Marcelle Melosira, a hybrid research catamaran, to the University of Vermont. The innovative vessel will serve as a floating classroom and laboratory, enabling advanced research operations and hands-on educational programs. Designed by Chartwell Marine and built in collaboration with UVM and Chartwell, the 64-foot vessel has been crafted to fulfill the functions outlined by UVM’s Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources. Constructed of aluminum, the vessel is designed to operate on Lake Champlain in up to 5-foot significant wave height conditions.
• Metal Shark delivered a welded-aluminum 45 Defiant crew boat to Anchorage Launch Services Co., an Oregon-based operator providing launch, line, pilotage and cargo services to vessels on the Columbia and Willamette rivers. Designed in-house by the Metal Shark engineering team and built at the company’s Jeanerette, La., production facility, the 47-by-12-foot, twin-diesel waterjet-powered Triumph VII is now in service. The vessel features a skylight array provides an unobstructed upward view while operating alongside ships during crew or supply transfer. The vessel’s climate-controlled cabin has been appointed with UES G-Force high-backed seating for eight, accommodating a two-person crew plus six passengers. A full electronics suite includes multiple Furuno multifunction displays with integrated GPS, radar, depth sounder, a FLIR thermal imaging system, and Icom VHF radios.
• Shipbuilder SAFE Boats International partnered with Fl.-based maritime technology provider, Mythos AI, to delivered a purpose-built Porter 78S workboat to the company. Archie One, an aluminum-hull, outboard-driven survey boat, was built under an exclusive license agreement with Stormer Work Boats of the Netherlands. The boat is specifically designed for the integration of Mythos AI’s self-driving and autonomous hydrographic survey control system. The Porter 78S is a 26-by-10-foot aluminum workboat powered by dual outboard engines, with a large pilothouse and working deck area with a moonpool for multibeam sonar deployment.
• Moose Boats delivered Chinook, an M1-46 offshore patrol boat to the state of California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife. Twin Volvo Penta D11 625-hp turbo diesel propulsion engines, Twin Disc transmissions and HamiltonJet waterjets with Blue Arrow and Jet Anchor station-keeping controls power the 46-foot aluminum catamaran. Accommodations are designed around extended patrol duties for a crew of up to four with Allsalt Shoxs shock-mitigating seats and berthing for each crewmember, a full galley, dinette table, head and shower facilities, and an onboard desalinization plant.
• The U.S. Navy received its latest Ghost Fleet Overlord unmanned surface vehicle, putting the service on a path to ramp up autonomy experimentation with its fleet of USVs. Mariner, which Gulf Craft built on spec as a crewboat at its Franklin, La., facility under prime contractor Leidos, will help the Navy advance testing for the autonomous technology needed for USVs. It will also add to the wide array of commercial systems such as sensors, satellite links, radars, and communications suites that the Navy is experimenting with across its fleet of USVs. The 194-foot-long Mariner is also equipped with datalinks and systems to function as a mothership for other USVs, making it easier for the Navy to now experiment with multiple unmanned craft at the same time. Mariner was assigned to the West Coast to join the Navy’s other MUSVs deployed with San Diego-based Unmanned Surface Vessel Division One.
• The University of New Hampshire’s School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering has taken delivery of an LMF 33 landing craft, the first hull in Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding’s new workboat series. The LMF 33, designed by Response Marine of Newburyport, Ma., was built to withstand the rigors of extreme marine environments. The aluminum hull is designed to allow operators to land the boat on rocky beaches without damaging the hull, while the wide-open bow functions as a stable work, cargo or passenger space. The boat also features twin 250-hp outboards with joystick control. •