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Sneed Shipbuilding: An (Extended) Family Affair

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When Martin M. Sneed embarked in the business of building for the demanding workboat market in the mid-60s, he likely did not imagine that four decades later, his son Clyde (pictured) and business partner and co-owner Mitch Jones would be at the helm of a highly successful boat building company, crafting finely appointed custom boats for some of the industry’s most discriminating owners. Sneed Shipbuilding was founded by Martin M. Sneed in 1965, and many of the principles upon which it was founded: quality, integrity and efficiency, are as valid today as ever. Today Sneed is co-owned and operated by Clyde Sneed (Martin’s son) and Mitch Jones, a partnership that relies on the quality creed of the past while looking toward future expansion from its towboat and barge roots to the burgeoning offshore market and beyond.  It was just three years ago, in June 2009, that Clyde’s father Martin sold the business to Clyde and Mitch, and the move has paid off handsomely, with the company growing from 30 employees in 2009 to about 180 employees today. Today the company operates out of its main facility, nearly 40 acres in Channelview, TX, about 15 minutes due east of Houston, as well as a smaller yard (about three acres) in Orange, TX and the recently acquired Central Gulf Shipyard, LLC, in New Iberia, LA

GofM Pipeline Fire Update

Pipeline Fire 15, March 2013: Photo credit USCG

Personnel from T&T Salvage aboard the Todd Michael spud barge are on scene for cooling operations of the tank barge. Response operations continue for a tug and barge that allided with a pipeline near Bayou Perot 30 miles south of New Orleans Thursday. Personnel from T&T Salvage aboard the Todd Michael spud barge are on scene for cooling operations of the tank barge. The fire remains stabilized. The Coast Guard has placed temporary flight restrictions over the airspace near the

Kulluk Due 'Piggy-back' Ride to Asian Shipyard

Kulluk in Kiliuda Bay

Owners Shell confirm that 'Kulluk' safe to tow from Kiluda Bay to Dutch Harbor & await arrival of heavy-lift semi submersible vessel for the 'dry tow'. The Unified Command has been stood down. “Agency representatives will return to their normal roles and responsibilities," said Capt. Paul Mehler III, the Coast Guard Federal On-Scene Coordinator. “The Coast Guard will continue to monitor the activities involved in prepping the Kulluk for movement and I will lift the

Ultra-large Containership Towing Capabilities Tested

Photo: CMA CGM

The CMA CGM Group and German Havariekommando to test ultra-large container vessel towing capabilities on CMA CGM Jules Verne   Worldwide shipping group the CMA CGM Group and the German Authority Havariekommando tested Havariekommando´s capability to tow ultra-large container vessels during an exercise held on June 13, 2015.   The vessel used for this exercise was the CMA CGM Jules Verne, the CMA CGM’s 16,000 TEU flagship.  

Cenac Towing Acquires Main Iron Works, Christens New Tug

Cenacs 72’x30’, Tier 3 compliant innovative push boat

Cenac Towing Company (Cenac Towing), a third-generation owned global marine transportation company, announced continued growth despite the oil and gas industry’s downturn.   Recently, Cenac Towing acquired Main Iron Works, a tug construction company, and this week, Cenac Towing will christen its brand new 2000 Hp Twin Screw Conventional Tug, The Jean Pierre Cenac. The innovative marine transportation company, run by industry veteran Arlen “Benny” Cenac

CG Reopens Intracoastal Waterway

The Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur reopened the Intracoastal Waterway after the towing vessel Caroline was refloated Monday. The waterway was closed following a collision between the towing vessel Caroline and the towing vessel Miss Stacie at mile marker 312 on the Intracoastal Waterway early this morning.  No injuries were sustained during the collision. A Unified Command comprised of Canal Barge Company, Texas General Land Office

OMB - Subchapter M Cleared for Publication

File Image: an aerial view of a typical fleeting operation on Americas inland rivers (WCI)

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) completed its review of the draft final rule entitled Inspection of Towing Vessels, also known as "Subchapter M." The document has been returned to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Coast Guard for final preparation prior to promulgation in the Federal Register. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, this rulemaking would implement a program of inspection for certification of towing vessels, which were previously uninspected

Shipping Season Opens on the Mississippi

M/V New Dawn broke through Lake Pepin ice overnight and locked through Lock and Dam 2 around 7:45 a.m. on March 25 (Photo by Pamela Niebur)

First tow marks unofficial opening to Mississippi River navigation season   M/V New Dawn arrived at Lock and Dam 2 near Hastings, Minn. Wednesday morning, marking the unofficial opening of the 2015 shipping season on the Upper Mississippi River, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).   The USACE St. Paul District recognizes the first tow to arrive at Lock and Dam 2 as the unofficial start of the navigation season because it means all of its locks are accessible to

USCG Issues Fire Protection Equipment Requirements

All towing vessels except those in restricted services are required to comply with new requirements for fire protection equipment and procedures under an interim rule issued by the USCG. The rule is the first step in a two-pronged approach to implementing the requirements of the 1996 USCG Authorization Act, which directed the USCG to promulgate regulations requiring fire suppression systems or other measures to control fires on towing vessels.

