Hudson Drydock sold to Pierre Part trio
By: Geoffrey Stoute
MORGAN CITY — The longtime Morgan City owners of Hudson Drydock in Morgan City have sold the business to a trio of Pierre Part business owners.
Wendle “Pup” Huddleston and his wife, Sandy Huddleston, sold the business to Yvette and Jerry Landry Jr. and Scott Settoon on July 29.
The new owners said the Huddlestons were given a combination of stock and money in the sale but declined to give specifics.
The Huddlestons said the main reason for the sale of the business, which they have owned for 33 years since they purchased it from Louis Opperman in 1978, mainly was because they found successful businessmen to sell the company to as well as to keep the Hudson name on the business.
“We feel like they’ll be very successful with the business,” S. Huddleston said.
However, W. Huddleston said his health played a factor in the sale, too.
The new owners have multiple other businesses, too.
The Landrys have owned businesses for the past 30 years, including Simoneaux’s Movers, Landry Trucking and Heavy Equipment, and Elite Hair & Tanning Salon.
Settoon has been involved in the oil field and marine industries for the past 32 years.
For the past 15 years, he has owned Settoon Construction. He also owns fabrication, electrical, rental and trucking businesses.
Settoon and J. Landry have been friends since their childhood, so when J. Landry was approached about buying the business, Y. Landry urged her husband to ask Settoon to pursue the venture together.
Settoon had wanted one for years, anyway, because his family owns businesses with barges and tugs, so the deal worked out.
“They’re two very hardworking men and if anyone can do it, they can,” Y. Landry said. “They have other businesses that they work very hard at and became very successful and they thought that they could be successful at this one also.”
Settoon said he hoped to channel some of his other business here when their vessels need repairs or sprucing up.
With the new ownership changes came some appointments and one new hire.
Lance Devillier, who has 35 years in the marine industry, has been promoted to vice president of Operations. Devillier is both a marine and architectural engineer.
Also, Tim Aucoin, who has been with Hudson for 35 years, was promoted to yard superintendent. He is a former military policeman in the U.S. Army.
The new addition is Bruce Rivere, who has 22 years of construction experience and has worked for both J. Landry and Settoon.
Also, H.L. “Chuck” Freeman Jr., who joined Hudson in 2010 as a salesman, has 30 years of oil field industry sales experience.
Twenty one employees are on the company’s staff, but the total number of employees working at the yard fluctuates because contract workers are brought in, as needed, to complete work on vessels.
“As the new owners, we are committed to our community and customers,” the Landrys and Settoon said in a statement. “Our dry dock will be committed to filling your needs now and into the future.”
Currently, the facility has three dry docks. One is capable of holding up to 800 tons. It is 110 feet long and 42 feet wide.
Another can hold up to 2,000 tons and measures 180 feet long and 62 feet wide. A third is capable of holding 3,500 tons and measures 220 feet long by 90 feet wide.
The new ownership is building a fourth dock that will hold 600 tons and measure 70 feet long and 42 feet wide.
This new dock will serve small boats that navigate inland waters. It is expected to be complete in about two months.
All docks are certified by the U.S. Coast Guard and the American Bureau of Shipping. The docks are certified for government contract, too, the new owners said.
Among the repairs that can be made at the facility are blasting and painting, major and minor modifications to vessels, electrical, carpentry, interior, aluminum and steel repairs, new construction and wheel, shafts and rudder removal and installation.