After a long 14 months, it is once again time for the International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans.
Last year’s 34th installment of the show was held in October, so that means exhibitors have been waiting for over a year to show off their latest products and services at the workboat industry’s premier gathering. This year they will get their chance on Dec. 3-5.
For us, it means that this issue is crammed with 14 instead of 12 months of boatbuilding coverage (see page 74) to go along with our annual Top 10 news stories of the year (see page 54) and coverage of the show (see page 156).
This year’s show promises to be the best ever. Not only are there more exhibitors, but for the first time the show features three keynote addresses. And the keynote lineup is truly impressive. Capt. Richard Phillips will kick things off on Dec. 3, the first day of the show. In case you missed it, he is the Capt. Phillips from the movie of the same name that told the compelling story of the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates.
If that isn’t enough, two more keynotes follow on the second day of the show. In the morning Vigor Shipyards chief Frank Foti will provide his West Coast take on the industry in his entertaining style. Later that day Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen will deliver the final keynote of the WorkBoat Show.
Also new this year is a change in our annual Significant Boats awards’ format. We will recognize 2014’s 10 Significant Boats at a breakfast ceremony before the show opens on Thursday, Dec. 4. Then, for the first time, we will announce a Boat of the Year from among the 10 winners.
We recently selected the 10 boats for 2014. The list includes pilot boats, tugs, a Z-drive towboat, a passenger vessel, a fuel-service vessel, OSVs and a cargo/transport vessel. The winning shipyards, operators and designers are from all coasts and represent most workboat sectors. Choosing a Boat of Year from this list was a tough task for the WorkBoat editors.
I truly believe that the 35th edition of the show will be our best ever. I hope to see you in the Big Easy.