New Marine Hydrawrap Distributor

HydraTech Engineered Products of Cincinnati, Ohio has selected the Great Lakes Group and Puerto Rico Towing as exclusive distributors of Marine HydraWrap. The Great Lakes Group, located in Cleveland, Ohio, operates a full service shipyard and specializes in all types of marine repair services. Puerto Rico Towing and Barge Company located in San Juan, Puerto Rico provides towing services and vessel assistance to commercial vessels and barges throughout the Caribbean

INS Viraat on its last Journey

INS VIRAAT is being towed

The INS Viraat is on the last journey and the ship is being towed back by three tugs to Mumbai for the decommissioning. SCI Mukta, an Anchor Handling & Towing Vessel (AHTS) of the National Flagship Carrier i.e. The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd

ABS Gains AWO RCP Auditor Status

(File photo: Eric Norcross)

AWO qualifies ABS to perform towing safety management audits   ABS has been approved by the American Waterways Operators (AWO) to carry out audits of its Responsible Carrier Program (RCP), a safety management system for tugboat, towboat and barge companies

Rolls-Royce to Equip ECO’s New Tugs

Image: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce has signed a contract with Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) worth more than $41 million to deliver propulsion and deck machinery for 13 new tugs, including five which will have a direct bollard pull of around 150 metric tons.  

Smith Berger Tow Pins Lead the Way

Smith Berger Marine, Inc. said it has been selected by Edison Chouest Offshore to design and manufacture the Tow Pin Stern Roller units required on its nine new vessels, including five escort tugs and four docking tugs.   Edison Chouest is building the new tugs in order to execute a 10-year

Wagenborg Launches New Tug Wild Maa

Photo: Wagenborg

On Tuesday, October 18, 2016, Wagenborg launched the new tugboat Wild Maa in Groningen, the Netherlands.   Prior to the tandem lift, Wagenborg transferred the tug, weighing 253 metric tons and measuring 29 meters long and 10.3 meters wide

Towing Industry Safety: AWO & USCG Joint Analysis … By the Numbers

Source: USCG

For 16 years, the National Quality Steering Committee has used three measures to track overall trends in safety and environmental protection. While not all-encompassing, the measures are considered to be useful indicators of towing industry trends. The measures are:

Robert Allan, Sanmar Design New Z-drive Tractor Tug

Image: Sanmar

The TRAktor-Z 2500SX is the new Z-drive tractor tug designed by Robert Allan Ltd. in collaboration with Sanmar Shipyards. Engineered for maximum efficiency in both harbor ship handling and towing duties, this compact, under 24 m rule length design offers dependable omnidirectional performance for

Horizon Flips First Hull for McAllister

Photo: Horizon Shipbuilding

Horizon Shipbuilding, Inc. of Bayou La Batre, Ala. said it has reached milestone in its contract with McAllister Towing.    The Capt. Brian A. McAllister, the first of up to four hulls, has been flipped and set on the shipbuilding ways

Palfinger Wins Deck Equipment Package

Illustration of Havyard 832 MPV, where Palfinger Marine will deliver and extensive deck equipment package of cranes, winches and offshore equipment. (Copyright: Palfinger Marine GmbH, Havyard Group)

Palfinger Marine signed a contract with Turkish shipyard Cemre to supply a deck equipment package to a Havyard 832 MPV vessel being built for Esvagt. The package from Palfinger consists of cranes, winches and offshore equipment. The MPV will measure 81.9 x 17.16 m, with a  deck area of 620 sq

Foss Maritime: Hard at Work in the Arctic

Glacier Wind in Cook Inlet (Image courtesy of Foss Maritime)

As the oil industry awaits a much-needed rebound, Foss Maritime’s robust presence in the Arctic region underscores its commitment to the region, the environment, and a business plan that looks ahead to the next chapter.   Reports of the death of commercial Arctic activities have been

The Advent of Subchapter M

Ian McVicker

A primer: the new rule and guidance for operators as they search for the right mix of compliance options to meet their specific and unique needs.      For several years, the towing vessel industry has been waiting for final publication of the U.S

Subchapter M: Post Publication Highlights

Photo: AWO

An extra T in TSMS, nowhere left to hide from systems documentation, and an emphasis on continuous improvement.      Back in January of this year, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) predicted Subchapter M would be released in spring 2016

Vane Brothers’ New Tug Baltimore Enters Service

Baltimore (Photo: Vane Brothers)

Vane Brothers said it has taken delivery of its newest tugboat, Baltimore, named for the city in which the marine transportation provider is headquartered.   The Baltimore is the third of eight vessels in Vane’s Elizabeth Anne Class of 4,200-horsepower tugboats contracted through St

Zamakona Delivers Tug for Boluda


The work of Astilleros Zamakona's collaboration with Robert Allan as a designer and experience of Boluda Towage and Salvage as an operator in tow obtained from this new construction 768 tugboat VB XALOC type AVT will be from now on the tugboat reference for port operations, towing and escort.

Ultra Large Tug Alp Striker Delivered

(Photo: Niigata Shipbuilding & Repair)

From Japan's Niigata Shipbuilding & Repair, Inc. (NSR), fully owned by Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., comes the first in four of a series of ultra large, ultra powerful tugs. The first in line is dubbed Alp Striker,  delivered to Alp Striker BV (ship owning company of

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