success throught diversity

The U.S. shipbuilding industry is as diverse as the country itself. It is still dominated by the "Big Six" and the billions of dollars worth of Navy work these yards garner, but the industry has been very chameleon-like in the past few years, constantly changing and re-inventing itself to take advantage of the market athand or the market to come.

While the big shipyards generate most of the 72-point headlines, the second tier yards are perhaps enjoying greater success overall, as several renowned builders have successfully positioned themselves in order to capture business at home and abroad.sive barge building projects the norm, attracting some larger players to the game. It is anticipated that the surge in new barge orders will continue, as inland operators still have about 500 single-skinned barges that must be replaced. The U.S. orderbook is healthier than in recent memory, a fact emphasized by the ever-growing size of the quarterly Shipyard Activity Report published by MarAd. The following section details some notable projects currently running in U.S. yards: Atlantic International Ltd. has entrusted Service Marine Industries (SMI) with the conversion and refurbishment of Louis Eymard. Once a supply vessel used for towing, the vessel will be cut in half and extended 20 ft. (6 m) with the addition of a midbody section, Without a doubt change is the constant in today's downsizing, consolidating business environment, and the common thread which unites this diverse group is a strong commitment to improving the processes and equipment to build modern ships and boats efficiently, to a world standard of quality and price.

Powered with political backing, specifically the Maritime Administration's (MarAd) revamped, re-energized Title XI program, ship and boatbuilders have been encouraged to invest dollars to make these changes a lasting reality.

Not only has Title XI allowed ship and boatbuilders to invest in new systems, it has helped deliver the business which is crucial to maximizing these new efficiencies. In all of FY96 and the first half of FY97, MarAd approved 23 applications for Title XI financing, including four export projects and three shipyard modernization projects. The total estimated cost of these projects is $1.7 billion, with the government vouching for $1.3 billion.

All momentum driving the U.S. market has not been MarAd-induced however, as the surging offshore business has driven most Gulf Coast yards into a controlled frenzy.

Reports of builders with full orderbooks and labor shortages are a welcome change after the oilfield collapse in the early 1980s left so many with damaged psyches and little, if any, business.

OPA 90 continues to leave its mark as well, and this legislation, combined with a threeyear run of improving grain freight rates, have made mas-leading to reclassification as a U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter-L supply boat.

"We have completed numerous conversions of this size and scale on offshore supply and multipurpose vessels," said Ronnie Chiasson, SMI's vice president and Repair Division manager. "In fact, steel and aluminum vessel conversions have become an SMI specialty." As the new vessel will be used as an offshore supply vessel, SMI will modify existing ballast tanks to carry liquid mud, and will outfit the new midbody to transport bulk mud. The vessel is scheduled for completion in OctoberAvondale Industries of New Orleans recently won a $332 millioncontract to build twotankers for Arco. As further proof of the yard's growing commercial presence, it delivered its third doublehulled tanker conversion to AHL Shipping. New River for AHL is a double hull vessel designed to conform with OPA 90 and Jones Act regulations. Each ship sports a new 510-ft. (155.4-m) long, double-hulled forebody constructed by Avondale. The new forebodies were joined to the renovated and modified existing stern sections.

North Florida Shipyard has added a panel line to its Commodores Point steel fabricating facility, adding to its newbuilding and conversion capability. The yard recently converted a bulker to a cable storage vessel, and added a midbody section to the LPG tanker Atlantic Breeze.

Eastern Shipbuilding Group of Panama City, Fla., recently completed a passenger/vehicle ferry for Block Island, R.I., named after the island, effectively marking the yard's return to the newbuild market. Block Island, a 208-ft. (63.4-m) vessel, is operating on runs between its home island and Pt. Judith, R.I. It can carry approximately 45 vehicles and 1,000 passengers. The vessel is the first new ship forInterstate Navigation since 1984. Block Island performed well during sea trials, according to the owner, and during emergency crash stop tests the vessel went from 18.2 knots to a dead stop in 45 seconds.

Block Island is powered by twin 2,000-hp EMD model 8-710 diesel engines driving Bird Johnson propellers through Reintjes marine gears. Engine Systems Inc. provided the engines, and Karl Senner furnished the gearboxes. The vessel is also outfitted with flaptype rudders from Willi Becker GmbH, a Schottel bowthruster driven by a Detroit Diesel engine, Jastram controls and a McElroy capstan. John W.

Gilbert Associates provided engineering and design work for the $7.5 million vessel.

Halter Marine Group has adjusted from its split from Trinity, as its reputation continues to extend around the globe.

