Our History

Earl Thrift, Jr and his sister, Renee Thrift started Cheryl K Partnership in 1984 at the direction of Earl Thrift, Sr.  Earl Thrift Sr. had been in the Marine blue and brown water boat building and operating business for seven (7) years, focusing primarily on boat yard new-builds and repairs of existing vessels.  Earl Thrift, Sr. remains, to this day as an adviser and family patriarch.1984 to 1990: Cheryl K Partnership started with one (1) boat, the Cheryl K, which was then followed up two (2) months later when the JR was purchased.  The Cheryl K worked for Dupont supplying feed-stock for their plant located in Deer Park, TX, while the JR worked for Houston Marine Services followed by Buffalo Marine bunkering ships within the Houston Ship Channel.

1990 to 2005: The Cheryl K Partnership was dissolved and Cheryl K., Inc. was created with Earl Thrift Jr and Renee Thrift being equal partners.  Cheryl K., Inc acquired the motor vessels Lonnie T, Sara K, Tyler T, Miss Peggy, and in the year 2000, designed and built the Mr Earl. From 1990 through 2000 all Cheryl K., Inc. vessels were working for Hollywood Marine until Hollywood Marine was purchased by Kirby Inland Marine.  However, from 1998 through 2003 the Lonnie T and Tyler T worked with MGI, on and off until both boats were permanently placed with American Commercial Lines.  Cheryl K Inc operated from 2000 through 2005 working the Cheryl K, and Sara K with American Commercial Lines within the confines of the Houston Ship Channel, and then in 2003 the Lonnie T and Tyler T joined into ACL’s Houston Fleet Operations.  The Mr Earl briefly worked for Kirby Inland Marine, Marylyn Marine and Golden Barge Lines on the U.S. inland Rivers before ending up with Florida Marine Transporters (FMT) predominately on the Inland Waterway Canal along the Gulf Coast.

2005 to Present: Earl Thrift Jr. bought Renee Thrift’s interest and changed the name to Cheryl K LLC in 2005.  Then, in June 2006, Earl Thrift, Jr recruited Brian Darnell, who was a manager with Southwest Airlines, to the Executive Vice President position, heading-up vessel operations.  Cheryl K LLC was restructured and each capital asset became an individual LLC.  Then the following were acquired: Martha T (third quarter 2006), Ian Earle (2007), Kendall Alyse (2008) and BL Darnell (2008). Currently the Cheryl K, Miss Peggy, Sara K, and Tyler T are exclusively working for our sister corporation San Jacinto River Fleet, and the  M/V JB Bloomer was added April 2013; the BL Darnell, Lonnie T, and Mr Earl are working the Gulf Coast trade bunkering ocean going vessels; the Ian Earle and the Martha T are doing terminal to terminal transfers from the Great Lakes to all points south in the Us; and the Kendall Alyse is currently working terminal to terminal in the Gulf Coast Trade.