Shipyards and out in the workboat field

At WorkBoat magazine and it’s not enough to follow the workboat world from behind a desk and in front of a computer screen. Good reporters and editors can’t cover their beats unless they get out there and get in the mix.

I’ve been to scores of shipyards over the years, ridden on shakedown cruises, and gone through STCW training in New Orleans and firefighting training in Paducah, Ky. I’ve eaten so many chicken dishes at conferences and seminars that I’ve started to molt.

Over the past six weeks I’ve had the pleasure to visit and interview Joseph J. Rella, president and COO at Austal USA in Mobile, Ala.; Richard L. Marler, president and CEO of Signal International in Mobile; Andre Dubroc, general manager of Master Boat Builders, Bayou La Batre, Ala.; Jerry Gauthier, vice president and general manager of Oceaneering International in Morgan City, La., and others.

I’ve seen up-close the next Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the first Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), both at Austal, toured Signal Ship Repair’s facilities a year after Signal took over most of the old Bender Shipbuilding & Repair yard, attended a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement public meeting, and accepted an invitation to the christening of Oceaneering’s new dive support vessel.

Those are just a few of the people I saw and places I visited over the past several weeks. Not once while as I out and about in the workboat field did I miss my desk and computer.

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About the author

Ken 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 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.

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