November 2017

Rik van Hemmen's picture
Monday, November 20th, 2017

Thank You, Union Drydock


A few weeks ago we surveyed the No.4 Union Drydock for purchase by Bayonne Drydock. The deal was consummated, and now the No. 4 drydock is in Bayonne. By now most of Union Drydock in Hoboken has been liquidated. We are sorry to see this 100 year old company go, but, on the positive side, it looks like the site itself will continue to serve the New York City marine industry as a New York Waterways yard.


We enjoyed our work at Union Drydock, it always seemed that the interactions between the shipyard, the surveyors, USCG, ABS, and the owners took place in a, funkier, more freewheeling setting that reached back to earlier days. Whenever we had a job there, we had the chance to do some real negotiating, which meant you always had to bring your A game. That high standard was mostly driven by Bruce Southern the yard’s long serving manager. Bruce would drive you, but never leave you hanging. Most of all, when the deal was done, it was fun to reminisce with him about prior jobs, or to exchange some waterfront stories.


It was no different when we did the drydock survey. We were given documents that reached back for decades and Bruce and his yard personnel provided us with insights into the drydock operations that were deeply practical and allowed us to get our head around the issues that a new Owner would encounter.


We had most of these discussions in Bruce’s famous office trailer. I suppose that soon that trailer will be gone, which means that a huge storehouse of New York City waterfront trivia will have disappeared since the trailer’s walls were decorated with hundreds of pictures and memorabilia.

Before I left, I got a chance to take a picture of my father’s picture that Bruce had pinned on the wall. read more »