Gunderson, Jeffboat busy filling contracts for new barges

Gunderson Marine and Jeffboat concluded 2008 amid a flurry of production, with Gunderson signing a contract to build eight additional deck cargo barges for Crowley Maritime Corp., and Jeffboat finishing a 50,000-barrel asphalt barge for Andrie Inc.

Gunderson, a Portland, Ore.-based division of the Greenbrier Cos., has a longstanding relationship with Crowley, producing more than 40 vessels over the years for the Jacksonville, Fla., maritime firm. The new barges, the latest in Crowley’s Heavy Lift 455 Series, are 400 feet long and 105 feet wide, with 25-foot side shells to provide the capacity and strength for deepwater cargo. The barges can handle loads of up to 4,200 pounds per square foot.

Charles Garman, vice president of marine sales and marketing for Gunderson, said the vessels’ primary use will be in the offshore energy industry, including the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.

“Two are in production right now for delivery in the spring, with a total of four by the end of 2009,” Garman said. “The two under construction now will be heading to the North Slope.”

Jeffboat, the manufacturing division of American Commercial Lines Inc., is building a 360-foot barge for Andrie that utilizes 32,000 feet of pipe and an insulated deck to keep asphalt at the proper temperature for delivery.

The barge, named Endeavour, has a 27-foot-deep stern notch with JAK articulation socket plates designed to mesh with the 120-foot tug Karen Andrie, which has been fitted with the cylinder units for the coupling system. The bow features a 500-hp HT 600 OmniThruster driven by a Cummins-powered 600-kW generator.

On the deck, Endeavour is fitted with four Markey mooring winches and two Markey anchor winches, along with a 15-ton crane and 60-foot boom to handle the barge’s cargo hoses. Jeffboat is expected to deliver Endeavour in the first quarter of 2009 at its yard in Jeffersonville, Ind.

By Professional Mariner Staff