Page 57: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (October 2019)

Marine Design Annual

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HISTORY DESIGN EVOLUTION

Today there are 23 employees under the employ of BHG focuses on concept preliminary and regulatory degree it is still a chicken and egg scenario regarding

BHG and Houston-based sister company The Shearer packages, with detailed production support handled by where they are going to fuel.”

Group, both companies jointly owned by Wood and the dedicated ? rms. Like its peers, environment and But that that’s changing too, as BHG worked to help

Beers. The companies are able to share resources, with emission regulations are changing the game … rapidly. design and deliver the innovative new LNG bunker

BHG focused on the blue water side of the business; “Companies looking to stay under Tier 4 require- barge built and delivered last year by Conrad. LNG: and The Shearer Group focused on brown water proj- ments have a lot of interest in the diesel electric hybrid “The design effort is a time-consuming process and in ects. Wood credits Beers with being the visionary, al- side,” said Wood, saying that it has been within the last some ways it’s more like rocket science than naval ar- ways looking at trends to determine where the indus- year or two where clients have really started to “open chitecture because of the cryogenic nature of the fuel try and the company should be moving, a key factor their eyes to it. They knew it was there, they knew it and the complexities that entails.” he reckons in the company’s diversity of the projects, was expensive, but now they’re really interested, be- As the company has grown and gained traction in “many more than I ever would have expected.” Today cause the environmental issues are not going away, and multiple markets, Wood said that while much has the company’s portfolio includes tugs, barges and pas- they are pushing us in directions I would have never changed, to this day the company maintains a core ten- senger vessels, but also a number of designs with LNG, expected 10 years ago.” ant that has been present since the beginning: “We love diesel/electric hybrid as well as a growing and vibrant Some unique projects of note include the project to to create.” It’s not just about putting out paper draw- business in government support for the U.S. Army incorporate Z-Drives for propulsion on river towboats, ings. We are in the business of creating designs with

Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard, and the Navy. a solution that has exhibited demonstrable fuel savings. our clients. Early in our history, we had projects on the

In fact, much of BHG’s bandwidth is being soaked up Wood also notes a marked increase in recent inquiries yacht side where we would get paid for the design, it by government support, engineering that is “light years regarding diesel/electric, diesel/electric hybrid solu- was a beautiful yacht, and then for some reason or an- beyond the commercial work we’re doing,” said Wood. tions and LNG, a signi? cant advance given the general other it wouldn’t get built. That’s frustrating. We would conservative nature of vessel owners in adopting new much rather design something like a deck barge; it’s

The more things change … technologies. not fancy or complicated, but we know it’s going to get

While the computer tools available enable and op- “We thought LNG was going to be the next gang- built and I get more of a kick out of seeing our designs timize design have changed mightily, Wood contends buster,” said Wood. “It still is going to be, but to a on the water than on the screen.” that the basics haven’t changed.

“You still have to come up with a concept, and liter- ally it can come to us on the back of a napkin. Wher- ever the idea starts, it must then be boiled down to the speci? cs. CAD has obviously helped to speed that pro- cess along, but in my mind, the implementation of 2D and 3D CAD hasn’t really shortened the entire design process, but it’s allowed us to get a better product. We still take the same amount of time to design something – whether we’re drawing it by hand or whether we’re doing it on the computer. CAD does allow us to dial in a better solution earlier in the process then detail the drawings to spec.”

BHG has been involved in a project to design a robotic

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