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

Applying for trouble?

Good employees are hard enough to find — inconsistent application questions can lead to legal woes. Keeping the job application process simple and consistent can keep employers from falling into a legal quagmire. The more complicated the application, the more possibilities there are for problems to arise. “You should keep the application process simple, relevant and consistent,” Erika Reynolds, an attorney specializing in employment issues at the St. Louis-based legal firm Fox/Galvin...

Wined and dined in Norway

Navico unveils some new electronics in the land of the Vikings. I’m here in the land of the Vikings, and I don’t mean Minnesota. Along with 14 others, I’ve come to Stavanger, Norway, as part of a contingent of marine editors/journalists to witness the unveiling of some new electronics from Navico and the company’s strategy to become a stronger player in the commercial marine marketplace. Journalists crowd the console for a closer look at the radar aboard a test vessel heading to the...

Need a job? Come and get one

For those looking for a job, WorkBoat's Job Fair may be just what you need. Companies are hiring. I know, I know, that’s not what you’ve been experiencing. Layoffs have been one of the saddest parts of this dismal down cycle in the oil and gas industry. It’s easy to say that layoffs are a part of the industry’s cyclical nature, but it's not so easy to deal with if you’re one of the thousands who have lost their jobs. The numbers are staggering and the carnage is not over. That’s the...

Subchapter M: What the final rule really means

An interview about Subchapter M with Jennifer A. Carpenter, executive vice president and COO of the American Waterways Operators. When it was announced recently that the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeb Johnson had signed off on the Subchapter M rulemaking package and sent it on to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), I put in a call to the American Waterways Operators’ Jennifer A. Carpenter. Carpenter, the group’s executive vice president and COO, has...

Oil and gas Q&A

An interview with marine analyst Richard Sanchez.   IHS Energy — Petrodata MarineBase analyst Richard Sanchez and I were talking about the oil and gas industry over the phone recently. After thinking more about the conversation, I sent him some questions in an email. My questions and his responses follow: WorkBoat: What numbers are you getting for [offshore supply vessels] under construction or recently delivered in the U.S. (past 12 months and going forward). WorkBoat’s Annual...

Oil and gas and credits and debits

Being so dependent on the oil and gas industry is a roller coaster ride. My father was a bookkeeper who, with credentials from Tulane “night school,” eventually headed up the accounting department at CIT in the 1970s. When CIT moved its accounting operations from New Orleans to Oklahoma City, the company sent him, at 54, to San Francisco where he was to help put all of CIT’s accounting programs on computer. On the way there, he and my mother stopped the first night in San Antonio....

Seattle ferry delivers comfortable ride

Getting up early to ride the new commuter ferry in Seattle was worth it. As I prepare for tomorrow's opening day of the International WorkBoat Show, my mind keeps returning to the Pacific Marine Expo, held earlier this month in Seattle. While I was at PME, I hitched a ride on King County’s 105'x33' aluminum catamaran ferry Sally Fox. The Sally Fox. Ken Hocke photo. The boat, built by All American Marine, Bellingham, Wash., was the first Subchapter K-inspected passenger vessel built and...

Workforce matters

Whether you're looking for a job or looking for mariners, this career fair is for you. The workboat industry is a tough place in which to do business. Yes, it can be rewarding — financially and in other ways — but factors such as weather, government regulations and market fluctuations can torpedo even the most prudent of business owners. And then there are those who work for you. Whether times are good or bad, maritime workers are a constant source of concern. Do you have enough of...

Jones Act isn’t going anywhere

I can’t think of a time when more private companies and governments have tried to blame the Jones Act for their own poor decision-making. I admit I’m not an expert on the Jones Act. I don’t even play one on TV. But I’ve covered the maritime industry for more than two decades and have at least a pedestrian’s understanding of the law. To wit: vessels operating between two or more U.S. ports must use boats/ships that are owned, built and crewed by U.S. citizens. Is it a good law? I think...

How to stop an oil spill

Raise the stakes for oil companies that want to drill anywhere in the U.S. A couple of weeks ago Royal Dutch Shell received permission to begin drilling for oil in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. Over the past several months, environmental groups and just plain old citizens, particularly in the Seattle area, have been going bonkers over Shell’s plan to drill for oil in the Arctic after the debacle involving the drilling barge Kulluk in 2012. When the anti-drilling crowd found out that the Obama...