Rainy weather impacting local shipbuilding industry

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 10:47 PM CDT
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BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. (WALA) - The dark clouds, lightning and thunder -- depending on where you are -- the rain on the Gulf Coast can be hit or miss.

“Not a lot of miss down here... It’s been every day four or five times a day - it floods us out. So it’s been a constant for us - the last two weeks at least -- maybe even longer,” said Greg Marshall, Marshall Marine Supply.

Marshall says this rinse and repeat cycle has not been good for the major shipbuilders in the Bayou La Batre area. Buster Peyton -- paints new ship builds -- and says rains forced him to send his crew of 20 home for the day.

“Like a while ago -- I heard it thundering -- it got real dark and black in the background. I thought the rain is coming. Five minutes later -- here comes the rain -- so shut it down, roll it up, and let’s go home. Come back tomorrow try it again,” explained Buster.

While Buster sees it on the front end, Marshall sees it inventory purchases -- like paint going out. They’ll both tell you there’s been a lot more “try it agains” lately.

“All of the crafts whether they be welders or painters what have you -- have to stop -- when the rainstorms come. It hurts your paychecks -- it hurts the shipyards. Yeah because you want to get your boats out as fast as possible -- during construction because time is money,” said Marshall.

“If it rains that solid week -- we won’t get paid that week,” said Buster.

While they can’t predict the forecast -- Buster says they can save up when times are good.

“When you make your check -- save some money. Don’t spend all of your money in one day -- save some. Because it is going to rain. Lee: Save it for a rainy day??? Buster: Save it for a rainy day (laughs). Lee: Because it’s coming. Buster: It’s coming now -- it’s definitely going to come.”

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