Page 26: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (June 1989)

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Backlog Of $16.6 Billion In Navy Construction Work At Yards;

Shallow-Draft Vessel Construction On The Rise

Navy Construction

The prime generator of new ship construction remains the U.S. Navy.

According to the Shipbuilders

Council of America (SCA) 1988 Ship

Construction Report, the Navy con- tracted for 32 ships in 1988 which increased the backlog at U.S. yards to $16.6 billion. This compares fa- vorably to the $9-billion backlog at the end of 1987. Table 1. shows the final FY 1989 appropriation data.

Table 1.—FY 1989 Navy Appropriations ($ in millions) # of

Program Ships Funding

SSBN-728 1 1,196.2

SSN-688 2 1,364.6

SSN-21 1 1,533.0

DDG-51 4 2,826.1

LHD-1 1 733.1

AOE-6 1 363.1

MHC-51 2 196.7

TAO-187 5 689.9

TAGOS 3 158.9

LCAC 15 305.5

CV SLEP — 62.7

AO Jumbo 2 75.0

Other costs — 376.8

Total— 22 9,881.6

Source: U.S. Navy

One of the beneficiaries of the

Navy work is Avondale Indus- tries' Shipyards Division,

Avondale, La. Avondale recently re- ceived a $319-million contract to construct three T-AO-187 Class fleet oilers. According to Avondale chairman and chief executive officer

Albert L. Bossier Jr., with the inclusion of the latest award, the yard has been contracted to build a total of 16 Henry J. Kaiser Class oil- ers since 1982, amounting to $1.9 billion in work. The yard also has six

Landing Ship Docks (LSD-41) on its orderbook.

Another Navy contractor, Bath

Iron Works, Bath, Maine, was awarded a $610.1-million contract to build three Arleigh Burke Class (DDG-51) Aegis destroyers. Bath is currently constructing the lead ship of the class along with several Ti- conderoga Class cruisers.

At about the same time as the

Bath award, Ingalls Shipbuild- ing, Inc., Pascagoula, Miss., re- ceived a $466.5-million award to build two Arleigh Burke destroyers.

To date, Ingalls has been awarded contracts for a total of three de- stroyers. At present, the yard is pre- paring the lead ship of the LHD-1

Class, the 844-foot amphibious as- sault ship USS Wasp, for delivery.

Peterson Builders, Inc. of

Sturgeon Bay, Wis., recently was awarded a $185-million contract to build three 224-foot mine counter- measure ships (MCMs) for the

Navy. PBI now has a solid backlog, consisting of both Navy and com- mercial work. The yard is building dive boats, harbor security boats,

MCMs, and a ferry for Washington

Island Ferry Lines of Wisconsin.

Prospects In

Merchant Shipbuilding

Although there were no commer- cial ships ordered from a U.S. ship- yard in 1988 and the first quarter of 1989, the award of two major con- struction projects appears to be on the horizon.

One of the projects was put forth by San Francisco-based Matson

Navigation Co. The U.S. shipping line requested bids from Avondale

Industries' Shipyards Divi- sion, Avondale, La.; Bethlehem

Steel Corporation's Sparrows

Point Shipyard, Sparrows Point,

Md.; and National Steel & Ship- building Co., San Diego, Calif.

Intended for Matson's U.S.-flag

West Coast-Hawaii service, the combination carrier would have a 1,600-TFEU (twenty-four-foot- equivalent-unit) capacity, an overall length of 783 feet, breadth of 105 feet 9 inches and draft of 35 feet.

Arthur J. Haskell, senior vice president, engineering and marine operations, Matson Navigation, said, "This program is a logical add- on to the growth in our trade. We will need the additional capacity based on our projections for 1991.

She should take care of our needs into the early 1990s."

A second possible commercial project for U.S. yards involves the reconstruction of the wrecked tank- er M/V Fuji. Hvide Shipping, Inc.,

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has requested bids from 14 U.S. shipyards for the project. The work would involve the rebuilding of the Fuji utilizing the forebody of the Barge 4102 (Oxy

Producer), built by Avondale Indus- tries. The tanker, which would be renamed the Seabulk America and operate under the U.S. flag, would have an overall length of 685 feet, molded beam of 99 feet, draft of 36- 1/2 feet and deadweight tonnage of 41,000.

As of press time, contracts have not been awarded for either of these projects.

