Florida Marine continues building boom

Florida Marine Transporters of Mandeville, La., has been keeping shipyard workers busy with new boat orders in Florida, and recently the company has spread the wealth to include shipyards in Alabama and Indiana.

The small but entrepreneurial company is in the midst of a building program involving three shipyards for construction of 50 identical, 2,600-hp towboats and an even larger order of inland river barges. When the program is finished, the company says it will be working with a fleet of about 65 towboats and some 200 barges, most dedicated to service in the oil and gas industry.

New towboats for Florida Marine Transporters are shown here in various phases of construction at Eastern Shipbuilding Group in Florida.

Three shipyards building towboats are Eastern Shipbuilding Group of Florida, Horizon Shipbuilding of Alabama, and Jeffboat of Indiana. The Jeffboat yard is also building new barges for Florida Marine.

The privately owned company is said to have had 30 single hull barges and nine push boats in 1999 when it was acquired by former employee Dennis Pasentine who has since orchestrated the company’s massive new building program.

All of the new Florida Marine push boats being built at Eastern Shipbuilding, Panama City, Fla., are identical 2,600-hp twin-screw boats 90 feet in length with Caterpillar 3512B main engines. Those being built at Jeffboat, however, are 4,900 hp while those being built at Horizon Shipbuilding are 6,000 hp. New barges being built are mostly in the range of 30,000-barrel capacity.

By Professional Mariner Staff