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.

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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.”