Service Marine—A Full Service Yard For The Passenger Vessel Market

Louisiana Yard Designs, Engineers & Constructs Variety Of Sophisticated Excursion Boats Based in Morgan City, Louisiana, Service Marine Industries, Inc., is a complete yard that offers vessel owners a wide range of custom design, engineering, construction and interior decorating services to meet the needs of a particular operation.

Incorporated in December 1985, Service Marine Industries has rapidly built a reputation for quality workmanship and on-time delivery.

"Quality workmanship is one of our principles," said Tom R.

Hensley, president of Service Marine Industries. "We stand behind our products 100 percent and we always do what we say we'll do," he added.

One shining example of Service Marine's workmanship is the 600- passenger dinner/cruise boat Annabel Lee, a replica paddlewheeler built for Heritage Cruise Lines, Richmond, Va.

Mr. Hensley called the Annabel Lee "a 90-day miracle," because that's how long the vessel took to construct. "We always deliver on or ahead of schedule," he said.

Although she is powered by a pair of rebuilt Detroit Diesel 8V-92 diesel engines rated at 310 hp at 1,800 rpm, the Annabel Lee's charm stems from her 19th century paddlewheeler appearance. She features two fully enclosed decks and a partially covered open air top deck called the "Texas Deck." Fully carpeted and air conditioned, the Annabel Lee has an overall length of 108 feet, beam of 34 feet and draft of 3 feet 9 inches. She operates regularly on the James River, making 12 scheduled cruises per week, as well as special charters.

The enclosed decks of the Annabel Lee are accentuated by large arched picture windows which provide passengers with an excellent view of the scenery along the river.

"The arched tops may be a small touch, but they complement the rest of the boat's design very well," said Mr. Hensley.

Naval architects and marine engineers DeJong & Lebet, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., who provided stability and structural engineering for the Annabel Lee and the Spirit of Norfolk, which is currently under construction at Service Marine, worked closely with the Morgan City yard on the conversion of the 600-passenger dinner cruise/excursion vessel Cape Ann.

Transformed from a utility vessel that was used in the offshore oil industry, the Cape Ann presented quite a challenge from an engineering standpoint, as a result of the limited amount of weight that could be added to the vessel due to its heavy workboat construction.

The conversion project took approximately four months to complete, with Service Marine performing the majority of work. Service Marine added new steel deckhouses, performed blasting and painting, miscellaneous piping and hull work and drydocked the vessel for underwater gear work.

Operated by A.C. Cruise Line, Inc. of Boston, Mass., the 116-foot Cape Ann carries a stability letter for 600 passengers on protected waters, and 400 passengers on partially protected waters. She features a fully enclosed main deck, an enclosed second deckhouse with an open deck all around the perimeter, and a completely open third deck.

The vessel, with a beam of 26 feet, depth of 10 feet 6 inches and full load draft of 7 feet 3 inches, has a great deal more open deck space than most dinner cruise vessels. Opperating on day-long excursion trips up the Massachusetts coastline from Boston to Gloucester, the Cape Ann has a dinner seating capacity of about 240.

In early 1988, the Louisiana boatbuilder delivered the elegant 600- passenger cruise boat Bay Lady (see this month's cover) to operator Baltimore Harbor Bay Tours, Ltd., Baltimore, Md., for dinner cruise/excursion service on the Chesapeake Bay.

Unlike the Annabel Lee, however, the Bay Lady has a sleek yacht-like hull shape and is designed for luxury harbor cruising. The 140-footlong boat features fine interior appointments throughout, including custom bars with back lighting, polished brass fixtures and teakwood accents. A sophisticated atmosphere is created by the use of mirrors and an excellent sound system. Passengers are kept comfortable by Carrier air conditioning, and outside glare is reduced by the use of tinted glass.

A sub-chapter T vessel, she is powered by a pair of Cummins 300- hp NT-855 diesel engines, which are fitted with Nelson exhaust silencers to reduce engine noise.

The partially covered top deck of the three-deck Bay Lady can accommodate 275 passengers, while her lower deck can handle 320 persons.

Currently under construction at Service Marine is the Spirit of Norfolk, a dinner cruise/excursion boat based on a sleek megayacht design.

The new boat, which is being built for Cruise International, Norfolk, Va., will have an overall length of 175 feet, beam of 35 feet and will be able to accommodate almost 500 passengers.

The Spirit of Norfolk is based on the concept of Richard O'Leary, president and founder of Cruise International, who envisioned a vessel similar to Italian yacht design. Service Marine designers evolved his concepts into an ultramodern megayacht.

She will be powered by two Caterpillar 3408 DITA B Series 430 diesel engines and cruise a speeds of about 10 knots.

"We design and build a variety of boats, both in style and size," said Mr. Hensley. "Our customers find us flexible and easy to work with and we are constantly searching for ways to better serve the passenger boat market," he added.

For free literature fully detailing the boatbuilding services offered by Service Marine Industries, Circle 55 on Reader Service Card

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 42,  Jan 1989

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.