Boconco Shipbuilding's offices on Bayou LaBatre's Shell Belt Road are surrounded by prefabricated steel components for several utility boats building at the yard. A series of 126 by 30 by 12-foot boats are being built for delivery to Barry Graham Oil Services also of Bayou LaBatre. Alabama. The sister-ship was delivered two years ago with the others to be delivered at regular intervals over the coming year. The first of this set of boats launched on the high water Thursday evening January 23 and will be named the Capt. Levert in honour of Barry Graham's 87-year old maternal grandfather. Capt. Levert Seaman had a 100-ton license and has worked most types of boats along the Gulf Coast, "He use to run a boat freighting watermellon up to New Orleans," says Barry Graham, "And he has fished ever bit of ground between the Mississippi River and Pensacola with those cotton trammel nets. I only went out with him once, in about 1977 when I was a teenager and he was running a party fishing boat." Barry's dad and two uncles developed the precursor of the present style of boat that he is building. "They started servicing oil rigs in 1957 were building their own boats by 1971. They started this style of boat in 1973 and built 149 of them starting with 90-footers and going right up to the largest at 126 feet. We think that it is a good hull and it is a very good sea boat," says Graham.
The newest buzz among offshore operators serving the oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is the increased use of methanol (CH3OH) by oil companies and contract drillers. This has meant more work for supply boats carrying this alcohol product to rigs along with rig water, fuel oil and liquid and bulk mud. Methanol is used to keep the flow lines from the wellhead to the surface of the water from becoming restricted or blocked
The one constant about the management of offshore vessel operating companies is the domination of family members of the founder. Except for the largest of these companies, Tidewater, Inc., that is a public NYSE-listed firm, most of the companies in this category, large and small, are run by the descendents of the founder. Many of these companies still bear the founder's name and most of the vessels are named after family members. by Larry Pearson The CALLAIS Family
By Larry Pearson The picturesque town of Bayou La Batre, Ala. has long been known for its production of shrimp trawlers. Normally, about 150 of these 90-105 ft. vessels come out of 8-10 yards set up specifically to produce these boats. Increasingly, however, large deepwater offshore service vessels are taking their place along side of the trawlers as the Bayou La Batre boat builders join with their Louisiana cousins in producing vessels for the oil patch