Shallow-Draft Construction

A possible resurgence in the shal- low-draft workboat sector may be on the horizon. One sign is the reo- pening of the Jeffboat towboat and barge construction facility in

Jeffersonville, Ind. The yard has already signed a $3-million contract with Hines, Inc., Bowling Green,

Ky., to construct three large river- tank barges. The contract for the 300-foot by 54-foot tankers acceler- ated the opening of the the yard.

According to St. Louis Ship president Richard A. Coonrod, the inland waterway transportation industry has improved substantially in the past few months, and the shipyard has more than doubled its workforce.

At present, St. Louis Ship is fill- ing an order for 43 open hopper coal barges for M/G Transport Services,

Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio.

Conrad Industries of Morgan

City, La., has been busy with a num- ber of inland waterways and coastal vessel construction contracts. Since 1988, the yard has delivered four floating drydocks, five deck barges, one anchor barge and one 160-foot vehicle-carrying ferry.

Blount Marine Corporation,

Warren, R.I., had an excellent year in the harbor/shallow-draft passen- ger vessel market. The yard deliv- ered 92-foot La Pinta, 192-foot

Spirit of Chicago and the 87-foot

Alexandria Belle during 1988, and was awarded contracts for two more "Spirit" vessels—the Spirit of Los

Angeles and the Spirit of Philadel- phia. In addition, company presi- dent Luther H. Blount unveiled an ultramodern type design for a 400-passenger dinner boat. The first of the new type, the 114-foot Vista

Jubilee being built for Rentacruise,

Inc., will be delivered in July of this year.

The LaCrosse, Wis., shipyard of

Skipperliner Industries deliv- ered a number of passenger vessels to the shallow-draft market. High- lighting these deliveries were the 120-passenger European-style canal boat Edelweiss II and the 150-pas- senger boat Discovery. Skipperliner has several other passenger boats on its orderbook.

Two passenger catamaran spe- cialists, Gladding-Hearn Ship- building of Somerset, Mass., and

Nichols Brothers Boat Build- ers of Whidbey Island, Wash., were the beneficiaries of several new con- struction awards. One of Nichols

Bros, recent awards was for the con- struction of the $4.5-million "ocean catamaran" Nantucket Spray for

Bay State Cruises of Boston, Mass.

The 121-1/2-foot vessel will operate on a passenger service run between

Boston and Nantucket.

On the East Coast, Gladding-

Hearn signed a contract to build a high-speed catamaran for Put-In-

Bay Transportation Co. of Ohio.

The 95-foot Jet Express is expected to be delivered shortly. Both the

Nantucket Spray and Jet Express of

International Catamarans design.

Nichols and Gladding-Hearn are the only U.S. yards licensed to build the Australian-designed vessels.

The newly formed Avondale

Boat Division was able to capture two contracts from Tri-State Ma- rine Transport, Inc., of New York, for the construction of two 400-pas- senger SES high-speed ferries. The 109-foot vessels are planned for use in New York commuter service.

Leevac Shipyards, Inc., of

Jennings, La., delivered an 86-foot, 315-passenger excursion boat to

Padelford Packet Boat Co. of Min- neapolis, Minn. The Anson North- rup will operate on the Mississippi in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

Leevac also completed the recon- struction of 110-foot steel-hulled landing craft for naval operations, and a conversion of a seismic vessel for the People's Republic of China.

This month, the sleek 500-pas- senger Spirit of Norfolk II is ex- pected to be delivered by Morgan

City-based Service Marine In- dustries, Inc. The 175-foot excur- sion/dinner boat is similar in design to Italian megayachts. "The shape of the bow is both dramatic and functional," said Ser- vice Marine president Tom Hens- ley. "It gives a distinctive design element to the vessel, but also serves as an open deck area for panoramic sightseeing during day cruises and stargazing on dinner cruises." She will be operated by Holiday Cruises

IV out of Norfolk, Va.

Other passenger vessels from Ser- vice Marine included the 600-pas- senger replica paddlewheeler Anna- bel Lee, the elegant Bay Lady and the converted dinner boat Cape


The Trinity Marine Group, which is comprised of nine ship- yards (soon to be 10), has been con- tracted to build a number of Navy, military and commercial vessels.

The group, which is comprised of

Halter Marine, with yards in

Moss Point, Miss., and Lockport,

La., Equitable Shipyards, with yards in New Orleans and Madison- ville, La., Moss Point Shipyard,

Moss Point, Miss., Gretna Ma- chine & Iron Works, Harvey, La.,

Aluminum Boats, Moss Point,

Miss., Thunderbolt Shipbuild- (continued) 30 Maritime Reporter/Engineering News

Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.