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

Leevac and Aries do it again

Aries Marine christens another PSV in near perfect weather. How do they do it? We have had so much rain this year that it’s a subject that’s brought up wherever I go. (I know that it doesn’t compare to the snow the northeastern U.S. suffered through this winter or the extreme drought conditions in some places out west. I’m not suggesting that it is in any way as difficult a situation — slow your roll.) I’m not whining. I’m just saying that in the south Louisiana area lots of rain is a...

Condition monitoring at the show

To find out what condition your diesel engine is in, you can have it monitored while it’s running. That’s a simple enough idea. We’ve all had car mechanics listen to our cars’ gas engines to try and find out what’s wrong. You know the drill.   To find out what condition your diesel engine is in, you can have it monitored while it’s running. That’s a simple enough idea. We’ve all had car mechanics listen to our cars’ gas engines to try and find out what’s wrong. You know the...

Show time in New Orleans

WorkBoat's new Maintenance & Repair Show opens on Tuesday in New Orleans and runs through April 16. What the workboat industry needs is another trade show. Now, now, I know what you’re thinking: Hocke, have you lost your mind? Well, no, I haven’t — yet. Stay with me for a minute. A lot of what we do at the magazine is report on new vessels that are coming into the industry. Whether it’s a $600,000 municipal fire/rescue boat or a $40 million offshore service vessel, we like to get...

Waterways investment means more jobs

Speakers shine at WorkBoat's Inland Summit.   You’ve heard it before. Lock and dam structures are crumbling along the Upper Miss. River. But over the past several years, industry and government entities have worked hard to repair the most significant locks and dams problems to keep cargo moving efficiently along the system. Finishing these navigation projects could mean as much as $1 billion in new job income annually. That’s one of the messages that Michael Toohey, president and...

Cancer fighting Gulf OSV

A portion of the money earned from Bordelon Marine's new OSV will go toward cancer research. Last Friday, I attended the christening of the Shelia Bordelon, the second Stingray 260-class DP-2 ultralight intervention vessel for Lockport, La.-based Bordelon Marine. The ceremony was held at Bordelon Marine Shipbuilders in Houma, La. The OSV's namesake, Shelia Harasimowicz (left), and Wes Bordelon. Photo by Ken HockeThe 257'x52'x18' offshore service vessel is named for Shelia...

Energy revolution

Making lemonade out of lemons.  I was never very good at science. But isn’t there a law of physics that says that if you drop oil prices and the sky at the same time, they descend at an identical rate of speed? Well, maybe I'm wrong. What I do know is that falling oil prices are a calamity to many people and to them it's no laughing matter. So, what if the current crisis also nrings opportunity, not just disaster? If you are a barge company hauling domestic coal,...

EPA regulations lead to excellence

EPA regulations act as catalyst for construction of first dual-fuel OSV in North America. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi: You can’t obtain perfection. But when you strive for perfection, you can obtain excellence. Several years ago the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced regulations to lower the amount of pollution released into the air by diesel engines. Over a period of years, in a complex equation that only a government agency could concoct, the EPA plans...

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...