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 boats have nice lines with an attractive and distinctive profile featuring a turret-mounted fire monitor. The Aurora pump for the monitor is driven by a 360 HP Cummins N14 which also serves the hydraulic pump for the bow thruster. Main engines are a pair of Cummins KTA38 M0 rated for 800 HP each turning into Twin Disc 5202 gears with 5:1 ratio. Propellers
are 64x55-inch Nibral four-blade mounted on five-inch Aquamet 17 shafts. Electrical power is met by a pair of Cummins 6BT5.9-powered 50 Kw generators.
"This boat has the characteristics to compete with a 145-footer," says Kenny Bosarge. It is built with load line assignment under US Coastguard sub-chapter L for under 100 tons. It is certified for 36 persons in addition to the crew and has bunks for 20 people.