Page 6: of Marine News Magazine (September 2019)

Vessel Conversion and Repair

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EDITOR’S NOTE “Change is the New Normal”

As I assembled this particular edition of MarineNews, it occurred to me that no matter how staid or unchanging the domestic waterfront might sometimes seem, its actual nature couldn’t be more of a polar opposite. Over time, we write about the same topics many times but the seemingly inevitable struggle to convey each subject in an original manner never really mani- fests itself. That’s because the marine industry – especially our target market of brown water, inland, shallow draft sectors – continually evolves, whether we like it or not. This edition is a perfect example of that metric. Let me explain: The faint whisper of offshore wind has ? nally arrived at the North American coastline, and with it the need for tonnage – new and old – that incorporates existing technologies for rapidly evolving coastal duties. And, while U.S. operators and renewable energy developers can take guidance from experienced EU players, the vessels that we’ll need will largely have to be Jones Act compliant. That reality will awaken a previ- ously moribund offshore energy sector at exactly the right time and produce work for domestic shipyards in the form of newbuild and retro? t contracts alike.

We should never forget that the ? rst cabin-forward steel constructed offshore supply vessels adapted East Coast designs for GoM requirements. Similarly, and when the East coast wind boom arrives in earnest, no one should be surprised if idle Gulf Coast OSV’s return the favor, retro? tted for new duties, but still servicing the offshore energy industry. Sure, ? t-for-purpose tonnage is the ultimate ticket, but we’ve got all the capabilities here on this side of the big pond to bridge the gap until those shiny news hulls slide off the ways. Hence, the headliner for this edition – Vessel Conversion and Repair – arrives at arguably just the right time.

Within this edition, we visit with two of the more recognizable shipyard names in the busi- ness. Charleston-based Detyens Shipyards continues to evolve and grow, servicing a wide swath of diverse customers – domestic, military and foreign ? ag alike. Separately, St. Johns Ship

Building excels in both newbuild and repair work and today boasts an enviable backlog to go along with its ? ne reputation. No doubt both facilities will be a part of the coming offshore boom in the not too distant future. As the business needs of the domestic waterfront change, there is one thing that will no doubt come along for the ride. Of course, we’re talking about

Dynamic Positioning (DP), that now familiar but critical part of the offshore oil industry. As

DP evolves ever more sophisticated, it also beckons to offshore wind contractors – who also need precise vessel handling and positioning – but also a dozen other industries as well. Hereto- fore thought of as a specialized skill, much like the also rapidly evolving world of autonomous vessels, DP will soon become a mainstream requirement that represents just one more way that the seafarer of tomorrow will differ from his or her counterpart of today. And you thought the waterfront was boring?

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Joseph Keefe, Editor,

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September 2019 6 MN

MN Sept19 Layout 1-17.indd 6 8/27/2019 11:51:49 AM

Marine News

Marine News is the premier magazine of the North American Inland, coastal and Offshore workboat markets.