Ken HockeKen Hocke
Ken Hocke (pronounced HOCKEY - like the game) has been the senior editor of WorkBoat magazine since 1999. He came to WorkBoat as an associate editor in 1997. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has also written for other publications, including the Times-Picayune and Blockbuster Video's in-house magazine. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an Arts & Sciences - concentration in English - degree in 1978.

Blog Activity

Oil companies can be own worst enemies

Oil companies have another chance to explore for oil and gas along the East Coast and offshore Alaska. In March 2010, the Obama administration was looking into the possibility of a proposed oil and gas lease sale off the U.S. East Coast. It was not a terribly popular idea with many Democrats on Capitol Hill, but the administration pushed forward anyhow. The most likely areas for the proposed lease sale were off the Florida coast or one of the Carolinas or even Virginia. About five weeks...

Industry meeting has merit

Inland waterways meeting will offer participants plenty of meaty subjects. Think you have all the answers when it comes to Subchapter M? If you do, please contact the U.S. Coast Guard immediately. What about all the moving parts of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act? You good with them? If so, please contact the U.S. Congress ASAP. All clear on the parameters of the barge tax? What it means for your company? Some owners who said they would never build a Z-drive towboat now...

Tank barge deliveries set new record

Tank barge deliveries hit a new record in 2014. The number of new tank barge deliveries in 2014 hit an all-time high of 344, according to River Transport News. That amounts to an increase of eight over 2013's 336, a 2.4% increase. Ironically, the industry saw a drop in total capacity for new barges because of a move toward lower capacity barges. Though 30,000-bbl.-capacity barges continue to be the most popular size on order, 10,000-bbl. barges are gaining in...

Construction Survey disclaimer

What you need to know about WorkBoat's Annual Construction Survey. If there is anything more off-putting and just plain boring than a commercial about medications used to treat, say, chronic gastrointestinal maladies, it would have to be the disclaimer that follows, describing the medications’ side effects, which, in many cases, seem worse than the problem itself. Or how about the financial services companies that tell you how they can take your money, invest it for you, and deliver...

Shipyard survey: Technology surely does help

Technology makes the job easier.As I’ve mentioned previously, I am not tech-savvy. In today’s society that’s akin to saying “I don’t like puppies.” It’s not a lack of intelligence. It’s a lack of interest. If I had been born Steve Jobs, I would have used my talents to find a way for people to get the first season of “The Flintstones” on their computers and let it go at that. When they looked for an upgrade, I’d give them the second season of “The Flintstones.” Technology doesn’t...

BP's fine is a drop in the bucket

BP has plenty of money to pay fines stemming from the Deepwater Horizon accident. Here in New Orleans, it's week two of the penalty phase of the civil trial related to the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the largest in U.S. history. The object of this exercise is determining how much BP should pay in fines associated with 11 violations of the Clean Water Act, which the oil giant admits to committing. The U.S. Justice Department wants BP to pay $13.7 billion, BP wants to...

A shipyard gets fined

If you know it's wrong, don't do it.So the Associated Press earlier this week reported that VT Halter Marine agreed to pay a $144,545 civil fine for environmental violations connected to sandblasting particles and paint being released into the air. The AP report said that Pascagoula, Miss.-based VT Halter has now agreed to use a sweeper, water truck and vacuum truck to reduce dust and will fully contain any sandblasting and painting until a building is completed to house those...

Lost on the Mississippi

Looking for a fleeting operation on the Mississippi River.Two days before the New Year, I was scheduled to visit The Carline Companies to go aboard its new 68'x34'x10' fleet/switch boat towboat, the Cairo. It’s the first Z-drive vessel ordered by the company, and the first Z-drive towboat built from a CT Marine design. Though I’ve passed near the area many times going between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, I didn’t know my way around towns like Geismar and Gonzales. Not to worry. I...

Bollinger and Edison Chouest: Coal in my stocking

Bollinger is under new management. I joined WorkBoat in 1997, and since then Bollinger Shipyards has been very forthcoming with information about their shipyards. From Boysie Bollinger, Eric Bollinger, Chris Bollinger and marketing head Robert Socha on down, they have been great to work with and willing to discuss whatever projects were in their sheds. They have always understood the value of publicity that comes from being a part of the boatbuilding coverage that...

Dynamic positioning proposed rule

The USCG has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning dynamic positioning activities on the Outer Continental Shelf.The day before Thanksgiving the U.S. Coast Guard issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register in regards to vessels “conducting activities with dynamic positioning systems.” In the name of safety, “the Coast Guard proposes to establish minimum design, operation, training, and manning standards for mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) and other...