OSV Companies Running Out of Options


HOS Bayou was retrofitted from a STX / VARD Tigershark 302 after delivery from Eastern. She’s absolutely configured for the GOM market, though could be an intermediate weight IMR vessel anywhere else working in up to 3000m of depth. She’s got power to spare with the addition of an aux machine room to support the 150 mt crane and the ROV’s. The retrofit included client accommodations for 20 above her internal 50. Bulbous bows don’t do anything for fuel consumption when you’re working, ie on DP, and transits in her designated operations area are relatively short.

Olympic Delta may have a lot of crew comfort but she’s got about half the crane capacity, half the dead weight, a third of the deck cargo, and 500m less wire.


Some get more, some getting 40 a day or more


Tried to find some info on HOS Bayou, but a lot of the information was just copied straight from the spec sheet of a regular HOSMAX 310.

I don’t understand why the HOSMAX 310 MPSV is designed with staterooms for 4 persons, when a Vard ROV 06 CD of comparable size has accommodations for 80 persons in single cabins. Is the HOSMAX 310 MPSV intentionally designed to have shitty accommodation for the crew and clients?

The HOS Bayou has a Deck load rating of 5 MT/m3 compared to Olympic Delta with 10 MT/m3, that alone would hamper a lot of work.


Yes. American vessels are intentionally designed with shitty crew’s quarters and comforts, because Too many American owners hate their crews. These owners figure that all a crewman needs is a paycheck, a bunk, a can of beans, and a warm place to shit. Owners resent that they have to pay crew so much, when they could hire third world crews at a quarter of the cost. They’ll be damned if they are going to give the crews anything they don’t have to


I don’t know if you were trying to be sarcastic or not but what you say is the truth.


Agreed. Dont know why, but American sensibilities are that work has to be rugged and bare bones. Anything more than bare minimum is unacceptable. My personal opinion, it goes all the way back to frontier/cowboy culture of the American psyche. Work has to be incredibly hard, and you have to sacrifice, otherwise you’re just a needy little baby.


Thanks tugsailor
Good point but lets stop dancing around and put it like it is. You need to know some southern history and the quality of the original crews in the GOM to truly understand why ships built for gulf trade are so sparse. Look at the owner worker relation in the south during the civil war and cary it forward you can start to see some patterns, look at the level of education available in the early days of the gulf in the deep south.

Just my opinion but "JoeBoss "still rings true in the gulf.


everyone here knows my feelings towards Joe however it think he does deserve a small degree of forgiveness for the comfort of the vessels he builds. I believe the quality of the vessels he builds now for the offshore service are more comfortable to his crews than in the past and certainly comfortable enough. The Norwegians on the otherhand have some perverse need to outfit their offshore vessels like cruiseships which is unnecessary. With today’s downturn would you as an owner want to be sitting on a vessel which cost $40M to build or one which cost $75M? Maybe when times are booming, having extremely expensive vessels might be all fine and good but then they suck like now, it makes much more sense to have their philosophy of not spending more to build his vessels that he must. They are workboats afterall built and outfitted to work.


C’mon man … that just validates the stupid “work is supposed to be hard” mentality. How come CEOs and other hacks have such plush offices when all they really need is a desk with a phone and maybe a computer?


In general, people in the office really dislike and resent mariners. First of all, mariners “make way too much money,” and the “smart,” educated, people in the office with college degrees, nice clothes, expensive hairdos, and good make-up, really resent that. They cannot understand why mariners make twice as much money as they do. They are certainly worth a lot more than any stupid boat driver.

Since mariners are so ridiculously overpaid, they ought to be made to suffer out there on the boats and at least earn some of those big bucks the hard way.

While there are good companies, good owners, and good office people, there are too many that have have a really bad attitude toward their mariners.


what? like I am going to put a yacht interior into the DAUNTLESS to do government research work? Does my crew need that interior with private facilities in each one man cabin? No, they get what they get with is a bunk, toilet, can of cold beans and a paycheck (if I don’t go bankrupt before I send out the payroll).


[quote=“c.captain, post:51, topic:45461”]
Does my crew need that interior with private facilities in each one man cabin?
[/quote]Why not though? It sure would help. Look, I can and have worked just fine in pretty rotten living conditions, but why should it continue that way? Any many vessels I’ve worked the last several years, the majority of cabins held two people and you mostly got matched up with the person who was on watch when you were not. Not all cabins were like that, but the majority of cabins were. And it’s not just because they were large ships, those owners still wanted to maximize space for the things that paid the bills.


