Hvide Marine Incorporated has made an agreement to purchase two modern 152-ft. crewboats from Crewboats, Inc. The purchase price for the two vessels, which will join HMI's Seabulk Offshore fleet
in the Gulf of Mexico, is $5 million. The company expects to take delivery of one vessel in December 2000 and the second in May 2001.
"These are the 'hotshot boats' of the offshore industry," commented company president and CEO Gerhard E. Kurz, "and they command day rates of $3,500 and up in today's market, where focus is shifting to the deepwater and a premium exists for fast, reliable delivery of vital parts and supplies. The advantage of this transaction is the prospect of immediate earnings in a rising market, rather than waiting the 12-18 months it takes to deliver the average newbuild."
Built by Breaux's Bay Craft, the vessels - also known as fast supply boats - generate 4,400 base horsepower and are capable of speeds up to 25 knots versus the 10-knots capability of larger, conventional supply vessels.
Seabulk Offshore currently operates four sister vessels, also built by Breaux's Bay Craft - the Seabulk St. Andrew (1998), Seabulk St. James (1998), Seabulk St. Tammany (1997), and Seabulk St. Frances (1996) - which are currently operating in the U.S. Gulf and Mexico. Seabulk Offshore is one of the largest operators of oilfield support vessels in the Gulf of Mexico with a domestic fleet of 26 supply vessels and 34 crew/utility boats. Worldwide, Seabulk Offshore operates
a fleet of 182 vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, South America, West Africa, the Middle East, Southeast and Southwest Asia, and the Mediterranean.