While Hurricane Gustav practically emptied the population of the New Orleans metro area and Hurricane Ike did the same for the Galveston and some of Houston, shipyard damage was light. Hurricane Gustav came ashore west of New Orleans and was in the path of the crew boat yards along Bayou Teche. Most of the problems were related to lack of power. "We were closed for four days since we were without electricity," said Vic Breaux of Breaux Brothers Enterprises in Loreauville, La. Structural damage to the shipyard was light as it was at the other crew boat shipyards in the area.
Many of the Bollinger shipyards were closed for a few days because of power outages as well.
Hurricane Katrina was much worse because workers evacuated and it took months for the yards to get back to full production. In addition, Katrina mangled the undersea pipeline system in the Gulf of Mexico so badly that it is still being repaired.
Washburn & Doughty makes comeback
The shipyard facilities of Washburn & Doughty Associates Inc., East Boothbay, Maine, were destroyed in a fire July 11. Two months later the company laid the keel for a Z-drive tug. The ceremony was attended by Maine Governor John Baldacci and other state officials.
The shipyard purchased the adjacent property formerly known as Boothbay Marine and is using this land to construct two Z-drive tugs while rebuilding its fabrication building and other facilities destroyed by the fire.
Edison Chouest dead at 91
Edison Chouest, one of a handful of pioneers of the offshore oil and gas supply industry, died Oct. 1. In 1960, Chouest inherited six months remaining of a year's contract to bring supplies to an offshore rig owned by Humble Oil, now Exxon. Chouest used a shrimp boat to fulfill the first contract and founded Edison Chouest Offshore. "The rest is history,â€šÂ¬VbCrLf said Lonnie Thibodeaux, company corporate communications director, as reported by the Courier of Houma, La.
Chouest made a fateful decision very early in the company's history that they would build as well as operate their boats. The family company has grown to 150 vessels and more than 7,200 employees.
They operate four shipyards – two in Louisiana, one in Mississippi, one in Brazil – and are building a fifth in Houma.
There was no particular cause of death released. Until last year, Chouest was in the company offices in Galliano every day, Thibodeaux reported. Son Gary Chouest, with son Dr. Laney Chouest as vice president, have run the company for the past two decades.
Gunderson to build heavy lift deck barges
The Gunderson Marine division of Portland, Ore., a division of the Greenbrier Cos. of Lake Oswego, Ore., has signed a contract with Vessel Management Services to build 10 heavy lift cargo barges.
Vessel Management Services, owned by Crowley Maritime Corp., said the barges will be 400 feet long, 105 feet wide and equipped with high deck-loading capability. They will be used for construction, salvage, oil and gas development and container transportation.
Greenbrier also builds new railroad freight cars.
Bollinger to build "sentinel" class cutters for the Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard has informed Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, La., that it has been selected to design and build up to 34 "Sentinelâ€šÂ¬VbCrLf Class Fast Response Cutters in a contract that, if all options are exercised, could be worth $1.5 billion.
The 153.5-foot by 25.5-foot by 8.5-foot vessels are based on a modern hull form developed by Damen Shipyards in the Netherlands. They are a replacement for the Island Class cutters that Bollinger built almost 25 years ago.
"The contract will provide work for approximately 500 of our employees,â€šÂ¬VbCrLf said Donald "Boysieâ€šÂ¬VbCrLf Bollinger, president of the shipyard. The program is expected to last for 10 years.
This is not Bollinger's first rodeo in building patrol type vessels for the Coast Guard. The company is finishing up its 75th 87-foot Marine Protector Class Patrol Boat that was also built on a Damen design. It has built more than 125 patrol vessels for the Navy and Coast Guard.
Bollinger estimates the contract will bring $500 million in business to marine suppliers.
The first boat will be delivered in two years and, at peak production, a new cutter will be delivered every eight weeks.
Austal christens littoral combat ship
The General Dynamics Littoral Combat Ship Team christened Independence, the Navy's second littoral combat ship (LCS), Oct. 4 at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala.
The Navy is having two littoral combat ships built for evaluation. LCS-1, USS Freedom, headed by the Lockheed Martin team, underwent builder's trials in July and August and is a 378-foot semi-planing monohull built by Marinette Marine. The seaframe on LCS-1 will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads or Mission Packages focusing on mine countermeasures, surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.
A littoral combat ship can operate close to shore in shallow water.
LCS-2 is the Navy's first trimaran littoral combat ship. The General Dynamics Team is one of two teams that was awarded a contract to build a single ship. It is expected that a single contract will be awarded in late 2008 for the construction of up to 10 ships.
The 416.6-foot Austal trimaran seaframe is the platform for the LCS's mission and weapon systems. Superior seakeeping is a result of its long slender center hull.
Speaking of Austal USA, the littoral combat ship is only one of two huge vessel projects in the yard. The second is the launch of the second Hawaii Superferry for a March 2009 delivery.
The 370.7-foot catamaran will offer a 40-knot service speed transporting 866 passengers and 232 cars. The second Superferry is different from its sister in that it is fitted with an angled 65.6-foot, bi-fold stern ramp for use in ports with austere loading facilities.
Power is four MTU 20V8000 M70 engines for up to 12,200 hp of continuous power.
Halter wins missile boat contract
The Egyptian Government has awarded the Halter shipyard division of Vision Technologies, of Singapore, a $393.7 million contract for the detail design and construction of three Fast Missile Crafts. This is in addition to a previously warded contract on the project. The work will be performed at Halter's Pascagoula, Miss., plant and at nine primary sites plus others for a completion date of April 2013.
Vision Technologies also announced that in addition to the $393.7 million contract, a further $13.5 million has been added due to changes in work scope. Total contract value is now $642 million.
About the Author:
Larry Pearson has been covering the maritime industry since 1981. His work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including Marine Log, Diesel Progress, WorkBoat, Professional Mariner and American Ship Review. He published his own magazine, Passenger Vessel News, from 1991 to 1998. A graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism and a minor in mechanical engineering, he lives in the New Orleans area.
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