Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La., recently delivered the first Bollinger-built 269'x69' Auxiliary Personnel Lighter–Small (APL(S)) Class berthing and messing barge (APL 71) to the U.S. Navy.

With a 7' draft, APL 71 is the fifth vessel of its class to be delivered to the Navy and the third to be homeported in Norfolk, Va.

APLs are used by the Navy to house crewmembers when ships are in port for availabilities and Inter-Deployment Training Cycles. The barges are mobile and can be towed to new bases or shipyards to support changing fleet requirements but also offer potential use for humanitarian missions and other temporary assignments.

Each vessel is equipped with offices, classrooms, washrooms, laundry facilities, medical treatment areas, a barber shop and fitness center. With mess seating for 224 enlisted personnel and 28 officers, each meal is served via five 20-minute shifts to allow food service for 1,130 personnel (three meals per day). The vessels are fitted with mixed gender berthing spaces for 74 officers and 537 enlisted personnel, for a total of 611 people.

“We are honored to be entrusted to build the APL berthing and messing barge for the U.S. Navy,” Ben Bordelon, president and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards, said in a statement announcing the delivery. “I’m proud of the hard work and dedication of our team at Bollinger and our continued commitment to delivering high-quality, reliable vessels that meet the Navy’s rigorous standards and improve the quality of life for our sailors. We look forward to continuing to grow our partnership with the Navy and delivering this critical asset to support our national defense.”

The previous four APLs were built and delivered by VT Halter Marine, which Bollinger acquired in late 2022. Halter received the initial contract in 2018.