The company continues to be expansion-minded, and recently announced plans to acquire Bludworth Bond Shipyard, which owns and operates shipyards in Houston and Texas City, Texas. The two shipyards will be the eighteenth and nineteenth yards of the Halter Marine Group stable. The New Orleans-based company builds just about anything, and it has enjoyed great success with orders for its anchor han[ l i n g t u g s u p p l y ( A H T S ) v e s s e l s, ' i c t u r e d o n p a g e 2 5 i s a r e n d i t i on )f i t s H L X 2 2 2 5 A H T S , w h i c h m e a - s u r e s 2 2 5 f t . ( 6 8 . 5 m) l o n g , w i t h a c l e a r d e c k a r e a of 1 4 4 x 5 0 - f t . ( 4 4 x 1 5 - m ) . T h e v e s s e l i s d e s i g n e d w i th a S M A T C O m o d e l , d o u b l e d r um t o w w i n c h w i t h a 3 3 0 - t o n l i n e p u l l, f o u r E M D d i e s e l e n g i n e s g e n e r a t - i n g a t o t a l of 1 2 , 2 8 0 b h p , B e r g CP p r o p e l l e r s in kort nozzles, C a t e r p i l l a r g e n e r a t o r s a n d a S k um f i r e m o n i t o r.

I n 1997, t r a d i t i o n a l n a v y b u i l d er Ingalls Shipbuilding r e - e n t e r ed t h e c o m m e r c i a l m a r k e t in two a r e a s . T h e c o m p a n y i s b u i l d i n g a s e r i e s of d e e p w a t e r o f f s h o r e s u p p ly v e s s e l s , i n 190 a n d 2 4 0 f t . ( 5 8 a nd 7 3 m ) l e n g t h s f o r E d i s o n C h o u e st O f f s h o r e . If a l l o p t i o n s a r e c a r r i ed o u t , t h e c o n t r a c t w i l l t o t a l 3 1 v e s - s e l s for a p p r o x i m a t e l y $ 1 2 0 mill i o n . F a b r i c a t i o n f o r t h e first of t h e v e s s e l s b e g a n i n J u n e . I n a d d i t i o n, I n g a l l s is n e a r i n g c o m p l e t i o n of r e p a i r w o r k o n a 1 4 2 - f t . ( 4 3 - m ) offs h o r e j a c k - u p rig, o w n e d bySundowner Offshore Services. Dolphin Titan 110 was brought ashore for horizontal welding and repair work on its four 190-ft. (58- m) legs.

Alabama Shipyard, Inc. has had considerable commercial success to report on both the newbuild and repair sides. Its current newbuild workload includes a pair of 16,000-dwt chemical tankers for Dannebrog Rederi of Denmark; four liftboats for SeaRex of Louisiana; and four 1,432-TEU containerships for China's COSCO. To ensure the newbuildings pass through the shipyard in an efficient manner, the yard has incorporated numerous upgrades, including a highly automated pipe shop; an enclosed unit blast and coat facility; a steel storage yard with a 30-ton magnet crane system; a new profile and web shop; and a revamped panel line shop. On the repair and conversion side, Atlantic Marine Inc. won contracts for Phase III of the conversion of Global Marine Drilling's Glomar Explorer, which will include 550 tons of steel fabrication. Expected to take five months, the project is scheduled to commence September 15. The yard also won a contract to convert tanker Cora to a dynamically positioned early production vessel for Protexa of Mexico. To ensure the yard maintains its repair and conversion excellence, the yard renovated its 50 and 150-ton cranes; upgraded its piers, renovated its machine shop building and installed new wingwalls on the small dock.

Atlantic Marine's Jacksonville, Fla., facility recently launched its thirteenth gaming vessel built inthe last six years. Majestic Star is a 360 x 76-ft. (110 x 23-m) vessel with 43,000 sq. ft. of casino space and 2,200 gaming positions. The vessel can accommodate 3,500 passengers and crew. Once outfitting and interiors are completed in September, the vessel will sail for its homeport in Indiana. Majestic Star features Schottel Z-drives powered by GE motors, and electrical power is provided by four Caterpillar diesel generator sets. Guido Perla & Associates designed the vessel, and Directions in Design handled interior design.

Sister company Atlantic Dry Dock Corp. (ADDC), also of Jacksonville, recently completed the 40-ft. (12.1-m) midbody installation and conversion of Seabulk New Jersey. Major work included the midbody installation, which contained liquid mud and fuel tanks; dry bulk system installation; all new auxiliary engines and pumps; all associated pipe system continuation and new installation; and complete re-wiring.

