Ken HockeKen Hocke
Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. 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. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.

Blog Activity

LNG towboat correction

I made a mistake in a blog and got called on it. Last month, I wrote a blog about when the workboat industry can expect to see LNG-fueled towboats on U.S. waterways. Actually, the towboats in question would be dual fueled (diesel and LNG) vessels. I put the blog together based on a presentation by Ed Shearer of The Shearer Group and John Hatley, Wärtsilä's vice president ship power, at the Inland Marine Expo in St. Louis in June. I said Shearer and Morgan City,...

Follow the marine industry leaders

Future leaders of the marine industry. You’ve heard the expression, “He/She is natural born leader.” Unfortunately, for most of us, leadership is not a right of birth. On the other hand, leadership skills can be learned, and that is the point of the WorkBoat Strategic Leadership Program Heading into its second year, the program, a joint effort between WorkBoat and Louisiana State University’s Executive Education department, is focused on giving mid-level managers...

Subchapter When?

Once the final rule for Subchapter M is finally released, barge operators will need to make some tough decisions. The inland waterways industry is still waiting for the Coast Guard’s final Subchapter M rule to be published. They’ve been waiting so long that when "Subchapter When" is finally released it won't be surprising if companies have been lulled into a non-decision funk on such things as the Towing Safety Management System (TSMS). However, it may be impossible to make any...

Are LNG towboats coming soon?

Experts say LNG is going to be used on the inland waterways system very soon. Earlier this year Harvey Gulf International Marine put the first dual-fuel vessel in the U.S. into service. The 302'x64' OSV Harvey Energy has tankage for both diesel fuel and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Now The Shearer Group and Conrad Industries are waiting for the Coast Guard to sign off on a new design for a dual-fuel towboat powered by a Wärtsilä propulsion system. (Wärtsilä...

Drilling moratorium was necessary

The Gulf of Mexico is a safer place to work since new regulations were put in place following the BP oil spill. I’m now convinced of something I’ve long suspected. The post-Deepwater Horizon moratorium on the issuance of new drilling permits was the right move to make. Now before some of you label me a communist sympathizer, let’s look at the facts. In April 2010, the Macondo well beneath the Deepwater Horizon blew out and exploded, killing 11 and resulted...

Jonny Quest boat

Could superyacht prototype be a crewboat design of the future? When I was nine years old, an animated prime time series called “Jonny Quest” was my favorite show. In the series, 10-year-old Jonny went on secret agent/science fiction adventures with his scientist father, Dr. Benton Quest, his adopted brother, Hadji, Dr. Quest’s bodyguard, Race Bannon and their dog, Bandit.. The name of the government agency behind these missions was never disclosed to my knowledge. The show was cancelled...

NOAA hurricane forecast favorable

If NOAA's hurricane forecast is on target, oil and gas interests should be pleased. Yesterday marked the official opening of the six-month Atlantic hurricane season, and this year's storm forecast looks good for Gulf energy interests. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center recently released its 2015 Atlantic hurricane season forecast. It’s very similar to the one that came out of Colorado State University in early April, calling for...

Wind power plans for offshore New York

The Feds are offering four wind energy open houses to New York residents.   As many of you know, I believe that wind power driven energy is going to help the U.S. meet its future energy needs. We can argue about how much of a factor it will be going forward. Many are dismissing it because it will have to be heavily subsidized to even get off the ground (no pun intended). But there are many believers in this country, especially on the East Coast. Deepwater...

Moran ATB tug christened in Florida

Moran Towing christened its newest tug in Pensacola, Fla., on Tuesday. On Tuesday, Patti Marine Enterprises delivered a 121'x36'x18' tug for Moran Towing Corp. to the downtown waterfront of Pensacola, Fla. The occasion was the christening of the articulated tug/barge tug Mariya Moran. Two of Moran's heavy hitters — Paul R. Tregurtha, chairman and CEO and his son, Ted Tregurtha, president — were on hand on Pensacola Bay in the warm Florida sun. Ted Tregurtha said the new vessel is “a...

Obama is not anti-oil

Those who say President Obama is anti-oil have no leg to stand on. President Obama wants energy independence for the U.S., and I’m with him. As long as it’s done in an environmentally responsible manner, I don’t see the problem with going after that goal. Why not try? And if at first you don’t succeed ... When Obama was new to the presidency, he spoke about opening the waters off the U.S. East Coast to oil and gas exploration and drilling. This idea was proposed in the past, but those...