To paraphrase Vince Lombardi: You can’t obtain perfection. But when you strive for perfection, you can obtain excellence.

Several years ago the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced regulations to lower the amount of pollution released into the air by diesel engines. Over a period of years, in a complex equation that only a government agency could concoct, the EPA plans to slash the amount of particulate matter that the marine and other industries pump into the atmosphere. Diesel engines would get “cleaner” as they rose up the “Tier” ladder — Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, etc.

As one might imagine, the EPA’s plan to clean up the atmosphere did not sit well with many in the marine industry. But Washington didn’t care about how much the marine or any other industry moaned and groaned. The EPA’s regulations would go into effect.

An alternative to climbing the Tier ladder is to use engines that are not fueled by diesel fuel, but liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead. Toward that end, Harvey Gulf International Marine recently took delivery of the first U.S.-built, dual-fuel (diesel- and LNG- burning) offshore supply vessel in North America, the 310'x64', 5,200-dwt Harvey Energy. The plan is to eventually build OSVs that run on LNG only.

WorkBoat’s correspondent, Capt. Max Hardberger, has put together an in-depth article about the new OSV. Capt. Max knows boats and he was allowed to crawl all over this one, given access to the vessel by officials from Harvey Gulf and the shipyard that build the boat, Gulf Coast Shipyard Group in Gulfport, Miss. The result is a fascinating look into the design, construction, and delivery of the Harvey Energy — a boat that is striving for perfection. (It's the first of six being built to the same design.)

Capt. Max’s article is WorkBoat’s cover story for April.    

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.