Master Boat Builders featured in Discovery’s hit “Dirty Jobs” series

Written by

Heather Ervin

Mike Rowe, host of Discovery’s hit series Dirty Jobs. (Discovery)

As Mike Rowe, host of Discovery’s popular reality series “Dirty Jobs,” always says, “It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.” And at shipyards, such as Coden, Alabama-based Master Boat Builders, workers do just that: essential dirty work that helps transport consumer products, vital cargo and other goods from place to place. to the other.

Scheduled to air Sunday, January 16 at 8/7c, the series isn’t all about hard work; it’s about shining the spotlight on those who impact our lives without many of us even knowing it.

Rowe will show viewers the ins and outs of building essential ships that ensure cargo moves efficiently through our waterways.

More specifically, he will highlight the importance of a particular category of workboat, the tugboat. Tugboats can be modest in size but of enormous importance. We all depend on the goods and products brought to us by container ships, and none of these ships would be able to get in and out of the port without the help of a tug.

“What an incredible opportunity it is to have Mike Rowe and the Dirty Jobs team right here in our community to showcase to America the essential work being done by our shipyard workers both in our region and across the country,” said Garrett Rice, president of Master Boat Builders. “The shipbuilding industry plays a vital role in the Gulf Coast economy. Right now, in our shipyard alone, we have dozens of open opportunities, from ship fitters to project engineers and many exciting opportunities in between, and our industry is ready to hire the next generation of hands. – shipbuilding labor.

According to Rice, Rowe spent around 10 hours in March 2021 (when the show was taped) in and around the shipyard doing various jobs, including crawling around the nooks and crannies of a ship’s double bottom tank. upside down, where it definitely messed up.

“He crawled into a three-foot tank with a torch to do some scrapping,” Rice said. “It’s dark and loud, and he had a guy working in a tank next to him banging the walls with a hammer. He also learned to weld in a tight space. Work in shipyards is dirty and difficult work.

Rice said the 10-person film crew got nearly 12 hours of footage of which he was in two hours. “It will be interesting to see how they fit that into a 30-minute episode when it airs this weekend,” he said. “Mike really wanted to know how to do the job and it wasn’t scripted. He spent about an hour on the pipe without much conversation with anyone. It was pretty neat to see.

While the experience of working with Rowe and a TV camera crew was one Rice won’t forget, he said he mostly hoped the episode would draw people’s attention to the importance of working people. shipyards for the country’s economy. “The shipyard environment is the epitome of a job where people work hard,” he said. “We talk about the importance of our shipyard workers here and across the country who work in grueling work regardless of the weather and who normally don’t get the recognition they deserve unless people like Mike Rowe don’t come.”


On March 30, Rice will speak at Marine Log’s TTB (Tugs, Towboats & Barges) event in Mobile, Alabama on the Hybrid Tug Special Project, the Spartan.

Registration is now open, with the Early Bird discount ending January 28.

An internationally renowned manufacturer of vessels and work boats, Master Boat Builders was established in 1979.

Over the past 30 years, Master Boat Builders has built and delivered approximately 430 vessels to customers around the world, including tugboats, offshore supply vessels, fishing vessels and diving support vessels. The shipyard builds boats for large corporations, marine industry operators, fishing companies and individuals with a focus on quality, reliability, usability, safety and cost effectiveness.

Its highly experienced management team has decades of shipbuilding design, construction and operation expertise and is embedded in all day-to-day functions, from design to delivery.

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