It’s show time for workboats

It’s hard to believe, but in two weeks another International WorkBoat Show will open in New Orleans.

The 36th installment of the show kicks off on Tuesday, Dec. 1 and runs through Thursday, Dec. 3. It is another chance for the industry to show their stuff in the form of the latest products and services.

Each year in our big December show issue of WorkBoat, we highlight what the industry has been creating in our annual Boatbuilding Review. In it, scores of boats from every workboat sector loaded with the latest technology are highlighted. In all, the review contains about 50 vessels and barges that appeared in the pages of WorkBoat over the past 12 months.

We will be honoring 10 boats taken from this list at a breakfast ceremony before the show opens on Wednesday, Dec. 2. From these 10 Significant Boats we will choose the 2015 Boat of the Year. This year’s list includes research vessels, offshore service vessels, towboats, and a passenger vessel, tractor tug and bunkering tanker. 

In the December issue, we also revisit the top stories of the year. Unfortunately, the big story continues to be about the lingering offshore slump. But while the story paints a gloomy picture, the news isn’t all bad. One positive is the scrapping of so-called “tired iron.” In this case, the scrapping of old OSVs will help jump-start the offshore sector when the next boom period comes. 

And it will come, as Todd Hornbeck, chief of Louisiana-based offshore service vessel operator Hornbeck Offshore, said in October. “ … When it comes, it will have a pronounced effect on our core markets, particularly the Gulf of Mexico,” he told analysts during the company’s Oct. 29 earnings call. “The more protracted this downturn lasts, the greater the need will be for our customers to restore their reserve portfolios.” 

Jeremy D. Thigpen, Transocean’s president and CEO, echoed Hornbeck’s assessment in his company’s November earnings call saying that “the need for future reserve replacement remains critical.”

And to be prepared for the next upturn, companies will still need to be aware of the industry’s latest products and services that will be on display at this year’s WorkBoat Show.

This week you can get a head start on the New Orleans show by attending the Pacific Marine Expo, which opens Wednesday in Seattle. Scores of people will attend both shows, taking in what they need to stay competitive in a tough market.

Register today at https://www.xpressreg.net/register/pmex115/start.asp?sc=203688 for PME and https://www.xpressreg.net/register/iwbs125/start.asp? sc=203689 for the WorkBoat Show.

About the author

David 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, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.

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