About Jeffboat



The longest continually operated inland shipyard in the U.S. Jeffboat has been building quality on the water for over 180 years.

1834 - At the height of the Great Steamboat Era, a young and talented James Howard founded the Howard Shipyard on the site where Jeffboat continues to operate today. Under the ownership of three generations of the Howard family, the shipyard built a reputation for innovative engineering and the highest quality craftsmanship with construction of the era’s finest riverboats.

1938 - American Barge Line (ABL) purchased the vacant Sweeny Shipyard adjacent to the Howard Shipyard and named it the Jeffersonville Boat and Machine Company, which would come to be known as Jeffboat. With demand for ship building impacted by the Great Depression, ABL initially used the shipyard mainly as a marine repair facility.

1941 - With the nation at war, The U.S. Navy awarded Jeffboat a contract for construction of submarine chasers and took over operations. With an additional contract for 30 landing ship tanks, the shipyard was expanded with the Navy’s purchase of the adjoining, vacant Howard Shipyard. In just three years, the workforce grew from around 200 to 13,000.

1947 - Following the war, Jeffboat took over operations, purchasing the already incorporated Howard Shipyard from the Navy and turning its focus to building inland barges and towboats.

2016 - With a team of more than 1,000 of the industry's most experienced and highly skilled naval architects, engineers, and craftsmen, Jeffboat designs and builds inland barges, towboats and ocean-going vessels with the unwavering commitment to innovation and quality born here nearly two centuries ago.