OF MERMAIDS AND MEN
The Durant family’s patriarch – Leslie B. Durant – graduated from the prestigious Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in 1938 at just nineteen years old. Soon thereafter, he was hired by Ingalls Shipyard to assist in the design and construction of World War II “Liberty” ships.
After the war, Durant directed the operations of the Alexander Shipyard on the Industrial Canal in New Orleans and eventually acquired the business. Renamed American Marine Corp. (AMC), the company pioneered vessel design and construction for the river and offshore oil industry. The celebrated “Mr. Charlie” and the “John Hayward” – the very first offshore drilling rigs – were both constructed at AMC. The shipyard designed and built all of the
early offshore supply boats for Tidewater, as well as their “botruc” cousins. American Marine Corporation was the first to place a heater on a barge.
Indoctrinated into the industry at an early age, Leslie Durant’s sons, Robin and Peter eventually formed Bayou Fleet in 1982, continuing their father’s legacy today.