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Five Minutes with Richard Marler, Chairman, President & CEO, Signal International

Richard Marler

In the June 2010 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News (, we had the opportunity to meet with Richard Marler, Chairman, President and CEO of Signal International, on the sidelines of OTC to discuss his company’s rapid growth and promising future. – by Greg Trauthwein, Editor What is the primary focus of Signal International? RM     Our principal focus is offshore drilling rig and ship overhaul, repair, upgrade and conversion. Additionally, we provide services to the general marine and heavy fabrication markets and are moving into shipbuilding. When and why did you start Signal? RM     The company was created in January 2003. After the Friede Goldman bankruptcy, we essentially picked up the offshore sector, which included four yards in Texas and two yards in Mississippi. The name Signal was chosen for its meanings associated with communication and outstanding achievement. To what do you attribute your company’s strong growth? RM     On day one we realized that we needed to be diversified, but first and foremost we realized that we needed to be an ISO certified yard, and that we needed to be focused on safety. From the outset we knew we had a challenge entering both old and new markets, and adopted the stance that we would ‘crawl, walk, run.’ How is your company investing?

Grandweld, New Shipbuilding Contracts

According to a June 23 report from Seatrade, Grandweld recently held keel laying ceremonies for two 118 ft utility vessels and one 134.5 ft crewboat for repeat customer Humaid Badir Marine Shipping Est., a UAE based fleet operator. The three vessel order is said to signal a strong 2009/10 order book for the Dubai based shipbuilding, ship repair and conversion yard, part of GMMOS Group. (Source: Seatrade)

Boomtown Barge Headed for Repairs

According to reports, Tugboats began towing Boomtown Casino's gambling barge to a dry dock in Pascagoula. The repairs at Signal International should take about three weeks, company officials said. Penn National Gaming, which owns Boomtown and Casino Magic Bay St. Louis, has committed to rebuild its Coast properties. Company executives are expected to release more information this week when they issue a quarterly earnings report and host a conference call.

Cellular Signal Boosters: Relief for Inland & Coastal Mariners

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Wilson Electronics, a U.S.-based manufacturer of cellular signal boosters, is targeting inland and coastal waterway users with a new marine initiative. The development of a signal booster kit that improves cellular coverage for boaters on inland waterways and for near-shore mariners means that dropped connections and no-service zones may be a thing of the past. Cellular booster systems take a weak signal – sometimes too faint for a cellular device to detect – and boost it so that

Panama Canal's JIT Transit Service Modified


  The arrival time for vessels that have been awarded a JIT (Just-in-Time) Transit Service at Panama Canal will be determined based on the conditions listed below, and not the time the vessel arrives at the sea buoy at either terminal of the Canal. In this regard, for booking purposes, vessels will be deemed to have "arrived" at either Canal terminal when radio contact has been established between the vessel and the respective Panama Canal Signal Station, and:

BAE Sees Way to Replace GPS

BAE Systems unveils research on an advanced positioning system using existing transmissions to calculate accurately the user’s location Military platforms commonly use Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to find their position and navigate. GPS rely upon a specific and relatively weak satellite signal that is vulnerable to disruption. Known as Navigation via Signals of Opportunity (NAVSOP), BAE Systems’ new system is able to calculate its position by making use of the hundreds of

M/V Columbia Experiences Generator Problem

The M/V Columbia experienced a malfunction in one of its four generators that resulted in a fire while it was transiting Seymour Narrows on Saturday causing the ship to lose power to one of its two engines. The Columbia was escorted to Duncan Bay by a tug and crews ran assessments of its operating systems before Transport Canada the mCanadian Transport Safety Board cleared the ship to proceed to Ketchikan. The ship left Duncan Bay under full power at about 8 a.m

A&P Birkenhead Gets Triple Ferry Deal

A&P Group's newly reopened dry dock facility, A&P Birkenhead, has recently completed the dry docking and repairs of Mersey Ferries' 464grt passenger ferry Woodchurch. The Woodchurch is the first of three vessels booked into the yard by Mersey Ferries Ltd, the Passenger Transport Authority and Executive for Merseyside. The three ship contract was won in open competition against other UK ship repairers. The two other ferries

Hurricane Ida Emergency Marine Equipment Supply

Building of Class B Single Lift Equipment (Photo courtesy Tideland Signal)

Less than 24 hours after Hurricane Ida reached the coast of La., trucks were leaving Tideland Signal’s factory loaded with solar powered marine beacons and fog signals desperately needed to mark the Gulf Coast’s vital offshore oil wells.  Emergency spares, sent to replace existing equipment damaged during the hurricane, arrived at coastal staging areas ready for immediate deployment well before the coastal helicopter and workboat fleets were set to depart offshore.

Galileo Satellite SAR Package Activated

Galileo in Transit: Photo credit ESA

Galileo’s search and rescue system (SAR) passes first space test to begin major expansion of the Cospas–Sarsat network. The second pair of Europe’s Galileo navigation satellites – launched together on 12 October last year – are the first of the constellation to host SAR search and rescue repeaters. These can pick up UHF signals from emergency beacons aboard ships and aircraft or carried by individuals, then pass them on to local authorities for rescue.

