THE FOUNDER: A. PAUL ROBISHAW Earned a degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1940 and joined the United States Army as a Commissioned Officer.

Served in the 96th Infantry division in the Pacific during World War II. His unit was responsible for providing expedient fixed and floating bridging in support of infantry offensive operations, for which the Army used a combination of Bailey panel bridges and inflatable rubber pontoons.
Returned to Texas after completing his service and worked in the oilfield and pipeline industry for the next few years. He used his bridging experience to solve similar logistical problems associated with remote area rig movements and subsequent pipeline construction. Wanting to improve on the rubber pontoon system, he began developing a system of interlocking steel pontoons that would better serve the needs of the oil and pipeline industries.
FOUNDED IN 1956: ROBISHAW ENGINEERING, INC. Paul Robishaw founded the company and bought an old lumberyard on five acres in Houston, Texas. The warehouse was converted into an office for the three employees, and a small metal shed in the back was used for light fabrication and maintenance. Initially, all barge fabrication was subcontracted to local fabricators but as the company grew, the work was brought back in-house. To this day, all design, analysis, manufacturing and support is performed in-house.
Purpose-built for the pipeline industry and used as small river-crossing ferries and spud barges during the post-war expansion of the U.S. pipeline network. They were precision-built at 30 feet long, 7.5-feet wide and 42-inches deep dimensions that maximized then-permissible transport limitations. The Model J series featured rounded ends that allowed side-boom tractors to simply push the barges into the water after they had been dragged off the transport trucks. A few modular attachments were offered at the time, including ramps, spud systems and winches.
MODEL H-50 SERIES: MEETING CHANGING INDUSTRY NEEDS As cranes became more prevalent on jobsites, and the rounded ends of the Model J series would not allow for the barges to maximize the buoyant capacity of the overall dimensions, the H-50 series was born. The rounded ends were dropped, and the model H-50 series was introduced with the same overall length and width, and a 4-inch height increase for additional buoyancy. Rounded Skid Rakes were offered as an attachment for customers who still required them.
EARLY 1960s: THE SHIFT TO HEAVY CONSTRUCTION In the early 1960s, as customer applications expanded to include heavy construction, the J and H series barges soon reached their operational limits. Additionally, improvements in the National Highway System offered more options for greater mobility with increased size limits by use of permit loads.
MODEL S-50 SERIES: BUILT FOR CHANGING CUSTOMER REQUIREMENTS The S-50 series was developed in response to increasing equipment requirements and mobility opportunities. Slightly larger, at 40-feet long, 10-feet wide and 5-feet deep, the S-50 series gave contractors the flexibility they needed to support heavier equipment with greater capacities in a variety of jobs and industries. The S-50 maximized the length and width that were permissible for road transport, but there was still room to grow before reaching the maximum desirable stability height for a 10-foot wide pontoon.
MODEL S-70: INCREASED HEIGHT AND CAPACITY In response to an ongoing trend of utilizing heavier machinery for marine construction projects, the larger capacity, 7-foot-deep S-70 series was introduced. Along with the increased height for added buoyancy came the need for a stronger locking system. The previous round lock castings gave way to a square design which provided a significant increase in strength and less potential for wear.
FLEXIFLOAT: THE ORIGINAL AND MARKET LEADER From a small fleet of barges that serviced a few customers, to an inventory of over 800 individual barge sections and modular attachments, we maintain the largest inventory of sectional barges in the industry. Today, Robishaw Engineering continues to offer its H-50, S-50 and S-70 series barges and attachments for sale and lease. This product line provides a solution for whatever equipment needs a customer may have whether it is a small transport barge or to support a 300-ton crane for heavy construction. Flexifloat offers a wide range of equipment sizes and provides unparalleled engineering solutions for marine applications. Drawing on over 60 years of experience, we continue to develop innovative and economic solutions for our clients’ heavy marine construction requirements.
SUPPLY CENTERS ACROSS THE U.S. Robishaw Engineering maintains strategically-located supply centers across the continental U.S. as well as our fabrication plant and corporate offices in Houston, Texas.
DEPLOYED WORLDWIDE Flexifloat modular barges have been successfully used by customers in over 50 countries.