Thoughts on Measly Jones Act Wind Farm Tonnage

Below is a list of all Jones Act qualifying vessels specifically designed to support offshore wind, including those under contract. Any thoughts? Am i missing any vessels in the list? It seems to me we are building an excessive amount of CTVs (Crew Transfer Vessels), and not nearly enough of any other type, notably WTIVs.

Timothy Axelsson from Liberty Green thinks for Biden’s 30 GW goal to be completed by 2030 we’ll need 45 CTVs and 6-15 SOVs

I understand Crowley is planning to get into the SOV side of things.

What are we doing for WTIVs? One on order, and wasn’t there another one at one point a years or two ago that was cancelled?

I believe Empire Wind is going to use a foreign flag Maersk WTIV being built in Singapore with a Kirby feeder barge setup.


They may use a few token Jones act vessels, but I think it will be mostly foreign vessels doing the actual construction work. Looks like they plan to use Jones Act CTVs.

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It seems you are missing in the list the 6 new CTV Atlantic Wind Transfers is building at St. Johns Shipbuilding in FL, although you do have a reference link at the bottom.
Also I believe the operator/owner for Vineyard Wind is now Liberty Maritime, not Patriot Offshore.

Any foreign vessel engaged in building US offshore wind in state or federal waters , or the US EEZ should be required to reflag US, and employ US crew.

Is that reciprocal?
I.e. “Any US-flag vessel engaged in Offshore Oil & Gas, or Offshore Wind activity in foreign EEZs should be required to reflag to whichever country’s waters they are working in at the time.”

PS> Or at least engage national crews, incl. Master, if retaining US- flag.

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Canada requires that boats working in Canada hire national union crews unless it’s just a very short term thing. I’ve noticed that the European OSV companies reflag their boats working in Canada to Canadian flag.

It should be the same way in the US offshore oil patch.

When it comes to offshore wind, I don’t really care what they do elsewhere. If American taxpayers and electric ratepayers are going to subside renewables, which we already are, then the jobs from building offshore wind must go to Americans at top wages. Otherwise, offshore wind should not be built. Period.

North America has enough oil to meet North American needs for at least 50 years, and enough gas for at least 100 years. Probably a lot longer. There is no need to rush into expensive offshore wind.

Roof top solar electricity and passive solar heating are the renewables that make the most economic sense and are the most practical to build in the US. That should the focus of renewables subsidies.

Nuclear needs to be developed as the primary source of electricity in the US. We need hundreds of small new nuclear plants of proven standard design, similar to those used in US warships. Within another 100 years a technological solution will be found to the safe reprocessing of nuclear waste.


If the money became good enough, I believe many current oilfield vessels would transition especially subsea construction, ROV, and possible some of the crew boats. From what I’ve heard, the day rates are almost 1/3 of what current GOM oil and gas day rates are. If that is the case, it doesn’t matter how many boats are built because very few will want to crew them.


The few offshore wind jobs that I’ve heard about offer a bottom of the barrel day rate. Obviously, they have no interest in hiring American mariners. They want European officers (about 2/3rds the cost of US) and Filipino ratings that work for almost nothing. It’s the same old scam.

I don’t think the US is rushing into Offshore Wind. The europeans and chinese have spent most of the money figuring out how to do it. One modern turbine produces more power than the entirety of the first offshore wind farm combined. Plus its a great way to diversify the Jones act fleet. Oil goes up and down considerably. Wind farm maintenance will be needed for the lifespan of the farm.

I’m sure the CTV pay is less than say an oil rig, but that’s not a fair comparison. BP is a 50% partner in Empire wind. Sure they want to be “green”, but they will be doing everything possible to make sure they make the same $ per unit of energy as the oil fields. Energy is their thing, they will find a way to make good profits on it, whether its oil, gas, hydrogen, wind, etc. Some of thats got to trickle down to us mariners

How long is “very short term”? Many CSVs etc. take on assignment all over the world, incl. Canada and the US. Some assignments may be for a few weeks to a few months, before they move on to the next job somewhere else in the world. It would be impractical, or even unsafe, to changing crew. or flag for every move.

For longer term charter Owners may choose to set up local subsidiaries and re-flag the ships for the duration, as they do in Canada, (and US Owners do all over the world)
Why does this not happen in the US? Well, the “US built” requirement makes this impossible for vessels working in the oil&gas or offshore wind market.
PS> As you well know, it happens all the time in the US Deep Sea fleet where “US-built” is not a requirement.

