Established in 1962, Detyens Shipyards Inc. [DSI] has a long and distinguished history in US ship repair. In 1995, the company opened a commercial ship repair facility on the site of the former Charleston Naval Shipyard, in Charleston, SC. The facility offers three (3) graving docks with a capacity of up to Panamax. In addition to the docks, the facility also offers modern, enclosed shops for all crafts; ten 56-ton gantry cranes (on a continuous rail system); and over 7,000 ft of deepwater pier space. The company also operates its original shipyard, complete with enclosed shops and a 5,000LT floating dock.
Over the years, Detyens has performed projects involving every type of vessel: tugs; dredges; containerships; tankers; and LNG carriers. The growing port of Charleston offers deepwater, easy access and convenience to Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico trade routes and ports. Detyens Shipyards reputation as a place to go for high quality ship repair at competitive rates is helping to attract new customers. Detyens Shipyards people, their can-do attitudes, and the consistent level of service that they offer have been turning these new customers into valued repeat customers.
Detyens Shipyards, Inc. is a unified group of full-service shipyards, each covering a slightly different segment of the repair market. Located in the historic city of Charleston, South Carolina, Detyens Shipyards Inc. is busy building a tradition of quality workmanship at a reasonable price. Detyens' main yard, located on the Cooper River in North Charleston, was originally a U.S. Naval shipyard. Detyens believes the combination of three graving docks; a wide variety of craft expertise, a remarkably flexible facility and a growing port, all serve to create an opportunity for continued expansion of Detyens Shipyards Inc.
William Detyens, a merchant mariner who saw a need for a new ship repair service in the Charleston, South Carolina area, started Detyens in 1962. The company prospered and grew, servicing both the commercial and naval markets. Mr. D. Loy Stewart, Detyens' son-in-law, bought the yard in the 80's and started a new growth era.
At that time naval ship repair was a major business segment for the company and a second site (Shipyard River) opened in Charleston to handle the workload. In the mid-90's, when the US Navy was downsizing, Detyens leased the shipyard segment of old Charleston Naval Facility on the Cooper River. This included three large graving docks, machine shops, portal cranes and all the support structure necessary for a shipyard of this size.
In 1996 the Navy closed their base and Detyens, which had been operating at a smaller shipyard on the Wando River in Mt. Pleasant, SC, saw an opportunity. It was a very big step to expand from the Wando facility into the naval base. Detyens built a reputation of doing complex projects on smaller vessels at the Wando Yard. The challenge was to bring that capability to a yard with greater capacity.
The addition of the Cooper River facility gave Detyens the ability to provide larger commercial ship owners with a quality dry-docking experience. The facility houses 33 marine and industrial companies that serve the fast growing port of Charleston providing an excellent infrastructure to support the marine industrial base.
With the acquisition of the new site came a change in market direction. The commercial side of the business had always been good to the company and Detyens always pursued this market segment. With the reduction in the US naval ship count and its follow-up slowdown in ship repair and conversion contracts, Detyens was well situated to aggressively market commercial ship repair. Detyens closed the Shipyard River site, moved the drydock from that site to the Wando River site in Mt. Pleasant, SC, and concentrated on keeping both Charleston area yards full.
In 1996, Detyens signed a ten year contract to provide conversion and repair capacity for the Foreign Military Sales Program. As a partner with BAV they do an average of two projects per year. These projects include extensive habitability and machinery refurbishment and upgrade to Navy FFG's and FF's. Detyens is able to provide extensive berthing and galley facilities for the foreign crews. This feature addresses the unique requirements of the cruise and offshore industries. The work is done to ABS standards and is supervised by the foreign crews attending the vessels.
Cascade General is part of a consortium of shipyards (including Newport News Shipbuilding, Ingalls Shipbuilding and Detyens, Charleston), which has a 10-year contract with VSE Corp, Washington D.C., to carry out work onboard laid-up naval ships, being sold to ally countries under the Military Sales Program.
Detyens headquarters is now located in the old Naval Yard. From here, the company handles estimating and contracting for both yards. The current major source of work and income is through commercial ship repair, with some naval repair and a growing foreign military sales (FMS) group. As part of FMS, Detyens has repaired and/or up-graded military vessels for several countries including Bahrain, Egypt, Portugal, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.
The commercial side continues to grow and Detyens is in the beginning stages of a new commercial marketing program that includes some advertising and quite a bit of face-to-face customer contact by the President of the company, Mr. Stewart. In addition, Detyens has one of the largest ship repair oriented machine shops on the eastern seaboard of the Americas.
With a central location on the U.S. East Coast shipping lanes and the easy access into and out of the yards, ships are in and out quickly with either planned or emergency repairs. Detyens expects to continue a present controlled growth mode and should reach manning levels of nearly 800 employees.
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