Tuesday, April 3, 2018

More on Jeffboat

The Waterways Journal has posted its article about the demise of Jeffboat's operation in the Louisville area. The reasons given are not unexpected, given the downturn in traffic on some waterways and the lack of new boat builds, particularly the large boats, in recent years.

I was fortunate, blessed or whatever you prefer to call it to have had time in 2009 and 2010 to gt re-acquainted with the Ohio River after being so near but so far away for several years. It was exciting to chase down new boats that were coming through the area, whether it was on a pleasant day looking for the AEP Future or subzero cold to get a glimpse of the Paula Ruble.

Back to Jeffboat for a personal note ... Maybe it was twenty years ago, but I remember when Ashland Inc. announced it had reached a deal with Jeffboat to build new double-skinned liquids barges to replace the older single-hulled barges in its fleet. The big announcement was to be in Jeffersonville. To get us media jackals in the Huntington-Ashland market to Jeffersonville so we could cover the event, Ashland put us on a corporate jet and flew us down there and back. It was my only trip on a corporate jet. I thought they would be bigger, but I had no complaints.

Other than the jet ride and learning one of the Ashland p.r. guys was a fan of British sitcoms, I remember asking Ashland CEO John R. Hall one question at the news conference. I asked Hall if his position on the CSX board of directors — CSX owned ACBL at the time — had anything to do with Ashland's decision to have the barges built at Jeffboat. Hall said it did not.