Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Erie Shipbuilding Update

I have also been informed that Erie Shipbuilding is currently in talks with SEACOR Marine, an operator of offshore vessels servicing the gas and oil exploration industries and a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings, for SEACOR to buy part of the shipyard's operations.

At this time it is unknown what SEACOR plans to do with its stake in the operation, but as SEACOR is a large operator of chemical tankers, offshore vessels, articulated tug-barges and harbor tugs, they could be interested in new construction at the yard.

Time will tell what becomes of this situation and what the future holds for Erie Shipbuilding LLC.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Erie Shipbuilding Update

Erie Shipbuilding LLC continues construction on the new 840-foot-long tug and barge unit worth $50 to $60 million dollars. Construction on the barge recently began, and the tug's hull is already in place in the drydock and is waiting on engines that have yet to be delivered.

The company, however, despite this contract, has not been immune to the recent global economic slowdown, having recently laid off more than half of its work force. The company has also cut back to just one shift.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


PETITE FORTE/ST. MARY'S CEMENT departed Erie today at around noon bound for Cleveland. After unloading, the unit departs in ballast for Hamilton, Ontario for winter layup.

PETITE FORTE/ST. MARY'S CEMENT at dock about an hour before departing on Saturday.

Another view.

Friday, December 19, 2008


PETITE FORTE and barge ST. MARY'S CEMENT, loaded with cement from Bowmanville and ultimately bound for Cleveland, where the barge will spend the winter, arrived in Erie to wait weather at 0230 this morning and tied up at the Mountfort Terminal. It is unknown at this time when the unit will get underway for Cleveland.

PETITE FORTE/ST. MARY'S CEMENT at the Mountfort Terminal on Friday.

Another view.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

HOLLYHOCK in Port to Replace Buoys; Wisconsin Dispute with Federal Goverment Could Mean Good News for Erie Shipbuilding

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter HOLLYHOCK arrived in Erie this morning at 0630 and docked at Coast Guard Station Erie to load the winter markers that have been stored on the pier since last spring. After loading them, the HOLLYHOCK proceeded into Presque Isle Bay at 0800 and spent the morning replacing the summer buoys in Erie harbor with the unlit winter markers before moving through the piers to the outer channel this afternoon.

The buoys will be left on the North Pier at Coast Guard Station Erie and will be returned to the water in early May next year.

A dispute over a ballast-water permit between the state of Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources and the federal Environmental Protection Agency could be good news for Erie Shipbuilding. New rules from the EPA requiring a permit for ballast water discharge have not been certified by the state of Wisconsin. This mans that starting December 19 any vessel entering a Wisconsin port and discharging ballast water will be in violation of the federal Clean Water act.

If that happens, two major ship repair companies, Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay and Fraser Shipyard in Superior, will not be allowed to receive any vessels for repairs. This could be good news for Erie Shipbuilding, as vessels seeking repairs would be forced to look to other shipyards for repair work.

HOLLYHOCK replacing Buoy 9 in Erie Harbor this morning.

Lifting the buoy.

Dropping it over the side.

With the buoy set, HOLLYHOCK moves to buoy 11.

Approaching the buoy.

HOLLYHOCK lifts Buoy 11 out of the water.

Friday, December 5, 2008

PETITE FORTE Waits in Port as Season's End Draws Near

Tug PETITE FORTE and barge ST. MARY'S CEMENT arrived in Erie on Wednesday at 0600, ducking in from a Lake Erie that was producing seas too high for the duo, on a voyage from Cleveland to Bowmanville, Ontario in ballast to load cement, to handle.

The pair anchored in Presque Isle Bay before moving to the Mounfort Terminal at around 1000 that morning, where they remained until noon today before departing for Bowmanville.

Due to the economic uncertainty facing this country, many vessels have reached the close of the Great Lakes shipping season. Already more than a dozen American-flagged freighters are in layup, and after unloading in Conneaut, Ohio tomorrow the AMERICAN SPIRIT is reportedly bound for Superior, Wisconsin to layup.

As far as winter layups in Erie, the PRESQUE ISLE and another of Great Lakes Fleet's vessels will spend the winter in port.

PETITE FORTE/ST. MARY'S CEMENT at anchor in Presque Isle Bay on Wednesday morning.