OCTOBER 31, 2017—Horizon Shipbuilding, Inc., Bayou La Batre, AL, has filed a voluntary petition for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Alabama, Mobile Division.
Travis Short, President, Horizon Shipbuilding, told Marine Log in a statement, “Horizon along with its customers and suppliers have contributed to bringing good value to the marine industry through its products and services. On October 24, 2017 in order to continue those efforts, [Horizon Shipbuilding] had to file for Chapter 11 reorganization due recent contract issues. With the sector level as it is we anticipate a moderate recovery.”
Horizon Shipbuilding was one of two shipyards selected to build a fleet of 150-passenger catamaran vessels in an unprecedented expansion of ferry service for New York City. The initial batch of Incat Crowther-designed boats for NYC Ferry by Hornblower were delivered in a compressed timeline and are in operation on the new ferry system that connects Manhattan with the Rockaways and the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.
While the new ferry system has proved extremely popular—it recently welcomed its 2 millionth passenger since the service started in May 2017—Horizon Shipbuilding suffered “revenue shortfalls” on the newbuilding program. Horizon Shipbuilding Vice President Lance Lemcool, said in a statement issued on Sept. 21, “Through the unparalleled commitment of Horizon’s boat builders, subcontractors and suppliers, all of the 2017 ferries” for the NYC Ferry project were delivered. “However, project revenues were not sufficient for Horizon to continue normal day to day operations. The forecasted shortfalls were brought to the forefront early in the project and discussions have been ongoing since then without resolution. Horizon will now take the time to reorganize its current projects and make every effort to regain its reputation with the vendors and subcontractors that help make up the Horizon Team.”
Meanwhile, the other builder selected by NYC Ferry to build six of the catamaran ferries for the New York City ferry service has prospered. From its new shipyard at Franklin, LA, Metal Shark delivered those six 150-passenger ferries on time between April and June of this year and was awarded another round of contracts by Hornblower in August for five additional ferries. The new ferries include four 97 ft, 350-passenger USCG Subchapter K boats—the Rockaway Class—and another 150-passenger catamaran ferry. All will be delivered in 2018 on an accelerated production schedule.