Having just christened a new towboat last fall and soon to christen another one—in addition to moving to new headquarters—Dupre Marine Transportation continues to steadily grow.
A family-owned and -operated marine towing company, Dupre Marine christened the mv. Jerry Porche last September. The next new towboat will be similar in size and will be dedicated this fall. First, though, the growing company will be moving its headquarters to a new building close to its existing office in Houma, La.
Exterior framing has been completed on the structure, which is located on Valhi Boulevard, a short distance from the current office on Hollywood Road. The move-in date is anticipated to be sometime in June. The headquarters building will encompass 10,679 square feet in two stories and house the company’s executive, administrative and sales personnel, and all shoreside staff. Dupre Marine had been at the previous site for 5-1/2 years, before finally outgrowing it.
Mv. Jerry Porche
The new towboat Jerry Porche was built by Intracoastal Iron Works, also in Houma. It measures 72 by 30 feet with a draft of 10 feet and an eye level of 29 feet. It has 2,000 hp. from a set of Cummins QSK-38M1 diesel engines turning 74- by 60-inch Sound propellers through Twin Disc MGX 5321 reduction gears at a ratio of 6.3:1.
The boat’s steering and flanking rudders are controlled by an EMI steering system. The engines are cooled by grid coolers. There is tankage for 18,000 gallons of fuel and 10,430 gallons of potable water.
The three-deck vessel contains four staterooms for a crew of four to five. Auxiliary power is supplied by two Cummins QSB-7 70 kw. generators. A full suite of navigation and communication equipment in the pilothouse features two Simrad Halo 3 Pulse Compression radars, an eight channel DVR, four wide angle cameras, two PTZ Outdoor 4x zoom cameras, and a Simrad V5035 Class A AIS transponder system. On deck are two 40-ton Nabrico electric winches.
The Jerry Porche is the seventh vessel in Dupre Marine’s fleet and the third new build. The company named it for the father of Alva Dupre, who is the wife of the company’s owner and president, Rory Dupre.
Rory started the company with one 600 hp. boat in 2001 after spending several years right out of high school working shoreside in the offshore market, he said in a videotape of his remarks at the christening.
Speaking about the volatility of the marine business, he credits his success to a stroke of good fortune during a downturn several years ago that he said led him to Kirby Inland Marine, for whom he today successfully tows red flag barges. “You can know everything there is to know about what’s going on,” he said, “but in order to succeed, you have to have a little luck.”
The next towboat, his fourth new build, will also be 72 by 30 feet and have 2,000 hp. It is under construction at Intracoastal Iron Works, as well, and will be named the mv. Everard Dupre.
“We’re very proud of our growth,” Dupre said, “from a small 600 hp. boat that was so small it would rock when you set foot in it to a fleet made up of five 2,000 hp. towboats, a 1,650 hp. boat and a 1,450 hp. boat. These are exciting times.”