Pictures of Ships, Tugs, Off Shore Rigs, Barges, and those who work them


A Deck cargo carrier, specially designed to carry heavy modules and hull sections etc.:


The Normand Maximus is one of the largest and said to be one of the most sophisticated Subsea Construction Vessels in the world. Here is why:


That’s inbound inside the breakwater in the port of Constanta, Romania, incidentally. Meteor is a local tug.


The fore half of FPSO BW Catcher was built in Goseong. S.Korea and transported to Singapore for mating with the aft part, before being towed to the Catcher Field Offshore Norway on completion.
This video shows:

  • World’s heaviest transport by self-propelled modular transport (SPMT), with total 324 axles,
  • Lunching by Floating dock ,
  • Loading and transport from Korea to Singapore on HLV Osprey


PS> I’m a little surprised they did not show clearly that the transporters set the cargo on blocks in the floating dock and moved off before tow-out and submerging.

PPS> I don’t know much space was available at either side between the transporters and the blocks here, but I was involved in a loadout in Japan and discharging in Saudi Arabia of a 1500 m.t. module where the clearance on either side was 2".

The SPMT used in Saudi was especially impressive, since it had “balloon tiers” on all 64 axles and was able keep the bed level for roadless desert transport. It was nicknamed “Little Big Ben” and made 1.5 mph at max speed. (That was back in 1976)

The HLV used was very basic and only 2002 DWT, belonging to West India Line, West Palm Beach, Fl.
Not this one but a sister ship:


FPSO BW Catcher is now on location in the North Sea, offshore UK:


More pictures of the very versatile West India Line ships from the web:


Anybody here have any experience with this these ships, or this company??
I don’t know what happened to either of them.


For what it’s worth:


I have done a bit of research myself and found that WIL was wound up in 1987 when the last seven ships were sold to various parties:

Some of these ships are still around and trading in the Caribbean, but not as HLVs.

I found this interesting article by one of the Masters that was with WIL at the time, but I cannot recall if he was on any of the ships I was dealing with at the time:
Sounds like the discussion about waivers from the Jones Act was just as heated as today even back in the early 1970’s.

Carrying large Nuclear Reactor Vessel that had been loaded way up the Ohio River appears to have been a regular occurrence for WIL.The Danish-American WIL Superintendent showed me pictures of a discharging operation of one such Reactor Vessel on an exposed beach in Taiwan. Not many ships that could do such a thing, than or now.

We travelled around to different manufacturing sites in Japan in 1976-78 while loading different WIL ships with mostly large pressure vessels for Aramco’s Gas Gathering Project and modules for Desalination plants in Saudi Arabia. The trickiest was the pressure vessels, since they had been stress relieved and could not be touched withe a welding rod. All lashing was by wires and turnbuckles and without any pre-calculations or lashing plan.
I remember especially loading two Surge Bullets of 900 m.t. each on one of these 2002 DWT ships. The forward on was jammed up against the bow visire, while the aft one was sticking out several feet over the open stern. The distance between them was less then 2 ft. and the space between deck houses and the cargo was also less than 2 ft. (We had to move the ship under the cargo rather than trying to move the crane to get it in there)

I was the Warranty Surveyor (Known as “Surveyor-san”) for Aramco, which was still an American company at the time. Their budget for purchases from Japan was USD 5 Bln/yr. so expenses was fairly open ended. (The only way to travel in Japan) Their regular hotel in Tokyo was The Imperial and my travel to/from Singapore between jobs were in 1st Class.

I also came across an article about one of the Masters that did several trips between Japan and Saudi for Aramco:

Our regular port to carry out preparation and take on board lashing material etc. was Yokochi, near Nagoya. It became a tradition that when a WIL ship arrived, there would be Oxtail stew for lunch with the lashing gang invited.


Three newbuilt Maersk Supply AHTS of the new M-Class lined up at Kleven Yard:

The HLV Transshelf as new, in the colours of her original Russian owner:



I prefer the ice-capable variety:


Sad end to a sad old boat. I did a relief chief job on that thing in Bristol Bay many years ago, it was an interesting experience.


The boats that will towv the Aasta Hansreen SPAR from Stord to the location in the Norwegian Sea has been announced.

It is is an impressive show of force in terms of kW and BP:


This ship is 39 years old and still trading:
She still carry her open lifeboats.


Things are looking up in the OSV market.
The AHTS Island Vanguard has broken layup and was doing DP trials in the Borgundfjord, near Aalesund yesterday. Here she is, as seen from our balcony:

A closer look (Zoomed in):


From the same venue as above a few days ago.
A small coastal seiner got 10 tonnes of herring in a small bay called Norvevika, which is within the Port of Aalesund:


When I first started at ABS, I dealt with West India Line quite a bit. I can’t for the life of me remember the name of their Superintendent, and I believe that he was also one of the founders/owners. This was all in the late 80s and early 90s. I seem to recall carrying out a survey on the INAGUA BEACH sometime in the mid 90s, but I would have to go back and check my records (yeah, I have calendar books for all but the first couple of months that I was at ABS with every vessel/rig/shop visit, etc. . . ) I believe that all of the vessels were built in the US. Most quarters were below the main deck.


Yes the West India Line ships were built, owned and operated in USA, but flying Panama flag.
All officers and crew were from Caribbean countries.

They were very simple vessels, basically barges with a pointed bow and three Caterpillar engines, three propellers and rudders.

The crew accommodations were below deck, while the deck officers had their cabins in the Stbd. side superstructure, with the wheelhouse on top. The Engineers had their cabins in the port superstructure, with the winch control house on top. (controlling the bow visire and anchor windlasses)

Sometime we had to shore up the deck beams with wooden pillars from the double bottom to obtain sufficient point load strength. Those may end up in the Mess room, Galley, or even in the crew cabins.

I was offered the job as Superintendent/Loadmaster, but the condition was that I had to live in West Palm Beach to participate in cargo planning, writing procedures etc.

With a young family at the time I did not find it a viable proposition. I could not see the possibility of putting my wife and three kids down in a foreign land with no safety net around them, then go travelling for weeks on jobs anywhere in the world, sometime with no communication facilities.

I was actually doing just that, but with the family staying in Singapore, that was a very different proposition. Even then Singapore was a safe place, while little West Palm Beach had something like 7 murders a month and a thriving drug scene, with mugging and robberies commonplace.


I lived in South Florida in the 80s. Pretty sure that it had the same crime statistics as West Palm. . . to be honest, one can avoid being shot or mugged just by avoiding the areas where these crimes occur. I can say that I never had any problem with the thriving drug scene and was never mugged or robbed. . . often the statistics do not give an accurate picture of reality. But as usual, I digress. . . .


Safe for you, yes. Maybe also for your wife and family, who after all were in their own home country, knew the system and had ways and means to seek help, if they should encounter any problems.

I would have had no problem with living in West Palm Beach, if I was single.
What I did have problem with even contemplating was to take my wife (and kids) from Singapore, where she had family and friends, and put her into even a guarded house or flat then leave her alone (with three small kid), for maybe weeks on end there.

If you had been in my situation, would you move your family to a strange land, with far less security than what they were used to??


I lived in Lauderdale with my wife and child and had no qualms about leaving them, and in fact, did. No problems, no guard. . . and from there moved to the Houston area, arguably just as dangerous. Only one mugged was me, at a shopping mall near Christmas time. . . It is what we are used to. . .I would have had reservations about moving my family to Singapore. . . and chose NOT to move them to St Croix. . .