All American Marine to build 600-passenger hybrid tour boat

Redwhite Frontport

The following is the text of a news release from All American Marine (AAM):

(BELLINGHAM, Wash.) — All American Marine has inked a deal for the construction of a new hybrid electric passenger vessel to be delivered to the Red and White Fleet of San Francisco, Calif. The contract for the new 600-passenger aluminum monohull was signed during the recent annual Maritrends Conference hosted by the Passenger Vessel Association.

AAM’s latest contract follows an earlier announcement by the company regarding a construction agreement for a 500-passenger aluminum monohull tour boat for Argosy Cruises of Seattle, Wash. Both operators were originally pursuing construction contracts for steel monohulls, but AAM was successfully able to demonstrate considerable savings in construction and maintenance costs with an aluminum design, while ensuring delivery of a solid hull structure. Argosy will take delivery of its vessel in the late fall and the Red and White Fleet will receive its new craft in the late spring of 2018.

The new vessel for Red and Fleet, to be christened Enhydra, will be the first aluminum-hulled, lithium-ion battery-electric hybrid vessel built from the keel up under U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter K passenger vessel regulations and the latest guidelines for structural fire protection. The vessel will be 128 feet long with a molded beam of 30 feet and is specifically designed for harbor tours of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Guests on board Enhydra will be able to experience views of the bay and cityscape from each of the three decks, each complete with its own snack bar. The second level offers a full wrap-around viewing deck with access to the enlarged bow foredeck. The top deck is completely open and offers outdoor seating.

All American Marine partnered with BAE Systems to design and integrate the complete battery electric hybrid system. BAE Systems will supply its HybriDrive propulsion system that includes a generator, control system, and AC electric traction motor. The generator will mount to a variable-speed Cummins QSL9 diesel engine providing 410 hp at 2,100 rpm. The motor generator offers diesel-electric operation of the AC traction motor which is coupled directly to the propulsion shaft. With this configuration, torque is immediately available for the propeller and the speed can be precisely controlled without the need for a reduction gear.  

The hybrid system will also utilize battery power from two 80-kW lithium-ion battery packs. The batteries will come from Corvus Energy and are supplied under its next-generation Orca Energy line. The BAE HybridDrive system can automatically utilize full electric battery operation at slower speeds and when maneuvering in and out of the harbor. At higher speeds, the generator will automatically engage and augment the additional power demands of the traction motor. The battery system is sufficient to meet the entire demand of the vessel’s hotel load while at the same time providing silent and emission-free operation of the propulsion system during an evening sunset cruise.  

Red and White Fleet’s Vice President of Operations, Joe Burgard, said, “We are very pleased with the team All American Marine has put together to deliver this unique vessel and are eager for our guests to experience San Francisco Bay from the silent decks of the Enhydra in 2018. We see the propulsion configuration on the Enhydra as phase one in our move toward the full electrification of our fleet. Stay tuned for phase two.”

By Professional Mariner Staff