What nationalities of Europeans are you referring to? Big difference between the East and West and even North and South Europeans.

The wages paid to various rank from various parts of the world per 2020 is presented here:

PS> This is for cargo carrying ships in international trade, not Offshore vessels

But it does NOT show what those same crew ranks/nationalities cost the Owners when other expenses are included, or what the crewmember can purchase for those wages in his home country.

There is also a big difference between “Crew wagers” and “Crew cost” as explained on this article (and how it is statistically presented):

The article is from 1985, but not much has changed in the way things are done, statistically.

New opinion piece in the Boston Globe entitled

“Kill The Jones Act.”

I got a few questions:
How should this be done within US Law, international regulations and agreements?

Can a foreign entity register an offshore vessel under US flag?
If so, will the vessel be allowed to carry out work both within Stat, Federal and EEZ waters without restrictions?

If the vessel is not US built and owned how could it become JA compliant?
If not JA compliant, will it be able to pick up tools and equipment from a US port to perform the tasks it is intended to perform? (Or even move anything between fields?)

When the job(s) in the US is completed (after a few months?) the vessel is heading for her next job somewhere else in the world. Should there be another flag and crew change?

Do you think other countries should accept US-flag vessels with US crew operating in their waters, or should they follow your lead?

Ask Maersk how it’s done.

Maersk is a big player in US Jones Act and US flag international shipping (carrying US Government cargos).

Maersk intends to be a big player in US offshore wind. It plans to use Danish flag vessels with Danish crews. Certainly they would reflag US and hire US crew if they had to.

Ask your fellow Norwegians how they do it in Canada.

I’m out of date, but last I knew Secunda Canada had a Norwegian CEO, Norwegian investors, Norwegian built OSVs reflagged Canadian, and exclusively Canadian citizen or Canadian Permanent Resident crews.

Actually, There are more Norwegians living in the US than there are in Norway. The same could be said about Swedes, Finns, Danes, Irish, and probably Dutch.

There are quite a few Norwegian, and other European, mariners that are US Citizens. Only officers need to be US citizens on US vessels (about the same as NOR vessels?), ratings merely need to have US Permanent Residence (Greencards).

As I understand it, offshore wind in Europe is mostly staffed by EU and UK citizens.

I’m told (don’t know if it’s true) that so far most of the US offshore wind installation has used Dutch vessels.

I don’t know the nuts and bolts of how a US flag requirement for offshore wind would be implemented. I just know that it would be done if were required in order to operate I. The US Offshore Wind market.

What other countries choose to do in their domestic offshore wind industry is up to them. They can allow or exclude foreign vessels and crews as they see fit.

The only full farm in the us is Block Island, they uses a maltese flagged Fred Olsen (Norway) vessel Brave Tern completes installation of the Block Island wind farm

Doesn’t Maersk use MSP to finagle their way into us flag shipping?

No, they put a few of their smaller ships under US flag through their US subsidiary (MLL) because of the attractive “incentives” offered, long contracts and guaranteed high paying “preferencial cargo”. MML has been active in the US for 40 years:

PS> So does several other large foreign shipping companies.
Just look at the MSP Fleet Lost for 2022:

Already addressed above. Don’t know if they are active in JA trade (??)

You are up to date; Norwegian Owners, Norwegian built OSVs but Canadian flag and crew.
Would that be allowed under JA and OCS Act for work in US Offshore Wind, or O&G?

PS> The ethnic background of the crew is immaterial in shipping

But aren’t the MLL ships all in MSP? And a bunch of APL vessels + others on that list, but they are all foreign flag right?, and are just using MSP to get into the lucrative US flag market?

My understanding is that CMA CGM wanted to get into the us market so they bought APL and used foreign built -and now French owned- ships. All done by use of MSP as a loophole. (With US mariners)

What if MARAD expands MSP to offshore wind…WTIVs or something? That would allow an avenue for foreign built and foreign owned vessels to be crewed and flagged in the US. This would solve @tugsailor 's (and many others) point that U.S. offshore wind should be exactly that - “US”.
These vessels could be technically “US owned” for legal purposes with a structure similar to APL and MLL.

Secunda is owned by Siem

APL was taken over by the Singapore national flag carrier Neptun Orient Line, which in turn was bought by CMA CGM :

The few ships (9) in the “lucrative” US fleet had little to do with it:

Majority of the APL fleet are NOT US-flagged and are still managed from Singapore:

PS> All ships in the MSP fleet are US-flag IFAIK.