Page 58: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 1994)
Trinity's Lockport Yard
The following is a quick-look guide to some of the yards active in the newbuilding and conversion of vessels and barges for use as riverboat casinos.
Circle 127 on Reader Service Card
Atlantic Marine, Inc., able to build vessels up to 400 feet long, has built six vessels to date and has six under construction. Atlantic built its first gaming vessel, the paddlewheeler Diamond Lady, in nine months. The next two vessels built by Atlantic Marine, the Emerald
Lady and the Par-A-Dice, were also paddlewheel-style.
These three gaming vessels were followed by three catamaran-style vessels, th eEmpress, the Alton Belle II and the Empress II. Atlantic Marine currently has two catamaran-style vessels under construction. The first is being built for Par-A-Dice Gaming Corporation and will operate in Peoria, 111. It will have 26,000 sq. ft. of casino space on three decks. The second is a 280-foot by 74-foot boat designed for Great Lakes service. It will have capacity for 1,800 passengers. Atlantic Marine also specializes in the installation of equipment and systems critical to casino boat operation, such as gaming equip- ment, surveillance, data collection, etc.
Bender Shipbuilding & Repair
Circle 128 on Reader Service Card
In July 1991, Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co. completed the conversion of the 156-foot Alton Belle
Casino, the first riverboat casino to operate in Illinois.
Bender's engineering department offers an extensive library of casino designs.
Bender expanded its capabilities by opening a ship- yard in Braithwaite, La. in January 1993. The new yard was quickly filled with casino projects for Louisiana and other gaming areas. Less than eight months after it opened, Bender Shipyard delivered the 260-foot Star
Casino, the first riverboat casino to operate in Louisi- ana. Bender has built a reputation for rapid delivery of casino vessels. The Alton Belle conversion was com- pleted in only 90 days. The Silver Eagle, currently operating in Galena, 111., was converted in less than 45 days. Splash, a 400-foot casino-restaurant barge oper- ating in Tunica, Miss., was converted in less than 120 days.
Homeport Marine Services
Circle 161 on Reader Service Card
Homeport Marine offers a full range of casino vessel services from barge and vessel construction on down.
Homeport Marine undertook the task of connecting four barges together both transversely and longitudinally for Treasure Bay Casino in Robinsonville, Miss. The barges are permanently connected with a 13.5 foot space between them. This configuration gives the casino a foot print of 440 feet in length and is 116 feet wide. The bow end rake was removed from the barges and a new pointed bow was fabricated and installed to facilitate the pirate ship theme of the casino. One-inch- thick plate bulkheads were added at 46 locations to support the column loads exceeding 300 tons each.
When completed, the Treasure Bay Casino in
Robinsonville will reportedly be the world's largest private ship. Homeport recently undertook a project to do moorings and hull repairs for another casino barge, this time for Palace Casino, Biloxi, Miss.
Leevac Shipyards, Inc.
Circle 129 on Reader Service Card
Since the delivery of the Casino Rock Island in
November 1991, Leevac has delivered five casino ves- sels, each reportedly completed on or before the prom- ised date. The vessels have ranged in size from 190- to 367 feet long. The last delivery was the 367-foot Presi- dent Casino TV, the third casino vessel for the President
Riverboat Casino Company, completed on February 4, 1994. The vessel closely followed the second vessel built for Players International last November. Leevac Ship- yards, Inc. is a moderate size shipyard with modern capabilities, employing 250. Leevac has an engineer- ing/programming staff that utilizes AutoCAD to de- velop the required construction drawings and program- ming to cut the steel on its own computer-aided Plasma- arc cutting machines. In January 1994 Leevac ex- panded its capabilities by leasing another shipyard 2.5 miles south on the Mermentau River.
Circle 130 on Reader Service Card
Patti Shipyard was proud to be the first shipyard to deliver a riverboat gaming vessel on the Mississippi.
TheDubuque Casino Belle, now theCasino St. Charles, was delivered in April 1991. Patti has not looked back since, delivering what is reportedly the largest gaming vessel on the river, the Casino Queen, in June 1993.
The Queen weighs in at 7.1 million lbs. fully loaded and is a tug/barge combination, similar to its predecessor.
The shipyard prides itself on pricing and boasts that each of the vessels were built for the price that they were bid for. Patti Shipyard operates with an average "core" crew of 60-70 individuals. Its facilities include a large construction bay, a blasting shed, building ways with three railroad tracks for launching and a fabrica- tion shop outfitted with up-to-date tools and equip- ment. Patti also offers in-house design with complete
Computer Aided Design (CAD) and visualization capa- bilities.
Peterson Builders, Inc.
Circle 131 on Reader Service Card
Peterson Builders, Inc. (PBI) is a full-service ship- yard located on Lake Michigan which designs, builds, converts and repairs vessels for both the commercial and military markets. PBI has positioned itself to provide Great Lakes casino boats for operation on the
Lake Michigan shore of Indiana and other potential
Great Lakes and coastal sites. Throughout its history,
PBI has constructed many different types of passenger and commercial vessels, including those of similar size (300 + feet long) to the requirements of most casino vessel operations. PBI has vast experience in the use of different materials for hull construction and outfit- ting. PBI has immediate space available to support a quick construction or conversion period. Additionally,
PBI has developed a wide variety of Great Lakes and coastal casino boat designs, both new construction and conversion of existing vessels, with gaming areas in the 30,000 to 60,000-sq.-ft. range.
Service Marine Industries
Circle 132 on Reader Service Card
The riverboat casino market has been very impor- tant to Service Marine Industries, Inc. (SMI) in both sales and the expansion of its facilities. SMI has built the majority of the casino riverboats for Harrah's
Casino, and is currently building for Boyd Gaming,
Casino America, Imperial Palace, and The Grand Ca- sino. SMI has expanded to two shipyards in the
Morgan City, La. area with a majority of the construc- tion being done at the main yard and the outfitting of the casino riverboats being done at the new west yard facility. In addition, Service Marine has moved the majority of its administrative operations to a new administrative office building located on U.S. Highway 90 East in Morgan City, La. Knowing that timing is key to this market, SMI has recently started building one of its standard 254-foot diesel electric, 30,000 sq.-ft. casino boats using its own resources, on speculation that this vessel will be purchased in the near future.
Trinity Marine Group
Circle 133 on Reader Service Card
Trinity has the capability to design casino boats with its own in-house naval architects. Its engineering staff of over 100 has developed preliminary plans for gaming vessels ranging from 220 to 405 feet; with passenger capacities from 1,200 to 3,500; and of the sternwheel, imitation sidewheel or ultra-modern design. All de- signs can be modified. Trinity has also worked with naval architects to build boats to owner specs. Trinity has developed a 337-foot by 68-foot by 15-foot Casino
Paddlewheeler for Hilton/New Orleans Paddlewheel.
This boat has 23,000 sq. ft. of gaming area and can accommodate 1,800 passengers. In addition, Trinity is completing a second identical boat, and in October will complete the 332-foot by 90-foot by 14-foot Queen of
New Orleans. Trinity currently operates 13 shipyards in six states and its large capacity enables the construc- tion of numerous boats concurrently.
Homeport Marine 60