Actually there are hundreds of boats one could sight in Houma, La. But the use of the word “workboat” in the headline attracts more “hits” for our audience than the just the word “new.”

What’s new? Well, a 214'x48'x16' supply boat for Lafayette, La.-based Seamar. Today, I'm driving down to Gulf Island Marine Fabricators, the yard that built the new Cape Horn. I’ll meet with Darrel Plaisance, the OSV’s owner, and Jay Hebert, the yard’s vice president and general manager, and Al Guidry, Gulf Island’s project manager.

I’ve been traveling down this way for 17 years now covering these shipyards for WorkBoat, and I still like taking in the activity that goes on at these yards, walking through boats like this new one before it begins hauling cargo to offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. Sometimes I’ll see a boat tied up somewhere and remember being on its deck when it was only half finished in the shipyard. It’s like seeing a friend's or relative's kid when he or she is young and later as a young man or woman.

Now after all these years you’d think I’d know where I’m going. Hell, I’ve been to Gulf Island a dozen times. Now where is that LA 661 …


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.