Halter Marine Delivered 64 Commercial Vessels In 1980

Halter Marine, Inc. delivered 64 commercial and 89 pleasure vessels to its customers in 1980, announced Harold P. Halter, chairman and president of the New Orleans-based shipbuilding firm. Halter's six commercial shipyards delivered 42 supply boats, 11 crewboats, four tugs, two fire/ utility vessels, two liftboats, two fishing vessels and a pilot boat. The seventh commercial division supplied pre-cut, fabricated steel and subassemblies to the other shipyards.

Not included in the vessel count was a 4,000-dwt floating drydock built by the Industrial Canal Division in New Orleans, and the Chickasaw, Ala. Division for use in launching the seven giant catamaran tugs (CATUG) under construction at Chickasaw. Delivery of the first CATUG was scheduled for January 1981.

Also slated for delivery in January was the first of four 110- foot surface effect ships (SES) under contract to Command Marine, Inc. of Lafayette, La. The high-speed SES design provides substantial fuel savings and a more comfortable ride than conventional mono-hull vessels because of the resistance-reducing air cushion contained between the SES rigid side hulls and flexible bow and stern seals. Bell-Halter, Inc. is a corporation formed by Bell Aerospace-Textron and Halter Marine, Inc. to build surface effect ships.

"We are confident the SES concept will gain even greater demand as these first vessels continue to prove themselves in the oil patch and in other duties such as ferry service, search and rescue, inter-island supply, and in military or Coast Guard activities," Mr. Halter stated.

He pointed out, "The Bell-Halter demonstration SES (christened in January 1979) was recently purchased by the U.S.

Navy to assess feasible weapons/ combat systems that could be installed and operated from the boat." The U.S. Coast Guard would conduct an operational evaluation of the vessel as a patrol boat in the Gulf of Mexico for the first six months before turning the SES over to the Navy. Mr. Halter said the company would continue to diversify its product line with innovative marine vessels and cited the Industrial Canal Division's new pressure vessel fabrication shop as an example of the firm's efforts to include other products. Halter is one of only two shipbuilders in the Gulf Coast area to be certified by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to build coded pressure vessels.

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