WorkBoat has announced its 10 Significant Boats for 2019. Now it’s time for you to choose the Boat of the Year from that list. You can place your VOTE HERE. Voting ends on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019.

Choosing the Significant Boats each year is subjective, with many boats deserving of making the Top 10 list each year. However, there are certain parameters that the editorial staff does follow in its efforts to give all boats that qualify a chance. For example, we try to select at least one boat from each sector of the industry that WorkBoat covers — inland and coastal, harbor and ports, offshore, passenger vessels, etc. In addition, we also try to select one boat from each region of the U.S. — East Coast, West Coast, Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes. Thus, this makes it impossible for all Significant Boats in a particular year to be tugs built on the West Coast or offshore boats built on the Gulf Coast.

Furthermore, while design is the most important ingredient in the Significant Boat gumbo, it is not the only one. This is not a list based on naval architecture and marine engineering only. Maybe what makes a boat “Significant” is that it’s a first of its kind, a successful series build, or where it operates and who it serves, or how it helps advance new workboat frontiers like wind energy.

And the editorial staff reserves the right to veer off these guidelines in its quest to put together the best list possible.

Only boats that appeared in WorkBoat magazine from December 2018 to November 2019 were considered. (Remember, it's not when the boat was actually delivered, but when it appeared in the magazine.) In addition, the boat has to appear as a full item in our boatbuilding section (On the Ways), or be the focus of one of our features, which means the story must have a list of specifications, including owner, builder and designer, at least one photo of the boat, and there have to be quotes from at least one of the major participants in the project. This year the pool of possibilities came to almost 50 boats.

This year's 10 Significant Boats will be discussed at a WorkBoat Think Tank session and be recognized at an awards breakfast at the International WorkBoat Show on Thursday, Dec. 5. The breakfast will culminate with the selection of the 2019 Boat of the Year, which will be chosen from the alphabetical list of the 2019 Significant Boat winners below:

ANDREW S (100'x38'x17'2", Z-drive, Subchapter M tug)

Builder: Main Iron Works

Owner: Bisso Towboat Co. Inc.

Designer: Ashraf Degedy, Bisso Towboat Co. Inc., Main Iron Works


BOB AND BETTY BEYSTER (42'x16'x5' coastal research vessel)

Builder: Armstrong Marine USA

Owner: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego

Designer: Armstrong Marine USA


BRAZOS PILOT (64'x19', pilot boat)

Builder: Metal Shark

Owner: Brazos Pilots Association

Designer: Metal Shark


CAPTAIN BEN MOORE (63'x21.3', agricultural freighter)

Builder: Derecktor Shipyards

Owner: Harbor Harvest

Designer: Incat Crowther


DOLPHIN XI (114'x25'x9', 360-passenger whale watch boat)

Builder: Gulf Craft LLC

Owner: Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch

Designer: Gulf Craft LLC, Incat Crowther


ISLAND REGENT (82'x41'x12' ATB tug)

Builder: Island Tug and Barge, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders

Owner: Island Tug and Barge

Designer: Robert Allan Ltd.


KAYAK EXPRESS (64'x19', 72-passenger tour boat) 

Builder: Moran Iron Works

Owner: Pictured Rocks Kayaking

Designer: DLBA Naval Architects


PYXIS, LYRA, VELA (142.7x'40'x5.4', 445-passenger ferry)

Builder: Dakota Creek Industries Inc.

Owner: City of San Francisco, Water Emergency Transportation Authority (operator)

Designer: Advanced Multihull Designs


SFFD M2-38 (38"10"x13'10", dive and fire rescue vessel)

Builder: Moose Boats

Owner: City of San Francisco

Designer: Moose Boats


TAÍNO, EL COQUÍ (720'x105'x59', ConRo ship)

Builder: VT Halter Marine

Owner: Crowley Maritime Corp.

Designer: Wärtsilä Ship Design, Jensen Maritime


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.