VT Halter launches third fisheries research vessel

Shipbuilding News
VT Halter launches third
fisheries research vessel

VT Halter Marine and its three Mississippi shipyards near Pascagoula on the Mississippi Gulf Coast started 2008 off right with the launch of their third 208-foot fisheries research vessel. Two sister ships, Oscar Dyson and Henry B. Bigelow are working for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Alaska and in the Northeast. This vessel, Pisces, will be home-ported in the Pascagoula area to work on fisheries research in the Gulf of Mexico. Delivery is slated for late 2008.

    VT Halter is also working on several tug and barge projects, including three 330,000-barrel units that will dwarf anything recently built.

Trinity has 19 yachts on order
Speaking of successful shipbuilding in Mississippi, another outstanding example is Trinity Yachts, of Gulfport, which has in a few years become the country’s No. 1 builder of luxury megayachts.
    “We have 19 yachts on order right now,” said Billy Smith III, senior vice president of Trinity. “That is a two-year-plus backlog for us.” The company had to flee its New Orleans home in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina. It reopened a shuttered yard in Gulfport and also reopened the New Orleans yard.
    A typical Trinity yacht is a tri-deck vessel, 150 feet long, using a pair of Caterpillar 3512B engines for propulsion. Costs range from $20 million up, with $4 million of that being in the fairing of the hull to produce that mirror-like finish.

Marblehead company specializes in RIBs
For every 150-foot or longer workboat that is built, at least a dozen smaller vessels are built by yards that specialize in smaller vessels. For example, Ribcraft, of Marblehead, Mass., specializes in rigid inflatable boats (RIB) for first responders, cruise lines and tour companies.
    A recent delivery was a subchapter T 20-passenger vessel for the Kona Village Resort in Hawaii. Power is from a pair of Honda 225-HP outboards. New construction includes vessels for tour companies and cruise lines in the first half of 2008.

Bender delivers anchor-handling supply boats
Bender Shipbuilding and Repair has been a fixture on Mobile Bay near the city’s downtown since the 1950s. The company has a good assortment of commercial newbuilds and new Navy vessels, as well as commercial and military repair work.
    For example, Bender delivered the first two of six 245-foot anchor-handling supply boats for Seacor Marine. John Coghill was delivered in September and Seacor Grant in October, both under the watchful eye of Seacor project engineer Russ Jones. “We’ll finish up the other four in 2008,” Jones said.
    Other boats under construction at Bender include a pair of 210-footers for Trico Marine and eight 12,000-hp tugs for OSG America.

Moran gets two tugs from Maine yard
Washburn & Doughty builds tugs at its shipyard in East Boothbay, Maine. At this time they are working on a six-tug order for Moran Towing, of New Canaan, Conn. These vessels will be used in Moran’s ship docking fleet. Pati Moran was delivered in November, while the Eleanor F. Moran was added to the Moran fleet in March. Both of these vessels are 5,100-hp, 92-foot ship-assist docking tugs. Between those two deliveries, Marine Towing of Tampa added Liberty, a 92-foot-by-32-foot, 5,000-hp z-drive tug to its fleet from Washburn & Doughty.

Bollinger building double-hull oil barges
Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. is one of the largest boatbuilding companies in the country. Its headquarters and one of its biggest boatbuilding facilities are in Lockport, La.
    Bollinger has 14 shipbuilding and repair facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi. The Lockport yard tends to build multiples of the same boat design. For example, it is now building eight 87-foot patrol boats for the Coast Guard. This is basically a repeat order. The company has built 56 of these Coast Guard vessels.
    Bollinger is also building 10 190-foot platform supply vessels for Rigdon Marine, in Houston. Four have been delivered, three are in the water nearing completion and there are several modules ready for assembly.
    The company is also one of the leading builders of double-hull petroleum barges. A recent contract for two 60,000-barrel units and an 80,000-barrel vessel from Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc., of Melville, N.Y., will keep both Bollinger Gretna LLC, in Harvey, La. and Bollinger Marine Fabricators LLC, in Amelia, La., busy for several months.

All American building catamarans
All American Marine, of Bellingham, Wash., builds
all-aluminum catamarans under a license from Teknicraft of New Zealand. Most of it is deliveries are ferry or eco-tour vessels to Hawaii or Alaska.
    Recent deliveries include the 82-foot tour boat Aialik Voyager for Kenai Fjord Tours, in Seward, Alaska, and a 65-foot 149-passenger tour boat, Hoku Nai’a for Paradise Cruise in Hawaii.

Small yards benefit from demand

for crew boats
Up until 2007 the crew/supply boat business was centered among five small shipyards in central Louisiana. Every year these yards would each turn out four to six vessels. Now the demand has grown to such an extent that yards that used to build smaller vessels for the passenger boat industry are full with large crew boats.
    An example is Island Boats, of Jeanerette, La. The company formerly built its vessels on a landlocked area and trucked them to the Port of Iberia for launching.
    Three years ago the company opened a new shipyard on Bayou Teche and kept building the 50-foot to 80-foot boats it previously built. In 2007, Island Boats delivered three passenger boats to various tour operators. Now its yard is full of 150-foot to 175-foot crew/supply boats, two for Southern States and two for Rigdon Marine, all for 2008 delivery.

Kvichak gets contract for

four more landing craft
Kvichak Marine Industries, of Seattle, builds a wide variety of aluminum-hulled vessels for commercial, military and even megayacht customers.
    One of the company’s most successful recent contracts involved the delivery in early 2007 of 10 high-speed landing craft to replace the Navy’s existing LM-8 craft.
The contract for these 40-knot, 40-foot vessels has been extended to include four more. The vessels are designed to transport 30 troops and their gear. They can also carry general cargo. The propulsion package includes twin Cummins QSM11 engines, ZF gears and HamiltonJet 361waterjets.


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.
By Professional Mariner Staff