Maritime Industry Remembers Nealis

On March 24, 2002, Charles Nealis passed away at the age of 76. Nealis' accomplishments were the co-conception, testing and first at sea of a commercially viable demonstration of a blended residual fuel system for aero derived gas turbine engines.

In addition, he served as the Owner's Representative for the conversion and operation of the 112,000-ton supertanker, S.S. Manhattan, which was refitted to break ice during its momentous passage across the top of North America in the 1970's. The S.S. Manhattan now has a display commemorating these achievements in the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of History.

Nealis had approximately 21 conversions of both Commercial and Military vessels to his credit, including turning old WWII vessels in to modern Commercial vessels. These included heavy lift, RoRo, container ships, bulk carriers, and tankers.

He was known for his resourcefulness, ability to cut through red tape and deliver innovative project completions, under budget and often ahead of seemingly impossible schedules. Nealis achieved an exemplary working relationship with the U.S. Navy and their Military Sealift Command during both the Vietnam War and War with Iraq, receiving numerous plaques and commendations for his efforts.

What could probably be marked as Nealis' greatest achievement was the reactivation of the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard during the mid 1970's, training unskilled minority labor to build four ULCC Tankers, TT Bay Ridge, TT Brooklyn, TT Stuyvesant, and TT Williamsburg. The Brooklyn Naval Shipyard had been inactive since shortly after WWII.

During WWII, Nealis joined the Merchant Marine as a seaman and by age 22 had worked his way up to Chief Engineer, sailing for Robin Lines and Moore McCormack Lines.

Subsequent to taking a shoreside job.

Nealis rose to become a senior surveyor with the American Bureau of Shipping, later joining Seatrain Lines (Hudson Waterways Corporation) as a Senior Port Engineer. He worked his way up to Vice President of Engineering and Operations.

In the late 1970's, Nealis, along with the principles of Seatrain Lines, formed a new company called Bay Tankers, where Nealis remained until 1993, when he retired from the firm as Vice President of Engineering and Operations.

Noted for his wealth of knowledge within all facets of the shipping industry, Nealis continued his efforts within the maritime industry following his retirement as a Maritime Consultant to various shipping companies.

Other stories from June 2002 issue


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