Troy Bernier, an associate at Maritime Partners, christens the towboat named in his honor. (Photos by Frank McCormack)
Boats & Barges

Maritime Partners Christens Mv. Troy Bernier

With the July 28 christening of the mv. Troy Bernier, Metairie, La.-based Maritime Partners LLC (MP) honored one of the company’s bright young leaders, 28-year-old associate Troy Bernier.

Speaking at the christening ceremony, Bick Brooks, co-founder and CEO Maritime Partners, said he first met Bernier when Bernier was just in high school and traveled to New York with Jack Nash, Brooks’ cousin, for a visit. Bernier and Nash were close friends and boarding school classmates.

Brooks recalled how Bernier, who had “braces and about a 130-pound frame” at the time, still had a “strong sense of self confidence, to say the least.”

“Fast forward about eight years,” Brooks said, and Jack and Troy were college roommates approaching graduation. Maritime Partners, founded in 2015, was still a small operation, with Brooks and Austin Sperry, co-founder and chief operating officer, “trying to cobble deals together,” Brooks said. Nash, working remotely while in school, was serving as MP’s chief technology officer and helping with some market research.

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“As Troy’s senior spring approached, Troy must have heard that Jack was doing some work for us, because I got an email from,” Brooks said. “The gist of the message was, ‘Hey, Bick, Jack told me that you’re doing some interesting things at MP, and I think that’s really interesting. I graduate this summer, and I’d love to help out on some projects.’”

Brooks replied, “Thank you for the interest, but we don’t have need for help right now.”

But according to Brooks, the Nash-Bernier team would not be deterred.

“Jack, our chief technology officer, clearly wanted a colleague, because two weeks later I got an email from that said, ‘Hey, Bick, thanks for the opportunity to work at Maritime Partners. Let me know what I can do to help out.’”

At that, the crowd gathered for the christening burst into laughter.

“So I missed the initial hiring discussion,” Brooks said, “but working with Troy over the last five years has been an absolute joy.

His personality is ingrained in the lifeblood of our firm. He does what it takes to get the job done, and he is as loyal as they come.”

Sperry praised both Bernier and Nash for their dedication to the company, which goes all the way back to Maritime Partners’ earlier days.

“These guys kept asking for things to do, very proactive and really wanted to be part of the team,” Sperry said. “They’d help us set up computers in the beginning. They’d go look for opportunities, try to support Bick and me as best they could. That just shows the kind of people they are that they were so keen to be involved from day one when we couldn’t pay them. As soon as we could, we brought them right down.”

Exactly four years prior to the mv. Troy Bernier christening, on July 28, 2019, Bernier and Nash moved to New Orleans. That first 24 hours didn’t go quite as planned, Sperry said.

“Troy comes into my office the day after his first night and says, ‘Austin, I’ve got a problem,’” Sperry recalled. “I said, ‘Dude, you’ve been here 24 hours. What kind of problem can you have?’ He says, ‘Well, something happened to my car.’”

As it turns out, Bernier, who hadn’t yet received a parking pass for his apartment in New Orleans’ Warehouse District, parked on the street the night before. When he walked out the following morning, though, his car was gone.

“Long story short,” Sperry said, “a woman sees him looking a little lost. She says, ‘Sir, they’re doing a lot of construction here. There were some accidents last night. Let me show you the security footage.’”

The video from the night before showed a cement truck driving down the street and stopping, with the driver getting out of the truck. However, the driver apparently forgot to put the truck in park.

“The truck just drives over his car and smushes it,” Sperry said. “Then, local New Orleans police officers figured it was stolen because it had out of town license plates, so they towed it.”

The unfortunate incident, though, had a positive resolution, Sperry said, with the cement company covering the loss of the vehicle.

Bernier has excelled in the years since, particularly with his role developing Maritime Partners’ forthcoming hydrogen-powered towboat, Hydrogen One, and his recent promotion from analyst to associate.

“He’s a bright star of the firm, and I’m looking forward to working alongside him for years to come,” Sperry said. “It’s been an honor working with you, and I’m really proud of you.”

Before going aboard his namesake vessel to break a bottle of champagne over its rail, Bernier addressed the crowd, offering thanks to those who have played a part in his life and career.

“First and foremost, I’d like to thank everyone who made this possible,” he said. “To everyone at C&C Marine who spent countless hours constructing this vessel, to our vendors and service providers who made this vessel into a proper workboat, to everyone at Maritime Partners who works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the process runs smoothly. It’s truly a pleasure to work with such amazing, talented people, day in and day out.

“And of course, thank you to my family and friends for always supporting me,” Bernier added.

Bernier then thanked Brooks and Austin for making him part of the MP team.

“I’m so grateful for your mentorship and your friendship over the past several years,” Bernier said. “You both truly inspire me every day to work harder and be a better person, both at work and in life. What you’ve built here is nothing short of remarkable, and I’m just so grateful to be a small part of it. I’m beyond honored to have this vessel as my namesake.

“It might be just as special as my Maritime Partners email address,” he quipped.

The Mv. Troy Bernier

The mv. Troy Bernier is the 12th of 15 towboats Belle Chasse, La.-based C&C Marine & Repair Inc. is building for Maritime Partners. The Entech-designed vessel measures 80.5 by 34 by 11 feet, with an eye level of 33 feet. The mv. Troy Bernier’s 2,600 hp. comes from a pair of Cummins QSK38-M1 Tier 3 main engines from Cummins Mid-South. Main engines are paired to Reintjes WAF 665 reduction gears from Karl Senner. HS Marine Propulsion supplied the vessel’s 82- by 67-inch, four-blade stainless steel propellers. Johnson Duramax supplied the shaft seals and bearings aboard the mv. Troy Bernier. Ship service power comes from a pair of Cummins 210 hp. generators. The engines are cooled by Fernstrum keel coolers.

The Troy Bernier has tankage for 34,776 gallons of fuel, 6,446 gallons of water, 2,060 gallons of lube oil and 850 gallons of slop.

Rio Controls supplied the Bernier’s electric-over-hydraulic steering system and engine alarms. The Troy Bernier features navigation and communication equipment from Wheelhouse Electronics, including a pair of Furuno radars and Rosepoint ECS.

On deck, the vessel features two Patterson 40-ton electric winches. Fendering is by Schuyler.

Reliant Maritime Solutions is now operating the mv. Troy Bernier. Maritime Partners expects to commission the 13th towboat from C&C in August, with the final two vessels by the end of the year.