Year at a glance
• Canada announces that it will obtain six new icebreakers under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, opening the door for a third shipyard to join the NSS with Irving and Seaspan.
• Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and Interlake Steamship cut steel for what will be the first U.S.-flagged bulk carrier built in more than 35 years for service on the Great Lakes.
• Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., reintroduce the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act, which would require an increasing percentage of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude oil exports to be carried on Jones Act ships.
• After more than nine years, Canada receives its first ship under the National Shipbuilding Strategy: Sir John Franklin, an offshore fisheries science vessel built by Seaspan for the Canadian Coast Guard.
• General Dynamics NASSCO and Matson launch Lurline, which at 870 feet and 50,000 metric tons will be the largest con-ro ever constructed in the U.S.
• The Maritime Administration designates TOTE as construction manager for a new class of training ships to be built for the nation’s state maritime academies. Responsibilities will include selecting a shipyard to build five national security multi-mission vessels (NSMVs).
• After meeting with Republican lawmakers from Alaska and shipbuilding states along the Gulf Coast, President Trump reverses course and pledges not to waive the Jones Act to allow foreign-flagged ships to transport LNG among U.S. ports.
• Downsizing and consolidation have led to the decline of U.S. shipbuilding and the U.S. merchant marine, creating “major gaps” in logistics capacity that would hinder the Navy in time of war, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments reports.
• VT Halter Marine is awarded the contract to build the Coast Guard’s next-generation heavy icebreaker — the polar security cutter — with options for two additional ships that could bring the total value of the deal to nearly $2 billion.
• Philly Shipyard delivers Kaimana Hila, the second of two 3,600-TEU containerships, to Pacific operator Matson. With the order book emptied, the shipyard soon appoints a new chief financial officer to pursue federal contracts.
• Congress approves funding to start construction of the nation’s first polar security cutter after another year of mechanical breakdowns suffered by Polar Star, the Coast Guard’s only operational heavy icebreaker.
• Eastern Shipbuilding cuts steel for the nation’s first offshore patrol cutter, Argus, achieving the milestone despite shipyard damage and work interruptions caused by Hurricane Michael.
• In a sweeping overhaul, Washington State Ferries — the largest ferry system in the U.S. — unveils a plan to add 16 new vessels to its fleet in the next 20 years.
• VT Halter delivers the LNG-powered Taino to Crowley Maritime, the operator’s second 2,400-TEU con-ro built for Jones Act service between Florida and Puerto Rico.
• The Canadian Coast Guard gets its first new icebreaker in 25 years, Captain Molly Kool, a former anchor-handling tug supply ship converted byt Davie Shipbuilding.
• The U.S. Senate approves a Jones Act waiver for America’s Finest, a $75 million trawler built by Dakota Creek Industries. The newbuild was in danger of never operating in U.S. waters due to the inclusion of too much foreign-fabricated steel in its hull.
• Bay Ship & Yacht of Alameda, Calif., lays the keel for Water-Go-Round, a hydrogen fuel cell ferry that will be the first of its kind in the country.
• Philly Shipyard delivers the 850-foot, 3,600-TEU Daniel K. Inouye to Matson for service between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii. The Aloha-class containership is the largest ever built in the U.S.