Eastern Shipbuilding Group recently announced it was awarded a contract from Zurich American Insurance Co. to complete the construction of two 362' ultra-high-spec 400-class multipurpose support vessels (MPSVs) for Hornbeck Offshore Services LLC (HOS).

The boats will be completed at Eastern's shipbuilding facilities in Allanton, Fla., and Port St. Joe, Fla., with anticipated delivery dates set for 2025. The vessels will be built to USCG Subchapter I and L regulations. 

The two MPSVs, the HOS Warhorse and the HOS Wild Horse, will be U.S.-flagged, Jones Act-qualified. 

Main propulsion will come from two azimuth Z-drives producing 6,705 hp. Added maneuverability will be the responsibility of a 1,180-hp drop-down azimuth bowthruster and two 2,360 FPP tunnel thrusters. There will also be an 1,180-hp FPP thruster on the stern. 

The rear cargo deck will measure 13,700 sq. ft. and carry 2,750 LT of cargo with a 13 MT personnel lift rater 0.6 deck crane.

"We are delighted to be entrusted with the completion of these highly capable vessels,” Joey D’Isernia, chairman and CEO of Eastern Shipbuilding, said in a statement. “Our experienced shipbuilding team is poised to timely deliver these critical MPSVs to the market." 

Hornbeck originally ordered the vessels from Gulf Island Shipyards, a subsidiary of Gulf Island Fabrication (GIF), over a decade ago. In 2018, Hornbeck aimed to terminate the contracts due to purported performance issues at the yard. The decision led to a legal dispute that was resolved in October 2023. The settlement coincided with GIF’s agreement to sell the MPSVs to Zurich American, which ultimately awarded the contract to Eastern Shipbuilding.

The two Jones Act-qualified MPSVs will join Hornbeck’s U.S.-flagged fleet, equipped with features such as two large, heave-compensated cranes, two remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), a spacious moonpool, and accommodations for 102 personnel. The new vessels will also include 25 office stations, a conference room and cinema, and a gym. The helideck offers restart capabilities for Sikorsky S-61 N and S-92 N helicopters.

In addition to this project, Eastern is pioneering the conversion of the first-of-its-kind service operation vessel (SOV) for HOS. The HOS Rocinante will serve the emerging U.S. offshore wind market and the ongoing demand of the petro-energy flotel market. The new vessel is scheduled for delivery in the spring of 2025. 

The HOS Rosehill will be renamed HOS Rocinante, after the trusty horse rode by Don Quixote — the legendary knight-errand of Cervante’s novel who tilted at windmills. Doug Stewart photo.

Ben Hayden is a Maine resident who grew up in the shipyards of northern Massachusetts. He can be reached at (207) 842-5430 and [email protected].