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Manson History: Naming the VIKING


Graphic illustration by: A. Leal de la Torre

Manson currently operates 19 derrick barges that make up a large portion of the company’s fleet. These vessels play a vital role for Manson projects across the nation, where they have become a fixture on various coasts throughout the years. Easily identifiable on the waters by their red and white paint, these floating rigs are some of the oldest equipment in the company’s history.


Originally categorized by numerical order, former Manson president Elmer Edwards suggested giving the vessels Nordic-inspired names to honor the heritage of the company’s founder, Peter Manson, who was of Swedish origin. Taking into consideration the sound and pronunciation of these names over radio communications, each title was carefully selected for clarity and ease of use.

In 1971, the derrick barge VIKING became the first rig christened to represent Manson’s proud Scandinavian roots.


Named after the legendary group of seafaring people from Northern Europe, Vikings were advanced sailors and navigators from the 8th to 11th centuries. Known as renowned ship builders, the Vikings’ longship was the most advanced vessel during their era. The Vikings made their mark around the globe, sailing from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, the Caspian Sea, and even across the Atlantic Ocean using their distinctive longships to make the journey. The schematics of these vessels would influence other cultures to build similar ships due to their innovative and reliable design.


The choice for the word VIKING for Manson’s 136-ton derrick barge was no mistake. The name Viking derives from the Old Norse word “vik,” which is thought to translate to “creek” or “bay” in most Scandinavian languages. The name intertwines with Manson’s deep connection with the water, a natural element that serves as an important foundation for the company’s legacy.



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