Look at the vessels that are able to find work in today’s market. It is either the old boats that is able to offer low dayrates because they have been paid for and written down to zero years ago and don’t have much in terms of finance costs. Those are attractive to charters that only look at daily rates and don’t consider fuel consumption in actual working conditions, or efficiency for the work they are supposed to perform.
The other vessels in demand are the highly efficient multipurpose vessels that also happen to have crew comfort as one of their main criteria. (Much to your indignation, those are mostly Norwegian designed, built or owned)

I also agree with Miek. I had the “honour” of working with an American mudboat company in S.E.Asia already in 1970 and can vouch for the standard of education.
I was engaged as “Navigator” because the American Skippers could not navigate and most couldn’t even read and write. My job was to go on board any of the boats that was going somewhere where you couldn’t see land, or platforms.
I quit after abt. 2 1/2 month, when I was asked by the Marine Department in Singapore how I could be serving on 5 boats simultaneously? Copies of my then near brand new Master FG license were presented whenever a boat from that company was leaving Singapore, since Singapore did not accept Masters without license, regardless of which flag.

The boats were built and equipped to be manned by the locally available crews and therefore had to be as simple as possible. I though that was a well known fact among the older member on this forum at least.

Not to tease anybody, but I just posted pictures of a modern AHT of the Norwegian type in another thread.


It’s not just the GULF. Compare the average fishing boat in Alaska to the average tugboat. Fishing boats are very well equipped with nice wheel houses. The crew quarters are pretty good, if often cramped. They have good internet, and the owners spend to make the crew as comfortable as possible. The tugboats are pretty much the same old Gulf rejects that they bought 20 years ago with little effort to update the boats and make them more comfortable. Internet? You’ve got to be kidding.

Yes. The bigger companies, and better small companies, have built some nice new boats with crew comforts and Internet, but not most of the companies.


Agreed, i’m not bashing Joe boat company owner whoever just pointing out a mind set that exists in the GOM offshore industry.


Yes. Southern Joe Boss still thinks that boat crew are just his slaves, and must be kept in their place — by making them live in the poor conditions that they deserve.

But don’t worry, Southern Joe Boss has some Yankee cousins up north that aren’t much better.


For fuck sake how many of y’all have worked on a new OSV in the gulf lately?

First off the vessels aren’t crewed to where all 50 bunks are full. For the most part everyone has their own room I know this is true on my boat. No one shares a stateroom here but some rooms have to share a head.

My stateroom has a double bed, 46 inch flat screen with direct TV, plenty of floor space and my own head. The captain’s room is twice the size of mine with a couch and recliner. The 3rd a/e across the hall from me prolly has the most shittiest laid out room. Even tho it’s a four man room it still has satellite TV and it’s own head. The soundproofing is so good the thrusters have to be over 60% before I hear them. Hell most of the time I feel the boat vibrate as they rev up but barely hear them. We have wifi on every deck I don’t think anyone is suffering the horrendous conditions y’all make it out to be.

Unless some other boat company used Torquemada & Sons Naval Archeticture firm to design their boats what the fuck am I missing?

I don’t give a shit wether the boat has a 1000 sq ft Turkish bath space. I don’t care about hot tubs or saunas or vibrating recliners. I’m more than comfortable while I’m off watch. Contrary to a certain someone’s beliefs these aren’t the same living quarters design from the 70’s. I’ve worked 1970’s and 80’s boats at Turdwater. The vessels built in the last 15 years keep getting better and better as far as crew comfort. Y’all need to fuckin get a grip and maybe ride one of these things before you make some of these comments. Is it as nice as a brand new square head boat? No it’s not but it also isn’t as shitty as an old 1970’s tug boat.


Oh Steamer…I am saddened to hear this coming from a mariner like yourself to which I say what is wrong with hard work? look at all these newby baby mates right out of school who get plunked down on a bridge to sit in front of screens all day? this then becomes their norm that they accept as their due never having a paint brush or needlegun stuck in their hands or made to rebuild valve actuators or troubleshoot tank level sensors? Hell, most of these kids can barely tie three different knots let alone be able to make an eye splice. To them the whole job is to know how to update the ENC charts in the ECDIS and install a new route from Waypoint for Windows. Let’s not even get started on DP operators. Utterly useless as a working vessel officer who should be as good of a seaman as any AB aboard. Most couldn’t pass muster as an OS. I am not so hard on the engineers although I image many new assistants are also getting soft around the middle too. Sitting in a controlroom in front of screens instead of making rounds and actually operating the machinery manually does not make for much ability to troubleshoot and repair when suddenly it ain’t running right.

No, work at sea should be hard so the people gain knowledge, learn new skills and develop abilities. And being so EFFING comfortable while aboard is only playing into the opposite result.


[quote=“Fraqrat, post:57, topic:45461, full:true”]
For fuck sake how many of y’all have worked on a new OSV in the gulf lately[/quote]

I know right?
I’ll just have to slug along with my head held low and knuckles dragging the deck with my measly 3 sound proof crew lounges, a fully functional and furnished conference room, dirty mess room, locker room, exercise room and air conditioned machinery compartments. No more than 2 man rooms and the 3 senior officers have attached day rooms. I should just delete and burn the habitability and green passport certificates. We’re just not civilized because we don’t have the sauna and bidets. I’m calling dollar shave club right now because this ain’t nothing but a wasted heap of razor blades due to the subchapter L classification, US flag and mud tanks.


Sounds like quite an adventure, do you need a Chief Officer :smiley: or was it 2nd Captain?