Transatlantic Eastbound Rates Fall

Photo: CMA CGM

 Transatlantic eastbound chemical freight rates dropped slightly this week on a continued lull in the spot market, ICIS reports  brokers as saying. It was the second drop in as many weeks.   The latest SSY Base Oil Shipping Report noted that eastbound rates “took a tumble

MN 100: The General Ship Repair Corporation


The General Ship Repair Corporation, a fixture on the Baltimore, Maryland waterfront for nearly a century since its founding by Charles “Buck” Lynch in 1924, has become the de facto ‘go to’ for workboat repair in the Baltimore area and is enjoying a strong year

Indonesian Parliament Okays Subs from Russia

Image: Russian Navy

 Indonesia signaled its intent to purchase two submarines from Russia to bolster its current fleet, reports the Jakarta Post.   The government's plan to purchase Kilo-class submarines from Russia has received support from the House of Representatives Commission I overseeing defence and

Norfolk Ship Repair Announces 650 Layoffs

Photo by BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair

 BAE Systems Ship Repair Norfolk has announced plans for layoffs - 650 people will be layed off effective November 20, 2015, says company sources.   This represents 43 percent reduction in workforce. The company attributed to a decrease in Navy repair work.  

Hydropath Marine: Scaling-Be-Gone

Green technology provides chemical-free solution to combat lime scale, bacteria, algae and biofouling in ships’ various water systems

Shipowners seeking to combat the harmful effects of lime scale, bacteria, algae and biofouling inside their vessels’ various water systems needn’t look any further than Hydropath Marine, a chemical-free technology for onboard water treatment.

Tsuneishi to Invest in Indonesia Shipyard Business

Photo:  Tsuneishi Holdings Corporation

 Japanese shipbuilding and maritime transport company Tsuneishi Holdings will invest up to $40 million to open ship repair services in Indonesia amid increasing efforts by the government to boost the archipelago's maritime industry, reports Jakarta Globe.  

Turbocharger Overhaul for Tidewater OSVs

Photo: Royston

Marine engineering teams from diesel power specialist Royston Limited have carried out the overhaul of turbochargers on two offshore supply ships operated by Tidewater Marine in the oilfields off the coast of South West Africa.   Royston said its engineers completed the full overhaul of

Repair a Broken Pipe in Less than 60 Seconds

Rapid Repair Clamp (Image: World Wide Metric)

New pipe repair system developed to minimize downtime and maintenance costs while helping to protect crew and assets New from World Wide Metric is the Rapid Repair Clamp, a tool that helps swiftly repair pipe leaks or bursts to prevent costly damages in an emergency situation.

Private Ship Repair Moves Dry Dock Timelines

Due to a delay on a private ship repair at the Durban Dry Dock, TNPA has adjusted the project schedule for repairs on the facility’s 35 metre long, 900 ton outer caisson by 18 days.

A delay in private repairs to the hospital ship Africa Mercy has caused a two-and-a-half week adjustment of timelines for Transnet National Ports Authority’s R30 million repair project at the Prince Edward Graving Dry Dock in Durban.  

NASSCO Invests in Facilities, Equipment and People

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General Dynamics NASSCO has invested several hundred million in capital projects as part of its efforts to increase efficiencies via  modular shipbuilding, including: two 300-ton cranes allowing shipbuilders the ability to increase the size of the erectable blocks; a block assembly line to

General Ship Repair: A Family Affair

A Lynch Legacy  From L to R: Michael Lynch, Ryan Lynch, Charles “Chaz” Lynch, Charles F. “Derick” Lynch & Cary B. Lynch.

The General Ship Repair Corporation, a fixture on the Baltimore water front for nearly a century, continues to build a strong business while preparing for fourth generation ownership.  General Ship Repair Corporation is as ubiquitous of a presence on the Baltimore waterfront as Under

N-KOM: New VLCC Size Floating Dock

Donnelly Tankers vessel inside new VLCC size floating dock

Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM), the joint-venture shipyard of Keppel Offshore & Marine and Nakilat, continues to see strong interest for its ship repair services in 2015, having already delivered more than 450 projects for shipping and oil and gas companies over the past four

ASRY 2015 Strategy Combats Challenging Market

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Up to May 2015, ASRY (Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard), was seeing encouraging results from it’s 2015 strategy to combat the widespread challenges facing the maritime repair market, particularly shipowners reduced repair budgets. In terms of revenue

Interview: Germán Carlos Suárez Calvo, CEO of Astican & Astander Shipyards

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How did you find a career in the maritime industry? As a consequence of my father´s dedication to the industry, as founder of a shipping agency in the early eighties as well as partner in a large shipping company and shipyard´s ownership

Five Minutes with Roy S. Strand, COO, Goltens Worldwide

Roy S. Strand

As Goltens celebrates 75 years serving the maritime industry, Roy Strand discusses the iconic company’s historic market strengths and its big push into the Ballast Water Treatment sector. Your company is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year

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