WorkBoat recognized the 10 Significant Boats of 2019 and named its Boat of the Year at an awards ceremony at the International WorkBoat Show Thursday morning. The 2019 Boat of the Year was the Taíno and El Coquí, combination container roll-on/roll-off (ConRo) ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Owner Crowley Maritime Corp. said the vessels are the world’s first ConRo ships powered by LNG. The two 720'×105'×59', 26,500-dwt Commitment-class vessels were built by VT Halter Marine and designed by Wärtsilä Ship Design and Jensen Maritime. The ships provide fast, reliable and environmentally friendly shipping and logistics services between Jacksonville, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, a route the company has served since 1954. Crowley invested $550 million in the ships and associated port upgrades.

Designed specifically for the Puerto Rico trade, the ships carry up to 2,400 20' equivalent container units (TEUs) at a cruising speed of 22 knots. A range of other container sizes and types can be accommodated, including 53'×8.5' boxes and up to 300 refrigerated containers. Enclosed and ventilated roll-on/roll-off decks accommodate around 400 cars and larger vehicles.

Each ship is powered by a single MAN 8S70ME-GI marine engine, producing 26,160 kW (35,054 hp) at 91 rpm. The single engine connects to a 328"×291", 5-bladed prop to produce a running speed of 22 knots. Fueling the ships with LNG reduces emissions significantly, including a 100% reduction in sulphur oxide (SOx) and particulate matter (PM); a 92% cut in nitrogen oxide (NOx); and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will be cut by more than 35% per container, compared with current fossil fuels, Crowley said.

The 10 Significant Boats of 2019 are:

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

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.