WorkBoat handed out its Significant Boats awards last week at the International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans.

Although naval architecture and marine engineering are major ingredients in the recipe, they are not the only components. What else makes a boat significant is subjective. Maybe it's where the boat operates, what it's trying to achieve, who is able to use it or a myriad of other possibilities.

Here are a few examples from this year's Significant Boats:

• For the first time, Austal USA has been contracted to design, procure, implement, and demonstrate the 338'x93'6" expeditionary fast transport ship Apalachicola as an autonomous platform, allowing the ship to operate autonomously while retaining the capability for manned operation, reducing cost and centralizing ship operations to the bridge.

• Seastreak's 720-passenger ferry Courageous ranks as the largest capacity high-speed ferry in the U.S.

• Big Dan's Fishing Charters' 48'x18' charter boat Double Down was built according to a bevy of new regulations following a dive boat tragedy whereby 34 people were killed in a fire onboard.

• The Maryland Department of Natural Resources' new buoy tender/ice breaker Eddie Somers serve as the primary icebreaking asset for Crisfield Harbor and Smith Island, in addition to placing buoys and performing additional functions.

• Georgetown Heritage's 80'x12' Georgetown Heritage Canal Boat's main propulsion is the responsibility of mules, with a Torqueedo electric motor as backup.

• Swedish operator Hurtigruten Svalbard's 48'x13.8' Kvitbjorn (Polar Bear) operates in the waters of Longyearbyen, Svalbard — the world’s northernmost town, just 800 miles from the North Pole.

• Interlake Steamship Co.'s 639'x78' Mark W. Barker is the first new U.S.-flagged Great Lakes bulk carrier built on the Great Lakes in more than 40 years. 

• EJE Dredging Service's 156'3"x35' hopper dredge Miss Katie was specifically developed and designed to ensure it will be able to safely navigate the channels and inlets of North Carolina.

The Army Corps of Engineers' new 49' survey vessel Tobin's 28-knot running speed allows researchers to acquire data quickly at the mouth of the Mississippi River and prevent inconsistencies caused by changes in the river bottom.

• The Boat of the Year, which was selected by our readers, is the 85'x26' firefighting, rescue, patrol boat Monjed 2, built by MetalCraft Marine and designed by the UK's Walker Marine Design for the Kuwait Fire Force. The Monjed 2 is the latest evolution of MetalCraft's Firestorm model.

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.