Marine Transportation Services, a 40-year-old family-run owner, operator and builder of crewboats, has added a new vessel to its fleet.

With the delivery of the 140'×30'×12'2", 5,200-hp crewboat Kimberly D in June, the Panama City, Fla.-based company now operates a fleet of 14 crewboats. The boats range in size from 110' to 140'. Each vessel, ranging from the oldest, the 39-year-old 115'×24' 1,800-hp Jannie D, to the newest, the Kimberly D, is maintained at the company’s Queen Craft Shipyard. Queen Craft built the Kimberly D and built or rebuilt each of MTS’ other crewboats.

Once the Kimberly D is out the door, MTS plans on starting work on another 140-footer at its Queen Craft yard. The aluminum Kimberly D features quad Caterpillar C32 Tier 3 engines that each develop 1,300 hp at 2,150 rpm. The Cats turn Michigan Wheel 44"×44" 4-bladed bronze propellers through Twin Disc MGX-6620-A gears. The package gives the new crewboat a top speed of 27 knots. The Kimberly D is the first MTS vessel with Cats. The other 13 vessels in the fleet have Detroit Diesel engines. A pair of Lima 50-kW generators coupled with Detroit 4-71s provides service power.

The new crewboat has an 80'×26' cargo deck and tankage for 18,000 gals. of fuel, 18,000 gals. water and 180 gals. lube oil. There’s room for four crew and 56 passengers. The electronics package features Standard Horizon VHF radios, Furuno AIS and TZT14 NavNet, and an Icom SSB.

Seventy-four-year-old owner Grover Davis is proud of the sturdy Kimberly D and the MTS operation, which meets a small but important offshore transportation niche. “Everything has become so specialized on the rig that a different crew comes down for anything … mud crews, casing crews.” Davis said they shuffle these specialized crews, usually made up of about 10 men and their equipment, to and from the rigs. “We fit that little niche.”

When customers charter an MTS vessel, Davis said, “They hire our complete marine facility,” which includes about 30 employees. That means MTS can offer a complete backup system of support facilities and solid, well-maintained vessels.

The Queen Craft yard also features a diesel engine rebuild facility where company engines receive thorough overhauls. The facility also keeps a large inventory on hand of spare engines, transmissions and parts including propeller shafts, propellers, rudders, etc. — David Krapf