b'FOGHORNFOCUS: SHIPBUILDINGTop Left: Water-Go-Round, the nations first hydrogen fuel cell vessel, was delivered to All American Marine in March to complete construction. Top Right: A CNC router cuts aluminum for a vessel under construction.Bottom Right: A trained technician welds seams of a new vessel. Bottom Left: Techs examine parts before installation. Photos: All American Marine.stands behind their product is critical. This is true not onlythe builder has constructed. And, then find out if they have over the short-term but also the long term operational life ofrepeat customers, which is a good indicator of the quality of the vessel. the vessel as well the relationship between the customer and the shipbuilder.Questions to Ask This is also the time to learn how change orders are Operator relationships are key. I believe there are severalmanaged. Its not uncommon for changes to be needed or steps that should be taken before entrusting the construc- desired before or during construction and youll want to tion of one of your most important assets to a shipbuilder. Iknow the process as well as any other considerations, such recommend that vessel operators verify and qualify referenc- as timing and costs. What have other vessel operators expe-es. Mind you, dont just check the references that the builderrienced when making changes?providesfind as many previous customers as possible andFinally, how was the bid/RFP process followed through ask them about the experience. Some questions to pose mayto the vessel that was actually delivered? The answer to this address issues such as price, schedule, materials, communi- question from other vessel operators serving as references cation, quality, meeting deadlines, change orders, and thecould help you decide which builder is right for your project.experience of the people building the vessel. What was their experience with the shipyards post-delivery support, didDesign Considerationsthe shipyard provide assistance after the warranty periodThe design of your new vessel is crucial. A holistic expired? approach should embrace the end goal of what you need for Furthermore, ask about the number of similar vesselsyour operation to succeed. Working closely with a shipyard 16APRIL 2020FOGHORN'