David KrapfDavid Krapf
David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989. He has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.

Blog Activity

Barge operators still humming along

The past few years have been very good for barge companies. The past few years have been very good for barge companies. One barge company owner told me recently that last year was by far its best year ever, and others have reported record earnings, strong balance sheets and excellent cash flow. In its fourth-quarter earnings call in January, Kirby reported that 2014 was the barge company’s fourth consecutive year of record earnings — $4.93 per share compared with $4.44 per share in...

Coast Guard is asked to do more with less … again

The U.S. Coast Guard provides a great return on investment and should get the funding it needs to replace its aging assets. The U.S. Coast Guard provides a great return on investment. That’s what the agency’s commandant, Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, said at a congressional hearing in late February. That’s also what he told Passenger Vessel Association members earlier that month at the annual convention in California. Zukunft addressed a House Subcommittee on Coast Guard...

Making sense of low oil prices

Oil prices remain depressed. Today, West Texas Intermediate was trading at around $51 bbl. In this environment, it’s important to keep up with what effect low oil prices are having on the offshore market, in particular what’s in store for OSV and rig operators. This and other topics will be discussed at the upcoming WorkBoat OSV Summit in Houston on April 2. Oil prices remain depressed. Today, West Texas Intermediate was trading at around $51 bbl. The low oil prices have...

Battling fires, rec boaters and oil prices

In the March cover story, technical editor Bruce Buls writes about Fremont Maritime Service’s India Tango fire training program in Seattle.   Yesterday, we wrapped up the March issue of WorkBoat, which should hit your mailboxes at the end of the month. In it, we tackle several subjects. In the March cover story, technical editor Bruce Buls writes about Fremont Maritime Service’s India Tango fire training program in Seattle. Fremont specializes in hands-on, 1,400°F training at...

The hurt from lower oil prices

Lower oil prices continue to plague OSV operators, but there is some hope on the horizon. Lower oil prices continue to plague OSV operators, resulting in lower day rates and utilization. Several operators have reportedly been idling equipment. And the news will likely get worse before improving in early 2016, analysts say. In a note to clients late last month, Michael Cohen of Barclays slashed the bank’s 2015 Brent crude oil average price forecast to $44 bbl., down 40% from its $72 bbl....

Rec traffic is a big safety problem on rivers

Inland and Great Lakes mariners know all about what appears to be a growing problem on the waterways — reckless recreational boaters.Inland and Great Lakes mariners know all about what appears to be a growing problem on the waterways — reckless recreational boaters.  Fellow blogger and WorkBoat columnist Capt. Alan Bernstein has been very vocal on the issue — something his Cincinnati-based passenger vessel operation deals with almost daily — in his blogs and columns. Alan and other...

Closer ties needed with industry, Coast Guard commandant says

The U.S. Coast Guard is “back in the living room” with its maritime partners.  After veering heavily toward security after 9/11, the U.S. Coast Guard is “back in the living room” with its maritime partners. That was one of the messages delivered yesterday by Commandant Paul F. Zukunft at the Passenger Vessel Association’s annual meeting in Long Beach, Calif.Zukunft, who was named commandant eight months ago, told passenger vessel operators that of all the sectors it regulates, he was...

Oil prices and OSVs: It’s not all bad news

OSV operators are one tough bunch and the current down cycle isn’t their first rodeo.The news continues to be ominous for rig and boat operators in the Gulf oil patch. Oil prices hit a six-year low today with WTI falling below $44 bbl. for the first time since 2009. There is plenty of oil out there and U.S. production reportedly continued to increase last week. As most workboat industry veterans know, the OSV and rig markets and oil prices are cyclical. Sure the market has soured...

Oil prices and the Jones Act

Oil prices and Jones Act attacks are both “cyclical.”Anyone who has been in the workboat industry a long time knows that the energy industry and its commodity prices are cyclical. The bad news continued this week with reports showing the largest week-to-week onshore rig count decline in six years. The good news for the workboat industry is that in contrast to the onshore count, the Gulf of Mexico rig count continues to be fairly stable. Another cyclical “industry” is the effort to repeal...

Low oil prices aren’t bad for everyone

Pain will be felt in the offshore sector, but low oil prices are not bad for everyone in the workboat industry.Today, oil was near a six-year low as the six-month-long drop in prices continued. This week, U.S. crude prices are off about 5% and have dropped over 55% since June. At around $46 bbl., oil is at its lowest price since the 2009 recession. Many of you are probably tired of reading about oil prices, unless it has to do with how much less you’re paying at the pump. For the...