First Heavy Lift Ships Built In U.S.

The first heavy lift ships ever built in a U.S. shipyard, the John Henry and the Paul Bunyan, were christened recently at the shipyard of Peterson Builders, Inc.

in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. They are owned by American Heavy Lift Shipping Company (AHL), a joint venture of Gulf Trading & Transportation Company (75 percent), a division of Gulf Oil Corporation, and Hansa Line (25 percent) of West Germany.

Mrs. Elaine Schreiber, wife of W i s c o n s i n G o v e r n o r Martin J.

Schreiber, christened the John Henry in the traditional champagne ceremony. The Paul Bunyan was sponsored by Mrs. Alice Hoskins, wife of Richard Hoskins, vice president of GT&T's marine department.

Construction of the two 3,000- deadweight-ton vessels began in early 1977, shortly after AHL was formed.

The John Henry is scheduled to pick up its first cargo this month. The Paul Bunyan will be delivered next spring.

Herbert I. Goodman, president of GT&T, said the vessels represent " t h i s c o u n t r y ' s initial venture into a new maritime frontier" that will provide American manufacturers with U.S.-flag ships that "will complement their efforts to supply the growing world market with large industrial equipment.

"Almost all of the overseas heavy lift trade required for U.S.- financed projects until this time has been waived to foreign-flag ships," Mr. Goodman noted. "This was because few U.S.-flag ships could handle heavy lift cargoes." With cruising speeds of 13.5 knots, the ships are designed to handle single pieces of equipment weighing up to 432 tons using the lift-on/lift-off method, and up to 1,000 tons via the roll-on/roll-off technique. They are powered by twin-screw, twin-rudder primary propulsion aft and t h r u - t y pe thruster forward engines.

Heavy lift cargoes consist of steam electrical power equipment, gas turbines, nuclear power reactors, electrical combustion engines, refinery and chemical plant equipment, metal working machinery, and o t h e r industrial equipment in growing demand around the world, due to increased modernization and industrialization.

The AHL ships trade primarily from the U.S. to industrialized countries such as Japan, Canada, and those of Western Europe, and developing areas such as the Middle East.

Other stories from December 1978 issue


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