Suda’s Jacob Liftboats to Aid Gulf Clean-up

Wednesday, August 02, 2006
The Jacob, a $17.8m boat designed by Metairie-based A.K. Suda Inc. for CS Liftboats, recently launched in the Gulf of Mexico on July 14. According to the New Orleans Business Center, the move helps alleviate a five- to six-boat demand for post-Katrina cleanup. Liftboats are considered the transport trucks of the offshore oil industry. Industry analysts predicted a backlog of months for liftboats after Hurricane Katrina. Insurers paid out more than $8b in claims for storm damage in the Gulf of Mexico, and demand is rampant for liftboats to handle cleanup and repairs.Most liftboats use only a portion of possible leg length because a crane is attached to the legs. Suda’s team placed the 200-ton crane on the liftboat’s deck. Engineers shaved roughly 15 ft. off the boat’s three galvanized steel legs and cut costs by an estimated $12m. Jacob was launched after two years of design and nine months of construction. It almost missed its first maiden voyage when Hurricane Katrina threatened Rodriguez Boat Builders near Bayou La Batre, Ala., where the 1,500-ton boat was being built. Anticipating a flood, boat builders cut holes into the hull to allow for rising water. (Source: New Orleans City Business)
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