The 40th edition of the International WorkBoat Show opens today at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. In addition to visiting the hundreds of exhibitors that will be showcasing thousands of products and services, there are several other options for attendees.

Among them are Think Tank sessions and a full conference program that covers all the major workboat sectors. There will also be several boats on display on the show floor, including those from Lake Assault Boats (booth 3877), Metal Shark (booth 3467), North River Boats (booth 3677), Scully’s Aluminum Boats (4077) and Safe Boats (booth 363).

John Buchanan, president of Harbor Docking & Towing, will discuss the tugs, his company, and the ship-assist market at the show at 9 a.m. this morning. He is the featured speaker at the Tugs & Coastal Towing Program. One of two new ship-assist tugs built for HDT, the Ralph, will be on display and available for tours during show hours at the lower Julia Street wharf behind the convention center. The 93' Ralph and its sistership the Capt. Robb were built at Washburn & Doughty. They are the first two tugs in the U.S. with a Caterpillar hybrid propulsion system, consisting of a pair of 2,550-hp Tier 4 Cat 3512E main engines plus two ABB electric thruster motors, rated at 800-hp each.

Also this morning at 9 a.m., Arlen "Benny" Cenac Jr., owner of Cenac Marine Services and Main Iron Works, will be the featured speaker at the Maintenance & Repair Program.

Later today from 3:15 p.m. until 4 p.m., there will be a Think Tank presentation previewing the Significant Boat Awards winners. It will involve the owners, builders and designers of this year’s Significant Boats and it is open to everyone at the show. Panel members are reminded to meet at the WorkBoat booth, #256, at 3 p.m. before the Think Tank session.