Mergers and Acquisitions

IMS, James Marine Form Subchapter M Joint Venture

Inland Marine Service (IMS) and James Marine have formed a new joint venture to assist vessel owners in complying with Subchapter M requirements. The venture, called Mavericks Towboat Solutions, was announced May 10 by Jeff James, president of James Marine, and Dave Hammond, president of IMS.

Mavericks will help vessel owners comply by refurbishing/repairing vessels to ensure they meet the new standards, or replace vessels with a new-construction program, and assisting with the sale of the non-compliant vessels.

“Mavericks is a unique collaboration that offers our clients the best of our companies combined,” explained Jeff James. “We are able to consult one-on-one with each client to meet their needs individually. Some clients simply need advice on how to quickly and effectively meet Sub M requirements. Others may prefer to sell non-compliant vessels for us to maintain. Regardless of an owner’s specific needs, we are able to provide help along the way.”

“We are excited for our new partnership with James Marine,” said Hammond. “We’ve found that many vessel owners are struggling to find a simple solution to Sub M compliance issues. Mavericks was formed from a desire to help. We saw a real need for someone to step in and offer guidance and assistance to those who are having difficulties. Inland Marine Service and James Marine are both family-owned companies; we have listened to the needs of our clients, and Mavericks is the result.”

Questions And Answers

The joint announcement listed what it called the four most common Subchapter M questions among vessel owners:

• Has our company determined which vessels in our fleet can be Sub M upgraded without being too cost prohibitive?

• Is it worth continuing to be in the maritime industry with the added costs associated with Sub M compliance (hiring safety and compliance personnel, safety and compliance software, additional training costs, survey and audit costs, Third-Party-Organization costs, drydocking costs and many others)?

• Is the “juice” worth the “squeeze”?—Is it worth the money required to upgrade the vessels in our fleet?

• What options do I have?

Mavericks says it can help clients answer these questions in several ways:

• Consulting and Identifying the Problem: Mavericks does the research to find what the shipyard costs will be to bring vessels into Sub M compliance. The company is then able to provide a suggested course of action that will be most beneficial to the client—bringing the vessels up to standard, selling the vessels, or a combination of both.

• Taking on Vessel Management: Mavericks takes on the responsibility of managing and operating those vessels to reduce the stress and costs of recruiting, managing day-to-day vessel ops, training, safety, compliance and more.

• Assuming Liabilities: Mavericks also takes on the burden of insurance liabilities of the crew and vessel fleet.

• Working alongside clients to plan for the future: To be competitive and maintain a sustainable business, Mavericks believes that building new vessels to replace those that are beyond refurbishing status is a viable option for vessel owners. Mavericks works with companies to make this happen. Over time, owners will relieve their company of older assets that are not Sub M compliant and replace the vessels with newer ones that meet Sub M compliance.

About James Marine, IMS

James Marine, headquartered in Paducah, Ky., is one of the largest shipyard providers in the U.S. with facilities strategically located from Paducah to New Orleans, La. Every day, James Marine teams survey, audit, document, inspect, repair and refurbish existing vessels. In addition, they have state-of-the-art new-construction and painting facilities.

Inland Marine Service, Hebron, Ky., is one of the largest vessel management providers in the U.S. The company’s many services include vessel management, planned maintenance, compliance management, harbor services, training, safety, and marine insurance.