November 20, 2000

Gulfmark in seven vessel newbuild program
GulfMark Offshore Inc., Houston, has signed a series of contracts with Aker Brattvaag of Norway to build four new supply vessels (PSVs) and three anchor handling tug supply vessels (AHTSs) at a total cost of approximately $148.0 million.

The seven vessel building program is designed, in part, to replace vessels recently sold by Sanko Steamship Co. that are currently under bareboat charter or management agreements with Gulfmark.

Tidewater Marine announced in October that it was buying four large anchor-handling, towing supply boats and four vesselslarge North Sea type platform supply vessels from Sanko.

Gulfmark says that on delivery and entry into service, the operating income contribution from the newly constructed vessels will be significantly greater than the operating income from the bareboat chartered/managed vessels being replaced in the fleet.

The delivery of the seven new vessels is scheduled to coincide with, or precede, the expiration of the bareboat charters and to replace boats that were under management agreements at the earliest possible date.

Gulfmark says that the newbuild program includes the potential, but not an obligation, to include the owners of the managed vessels as joint venture participants or owners of selected vessels.

When combined with the two vessels currently under construction (a UT755L scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2001 and a UT745 scheduled for delivery in the 1st quarter of 2002), a total of nine new vessels will be added to the Gulfmark fleet over a three year period at a total constructed cost of approximately $182.0 million.

The vessels specifications, scheduled delivery and approximate cost of the seven vessels are detailed below:

Vessel Delivery Cost
Vessel Type Length BHP DWT Date (Millions)
------ ------ ------ ------ ----- ------------- ---------
UT745 PSV 275' 9,600 4,320 1st Qtr. 2002 $19.0
UT755 PSV 220' 5,450 3,115 3rd Qtr. 2002 12.1
UT722L AHTS 260' 16,320 2,000 4th Qtr. 2002 29.2
UT755L PSV 236' 5,450 3,115 1st Qtr. 2003 14.6
UT755 PSV 220' 5,450 3,115 2nd Qtr. 2003 12.7
UT722L AHTS 260' 16,320 2,000 3rd Qtr. 2003 30.2
UT722L AHTS 260' 16,320 2,000 4th Qtr. 2003 30.2
--------- Total $148.0

Gulfmark president and COO Bruce Streeter said, "`We are excited that we can replace the vessels which have or will be lost from our fleet at prices which are at a discount to those currently being paid for similar vessels less than five years old. The vessel specifications were carefully developed considering recent market changes and involved consultation with two of the owners of vessels under management. We believe the mix of vessels will not only meet our customer requirements, but will also allow us to provide a full range of vessel services to the expanding deepwater markets of the world. By packaging the group of seven vessels, we believe we were able to gain favorable pricing, as well as a timely delivery schedule."

He added that the favorable terms of the progress payments on the seven new vessels will minimize cash outflow for the program until the vessels are delivered. Estimated payments related to the program are $5.9 million in 2000, $12.2 million in 2001, $57.0 million in 2002 and $72.9 million in 2003. The funding required for this new construction program should come from cash on hand, anticipated cash flow from operations over the three year construction period and funds available from the company's existing $75.0 million line of credit.''

Hvide buys "hotshot boats"
Hvide Marine Inc.last week announced an agreement to purchase two modern 152-foot crewboats from Crewboats, Inc. The purchase price for the two vessels, which will join HMI's Seabulk Offshore fleet in the Gulf of Mexico, is $5 million. Hvide expects to take delivery of one vessel in December 2000 and the second in May 2001.

"These are the 'hotshot boats' of the offshore industry,'' commented Hvide president and CEO Gerhard E. Kurz, "and they command day rates of $3,500 and up in today's market, where focus is shifting to the deepwater and a premium exists for fast, reliable delivery of vital parts and supplies. The advantage of this transaction is the prospect of immediate earnings in a rising market, rather than waiting the 12-18 months it takes to deliver the average newbuild.''

Built by Breaux's Bay Craft, the vessels -- also known as fast supply boats -- generate 4,400 base horsepower and are capable of speeds up to 25 knots versus the 10-knots capability of larger, conventional supply vessels. Seabulk Offshore currently operates four sister vessels, also built by Breaux's Bay, that are currently operating in the U.S. Gulf and Mexico. Seabulk Offshore is one of the largest operators of oilfield support vessels in the Gulf of Mexico with a domestic fleet of 26 supply vessels and 34 crew/utility boats. Worldwide, Seabulk Offshore operates a fleet of 182 vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, South America, West Africa, the Middle East, Southeast and Southwest Asia, and the Mediterranean.

Second coastal cruise ship named
Just five months after the shipyard launch of Delta Queen Coastal Voyages’ first vessel, the second ship in the new fleet was last week christened at Atlantic Marine, Inc.,Jacksonville, Fla.

The 226-passenger coastal vessel will inaugurate nine cruise itineraries featuring the Great Lakes, Canadian Maritime Provinces and U.S. eastern seaboard in 2001. The ship launched last week, the cv Cape Cod Light, will debut Aug. 4; its sister ship, the cv Cape May Light, will enter service May 5.

Roderick K. McLeod, president and chief operating officer of the parent company, American Classic Voyages Co., said, "The shipyard launch of the Cape Cod Light marks another step forward in AMCV’s growth initiatives, and underscores its commitment to rekindle the American shipbuilding industry."

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