Page 31: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2000)

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o> Tampa Bay Shipbuilding - Gearing Up For A Boom I

By Regina P. Ciardiello, assistant editor

It's one stop shopping on Florida's west coast at Tampa Bay Shipbuilding & Repair, which offers its full service facilities, including three graving docks and direct access from the Gulf of Mex- ico. Touted by its owners as the largest yard between Pascagoula, Miss, and

Hampton Roads, Va., Tampa Bay pro- vides conversions, overhauls and gener- al repair jobs with its 900-ton lift capac- ity. Owned by the Tampa Port Authority since 1955, the former Tampa Shipyards became Tampa Bay Shipbuilding &

Repair on February 1, 1997. According to Henry Perryman, the yard's general manager of operations, the company, who has lured back about 20 repeat cus- tomers, has performed various jobs on about 150 ships — ranging from tugs to tankers — since its establishment. "From RoRos to bulk carriers to dredges, we repair it," Perryman said. "Major conversions are it for us."

Speaking of conversions done, one of the yard's current projects involves the installation of a 118 ft. (35.9 m) mid- body on the MPF (e) vessel, LCPL Roy

M. Wheat, eventually leading to added cargo space for the 864 ft. (26.3 m) ves- sel. The vessel will undergo its required inspection, as well as receive a new paint job, shaft valves, and 1,500

UWILD underwater markings, which allows divers to perform underwater inspections in lieu of drydocking. This process will prove favorable, since it cuts routine drydocking procedures down from every two years — to five instead. Tampa

Bay also performed work on the

Beltship Gypsum Baron. Man- aged by Belt Ship Bermuda, the vessel underwent a 15-day "shave and haircut," consisting of routine inspection and clean up of its shafts, propellers and rudders.

But perhaps the most signifi- cant and timely task is the con- version of single hulled tankers to double hulls as required by the

Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA '90). The act stipulates that all single hull vessels of 5,000-gt or more will be prohibited from

U.S. waters from 2010 or earlier, unless they have been outfitted with a double bottom or double sides, allowing them to trade in the U.S.

Left with the option of convert- ing to a double hull or buying new, many tanker owners have enlisted Tampa Bay in helping to fulfill this requirement. "There's a large market right now for double-hulling," Perryman said. "For the next six-to-seven years, this will be a major portion of our business."

The company recently proved its prowess by fabricating the inner hull, as well as the double hull prototype for

Maritrans' Ocean 244.

The four inner hull super modules will each be set in the existing hull by the yard's overhead cranes, 700 tons being the largest lift.

The vessel, which commenced con- version work in November 1999, is scheduled to undergo the cutting of its main deck in April and its completion is scheduled for September.

Carnival's Tropicale was laid up at Tampa Bay this past fall for 22 days following its engine room fire.

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Maritime Reporter

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