Page 5: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (August 15, 1971)
The Doctor Lykes occupies the entire river as it moves from the building basin to the outfitting pier at General Dynamics Quincy shipyard.
Lykes Christens The First SEABEE
The DOCTOR LYKES
Mr. Gibson paid tribute in his address to the team involved in the
SEABEE program. He singled out
Frank A. Nemec, president of both
Lykes Bros. Steamship Company and its corporate parent Lykes-
Youngstown Corporation, for his development of the SEABEE con- cept. He said, "Frank Nemec and his management deserve full credit for conceiving an innovative trans- portation system."
He also complimented the design agent, J.J. Henry Co., Inc. of New
York, whose staff translated the
SEABEE concept into the work- ing plans and specifications for constructing the sophisticated ves- sels. "General Dynamics is to be com- mended," Mr. Gibson added, for its role in building one of the largest and most advanced cargo ships ever to come off the drawing board.
Special credit goes to Quincy Ship- building Division's general man- ager, Lloyd Bergeson, and the tremendous contribution he has made in providing the leadership to successfully produce this ship.
He is truly the manager of what 1 predict will be a pennant-winning team."
In his introductory remarks, Mr.
Bergeson said, "There were many doubts that we could launch this ship on time, that we could suc- cessfully operate the transporter/ elevator system, or that we could deliver the Doctor Lykes on time.
We are launching on time. We have operated the elevator with her own power. And we shall de- liver this ship ahead of her con- tract date."
Additional remarks were given by David S. Lewis, chairman and chief executive officer of General
Dynamics, and Hilliard W. Paige, "I christen thee Doctor Lykes," said Miss Ashley Lykes as she broke the traditional champagne bottle on the ship's bow. The sponsor's sister, Miss Sheldon Lykes, and father, Joseph T. Lykes Jr., indicate their approval of her positive action. recently elected president of the company.
The ship will enter service early next year, plying routes between ports on the Gulf of Mexico, Eng- land and continental Europe. Since the elevator permits fast loading and unloading away from congest- ed terminals, turn-around time on round trips is expected to be cut by at least eight days.
The SEABEE's barges are spe- cially designed for use on rivers such as the Mississippi and the
Rhine and canals in the United
States, Europe and Great Britain.
The Doctor Lykes is named after
Doctor H.T. Lykes, father of the seven Lykes brothers who founded the steamship company in 1900. (Continued on page 8)
Andrew E. Gibson, Assistant Secretary of
Commerce for Maritime Affairs, delivering the principal address at the christening ceremonies, praised Lykes Lines, the design agent and the shipyard for taking a major step forward in ocean transportation.
One of the most unique and out- standing cargo ships ever con- structed anywhere in the world and the largest break-bulk ship ever built by an American ship- yard was christened in mid-July at the Quincy Shipbuilding Division of General Dynamics. The 875-foot ship, the Doctor Lykes, first of a new merchant-ship class known as
SEABEEs, is one of three identical craft being built by General Dy- namics for Lykes Bros. Steamship
Company, Inc., of New Orleans.
Miss Ashley Lykes, 17-year-old daughter of Joseph T. Lykes Jr.,
Lykes Bros, chairman, sponsored the Doctor Lykes by breaking the traditional bottle of champagne across the bow of the 51,000-ton displacement ship just before the vessel was floated out of the build- ing dock.
Andrew E. Gibson, Assistant
Secretary of Commerce for Mari- time Affairs and principal speaker at the ceremonies, said that the
Doctor Lykes "in every way sym- bolizes our resurging merchant marine. It will make its full con- tribution to the seapower so vital to our nation's welfare." "The flexibility of the SEABEE design is such," Mr. Gibson noted, "that with no structural modifica- tions the ships can be quickly adapted into full or partial contain- erships or roll-on/roll-off vehicle carriers. This vessel, along with her sisterships, will provide this nation with a military sealift capa- bility in time of emergency that is unmatched by any other class of commercial cargo ships or com- parable military vessel yet de- signed."
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