HAM Marine in Pascagoula, Miss., was a recipient of a $24.8 million loan guarantee from MarAd earlier this year. HAM plans to lease 100 acres of land on Greenwood Island in order to expand and modernize its shipbuilding facility. HAM offers a 30,000-ton lift capacity dual carrier, reportedly the only towable drydock on the Gulf Coast. In addition, it currently offers 160,000 sq. ft. of covered building space. Houma Marine Fabricators has newbuilding contracts in place with two clients, which will supply business into the third quarter of 1998. The yard has also started a five-year yard expansion and modernization program, which includes enlarging fabrication facilities and constructing modulemovement apparatus. Brown Marine Service has started construction of vessels at its Pensacola repair yard. Later this year, the company plans to build small vessels and deck barges at its Bayou Chico yard under the direction of Operations Manager Ed Taylor.

Gulf Cooper Manufacturing, in business for more than 46 years, has recently undergone several changes including the installation of a new upper management team, facilities upgrades, the acquisition of a code boiler repair company and market penetration in the offshoreand power generation markets. The company also completed a $3 million contract with Noble/Neddrill for the conversion of drillship Neddrill Muravlenko. Warren, R.I.-based Blount Industries recently deliveredGrand Caribe, a 187-ft. (57-m), 100-passenger small cruise vessel for American Canadian Caribbean Line. A sistership is currently being built, due for delivery in early 1998. Grand Caribe will operate overnight coastal cruises covering areas from Canada to South America. The ship's steel hull is topped with an aluminum superstructure. Grand Caribe is powered by a pair of MAN diesel engines which produce 575 bhp at 1,800 rpm. The engines turn twofour-blade propellers through Twin Disc gears, providing a service speed of 10 knots. This ship is reportedly the two hundred ninety-fourth vessel and tenth cruise ship designed and built at Blount Shipyard. Grand Caribe features a bow ramp, stern swimming platform, shallow draft (6.25 ft./1.9 m) and a retractable pilothouse. New features include a 100-passenger vista view lounge on the sundeck, sound dead-ening enclosures for all of the ship's machinery; and individual air conditioning for each state room. Other equipment includes: a Cummins emergency generator; a Wesmar bowthruster; Mathers MicroCommander engine controls; Furuno radars; an Omnipure marine sanitation device; and Icom radios.

Passenger vessels — specifically offshore casino boats — continue to be a source of revenue for Boothbay, Maine-based Washburn & Doughty (W&D), evidenced by the company's recent contract for another of this type. This will be the seventh vessel currently under construction at the yard.

The new vessel, for Florida-based Lara Cruises Inc., will measure 155 x 36-ft. (47 x 11-m). It was designed in-house at W&D, and Cunningham & Walker of Florida designed the HVAC system and John W. Gilbert Naval Architects of Boston was tapped to develop the final lines, which will be optimized to minimize pitch and roll using computer-generated models. The vessel will be powered by a pair of Caterpillar 3412C DIT engines rated at 635 bhp at 1,800 rpm. The engines will be fitted to ZF Model 191-1 reduction gears with a 4.5:1 gear ratio.

Detyens Shipyards Inc. has quietly transformed the former navy yard in Charleston, S.C., to a viable commercial facility. The yard now has facilities, equipment and deepwater access to provide services to ships of up to 740 ft.

(225.5 m). Detyens has two additional locations which conduct all phases of ship repair.

National Steel and ShipbuildingCo. (NASSCO) was chosen to create a new design for a million barrel capacity, double huli tanker for British Petroleum. The design development phase will be a joint project with BP and Maritime Overseas Corp. In the last 12 months NASSCO has been busy otherwise, signing contracts to build two additional Sealift ships (bringing the total to six), laying the keel for the second Sealift ship, and delivering the second Sealift conversion. In the near future, the San Diego-based yard will launch the first Sealift ship and deliver the third Sealift conversion. NASSCO has also completed facility improvements, including: installation of a transverse deck beam line, a box girder line, a new turning center lathe in the Machine Shop. Seattle-based Kvichak Marine recently delivered a 30-ft. (9.1-m), multi-purpose boom barge to Clean Rivers cooperative of Portland, Ore. The all-aluminum, shallow-water barge was designed to interlock with eight existing barges operated by Clean Rivers. For Clean Sound Cooperative, Kvichak delivered a 36-ft. (11-m) oil spill response vessel. The new boat is the fortieth vessel in the Edmonds, Wash.- based fleet stationed throughout Puget Sound. This boat is an enhanced version of Kvichak's 32-ft. (10-m) rapid response vessel, and features two engines, a bowthruster and independent hydraulics for oil recovery and anchor handling systems. The all-aluminum boats have an 11.8-ft. (3.6-m) beam and a nominal draft of 1.7 ft. (.5 m).

Marco Shipyard, also of Seattle, has been awarded a contract to build a 90-ft. (27.4-m), 149-passenger classroom vessel for the Marine Science Institute in Redwood City, Calif. When delivered later this year, the new boat will replace Inland Seas, a WW II-vintage wooden

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