By Mark Edward Nero
On Nov. 29, Louisiana-based Conrad Shipyard held a keel Laying Ceremony for four “Kāpena Class” tugs now under construction for Hawaii-based Young Brothers, Ltd.
On hand for the ceremony was Young Brothers President Glenn Hong; John Parrott, President of Young Brothers’ sister company Foss Maritime; and Tim Engle and Mark Tabbutt with Saltchuk, the parent company of both.
Also attending and delivering remarks were Kommer Damen, Chairman and CEO of Damen Shipyard, and Jim Watson, President of ABS Americas. Several local officials were also present, including Morgan City, Louisiana Mayor Frank Grizzaffi III. Conrad Shipyard Senior Vice President Dan Conrad served as moderator.
Young Brothers, based in Honolulu, is Hawaii’s largest interisland transportation company. Hong explained that the word Kāpena means Captain in Hawaiian and each of the four vessels is to be named after a legendary tug Captain from Young Brothers’115-year history.
The 6,000-horsepower, 123-foot by 36.5-foot vessels are designed to match Young Brothers’ fleet of modern high capacity barges, which were delivered from 2007 to 2010. The tugs are to be built to Damen Stan 3711 design and would be powered by General Electric, 8L250MDC, EPA Tier 4 emissions compliant engines using exhaust gas recirculation.
“We are investing to serve the Hawaiian Islands for decades into the future,” Hong said. “Young Brothers is a company with a long tradition of giving back to the communities we serve, and we are delighted to join with Conrad, a company with a matching philosophy.”
Hong also shook the hands of the members of the shipbuilding team and praised them for their reputation for quality and craftsmanship.
“We wish you well as you bring these ships to life,” he told them.