Year at a glance
• Irving Shipbuilding launches HMCS Harry DeWolf, the first Arctic and offshore patrol ship (AOPS) being constructed under Canada’s oft-delayed National Shipbuilding Strategy.
• Foss Maritime closes its shipyard in Rainier, Ore., resulting in the cancellation of an agreement to build 10 z-drive tugboats in partnership with Damen.
• Conrad Industries delivers Clean Jacksonville, the first LNG bunker barge built in North America, to TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico.
• VT Halter Marine delivers El Coqui, one of the world’s first con-ros powered by LNG, to Crowley Maritime for service in the Jones Act trade with Puerto Rico.
• Tidewater announces that it will acquire GulfMark in a $340 million merger of the offshore vessel operators, both of which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2017.
• Matson and Philly Shipyard christen Daniel K. Inouye, an 850-foot, 3,600-TEU containership that is the largest ever constructed in the United States.
• Metal Shark acquires the assets of Horizon Shipbuilding, which filed for bankruptcy protection after experiencing cost overruns on vessels for the NYC Ferry service.
• Philly Shipyard announces that it will lay off 275 workers due to TOTE’s suspension of an order for four new containerships for the U.S. mainland trade to Hawaii.
• Washington State Ferries announces that it will convert its three largest vessels — its Jumbo Mark II class — to operate on hybrid propulsion.
• The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports a “threshold cost” of $9.8 billion for three new heavy polar icebreakers proposed for the U.S. fleet.
• Robert Allan Ltd. announces the development of an all-electric pilot boat for ship service requiring runs of 5 nautical miles or less.
• In a blow to Dakota Creek Industries, the U.S. Senate fails to grant a Jones Act waiver for America’s Finest, a new trawler built with too much foreign-fabricated steel, to fish in U.S. waters.
• Jeffboat, which began operating in 1834 and grew into one of the largest inland shipbuilders in the country, announces that it is going out of business due to an extended downturn in the barge industry.
• President Trump signs a bill that includes $300 million to build a new training ship for SUNY Maritime College.
• BAE Systems announces that it will close its shipyard in Mobile, Ala., citing the downturn in the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico and the subsequent decline in ship repair work.
• Highlighting the state of the U.S. icebreaking fleet, Polar Star — the nation’s only operational heavy icebreaker — suffers an engine failure and a shaft seal failure that leads to flooding on an Antarctic mission.
• TOTE’s plans to enter the mainland-to-Hawaii trade are sidetracked after a review finds pier shortcomings in Honolulu, a development that also postpones an order with Philly Shipyard for four newbuilds.
• Severe ice in the St. Lawrence Seaway traps the new littoral combat ship USS Little Rock, which was en route from Buffalo to Florida, in Montreal for the remainder of the winter.
• Davie Shipbuilding of Quebec delivers Asterix after converting the former containership into a support vessel for the Royal Canadian Navy.
• After years of delays, Seaspan launches Sir John Franklin, the first of three offshore fisheries science vessels (OFSVs) being built for the Canadian Coast Guard.
• Foss Maritime delivers Vigilance to the Port of Long Beach to join sister Protector, giving the California port two of the most advanced fireboats in the world.