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After 188 Years...............

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    After 188 Years...............

    After about 188 years of a shipyard located on Market St. in Jeffersonville, it looks like the end is near. Jeffboat announced to its employees today that the shipyard will "close for good" very soon, perhaps as early as April 2nd.
    There has been speculation for years that the land is much more valuable for condo development than it is for a shipyard operation. Jeffboat did not announce what they will do with the property.
    This is just the latest in a long string of inland shipyard closings.

    #2
    Very sad! Of course, we’ve seen the yard “close” before. Maybe they’l just move to another location?

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      #3
      Where's the closest shipyard that could handle a 104 year old steamboat? Does McGinnis below Taylorsport, KY. have equipment to handle the BELLE safely?

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        #4
        I would venture to say either South Point, OH or Paducah.

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          #5
          *JEFFBOAT closing a shock8
          Steamboating colleagues,
          I guess at times 'no news is good news' but the closure of JEFFBOAT hit me like a rock. Granted, there have been 'up' and 'down' years in the past but this sounds pretty definitive with effects soon to be felt economically, socially, culturally, politically. What will this nation due with similar ocean and inland shipyards and facilities closing one after the other? Jim, any figures on how many present employees were on the job and what will happen to them? Shutting down a big yard for a time different than totally shutting all down, equipment deteriorating, dispersal. This is not good.

          R. Dale Flick
          Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

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            #6
            I know nothing except what I've read in the papers.............it does look bleak for a shipyard to continue working in this location.
            It all started in the 1830's when John French began building boats there. James Howard bought the property in 1848 after he had to vacate the yard he had established across the river in Louisville.
            In the glory days of steamboats there were three yards located along the property which is now accupied by Jeffboat...Sweeny Bros. yard, Barmore yard and above them Howards. In the 1930's American Barge Line bought the old Sweeny yard (Howards had acquired the old Barmore Yard by that time) and started what was then Jeffersonville Boat and Machine Co.
            The Navy acquired all three properties and combined them into one continuous yard which ABL bought from the Navy after the war.

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              #7
              *More on JEFFBOAT closure*
              Steamboating colleagues,
              Hi, Jim. I just went on line calling up news on closure of JEFFBOAT and find a number of web sites covering all. American Commercial Lines (parent company) clearly confirms loss of 220 jobs from a once high level of 1,300 employees. Appears earlier layoffs began this last November. Stated one reason the fall in barge orders [which we know is cyclical]. Apparently awaiting the next 'high cycle' too risky. Also mentioned "thanking" all at local Teamsters 89 union. This is sad, very sad.

              There are plenty of 'possibly...could be...exploring use' of the yards present 65 acres with the usual 'mixed use with shopping, condos, entertainment etc.'--the well-worn formula for rescuing, re-purposing former industrial land and facilities. If the local job market so impacted by layoffs, where will they draw in the cheeky young professional millennial people with nice incomes to rent, build, buy upscale housing? I'd assume WATERWAYS JOURNAL will be bristling with news RE: JEFFBOAT.

              R. Dale Flick
              Old coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

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                #8
                Southern shipyards

                Obviously there will always be somewhat of a need for barges, and barge repair, and new towboats...But if you notice, many of these are being built in Louisiana or perhaps Mississippi shipyards, as have been the casino boats, the AQ, etc. I'm wondering if they are unionized, or otherwise just cheaper than Jeffboat???

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                  #9
                  I cannot say for sure about the southern yards and being unionized or not. I think both Louisiana and Mississippi are “right to work” states. I also think one reason Avondale went out of biz was the union. Judy, what about Todd? It looks like Trinity (ex-Nashville Bridge) in Ashland City is really the only remaining new-construction yard on the rivers, and while they do build a few dry cargo barges, their specialty there is big tank barges.

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                    #10
                    *Others yards in the south*
                    Morning, Steamboating colleagues,
                    Ummmm, Judy and Bob make sense RE: other leading yards in the south with factors of labor and "right to work states." They'd know better than me for sure. Question: What big yard in the south was closely linked to Congressman Trent Lott for so many years? Seems they landed a number of high level, lucrative defense contract work. What boats here will do a good question with JEFFBOAT going belly up. Those of you who know keep us posted.

                    R. Dale Flick
                    Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

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                      #11
                      Lott's yard

                      I think that was Ingalls in Mississippi.

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                        #12
                        You're right, Judy. It was Ingalls Shipyard.

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