HOS Coral

Go deep is not only good strategy for a quarterback in a close game, it’s also the best advice for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Deepwater drilling is booming while drilling on the shelf has fallen significantly.

One consequence is that boat owners who supply deepwater drilling and production platforms are doing well. Take Hornbeck Offshore Services of Covington, La. Hornbeck’s newbuild construction programs proceed unchanged at several shipyards. By contrast, Seacor Marine, of Houma, La., which owns 75 crew/supply boats, has a lot of shelf work. As a result, earlier this year, Seacor cold-stacked 15 crew/supply boats and a few pure supply boats.

Leevac Industries, of Jennings, La., is in the middle of a nine-vessel contract to build 250-foot supply boats for Hornbeck, and Atlantic Marine is building a half-dozen 240-footers. Work is nearing completion on the second of two sulfur tanker conversions under a contract with Cianbro (most of the work was done by Bath Iron Works in Maine), and a huge 432-foot construction vessel has been launched in Holland and is set for last-quarter 2009 delivery.

Among large supply boats, one of the biggest this year is HOS Coral, a 285-foot vessel for Hornbeck built by VT Halter Marine of Pascagoula, Miss.

Coral is the longest newbuild supply boat in the Hornbeck fleet and carries more than 15,000 barrels of liquid mud. HOS Centerline, the first of the converted sulfur tankers, which went into service in March, has a 30,000-barrel capacity.

Capt. Terry Hatton in the pilothouse.

Coral is 285 feet by 64 feet with a draft of 10 to 19.4 feet depending on load. Its hauling capacities are huge; in addition to the liquid mud, dry bulk capacity is more than 12,000 cubic feet. Rig fuel normal is 336,230 gallons, but that can be maximized to 978,576 gallons by using rig water tanks for fuel.

Deck area is 11,016 square feet and the vessel can haul 3,000 long tons of cargo.

Power to do all this work comes from a pair of Caterpillar 3516C diesels rated at 3,070 hp each. They drive Reintjes gears that output to shafts and to 112-inch fixed-pitch propellers. Between the propellers is a Berg CPP tunnel thruster rated at 1,100 hp; two identical thrusters are in the bow.

The anchor winch. At 285 feet, HOS Coral is the longest U.S. newbuild in the Hornbeck fleet. Dry bulk capacity is more than 12,000 cubic feet, and if necessary the vessel can carry almost a million gallons of rig fuel by using rig water tanks as fuel tanks.

All the thrusters are electrically operated and are supplied by Karl Senner Inc., of Kenner, La. The entire propulsion system is part of the vessel’s dynamic position system rated by ABS at DP-2 and supplied by Kongsberg.

The rudders operate independently to fit with Kongsberg’s K-Pos DP-2 system. Wind birds, vertical reference systems and other DP-2 components are by Kongsberg as well.

To drive all the thrusters and meet other major electrical loads, Coral has a very stout generator capacity consisting of a pair of Caterpillar C32 engines driving 710-kW generators. For emergency and nighttime use, a Caterpillar C9 engine rated at 163 kW is on board.

HOS Coral’s cargo deck area is 11,016 square feet and the boat can haul 3,000 long tons of cargo. As with most newbuild supply vessels of any size, the boat is DP-2. HOS Coral relies on two Caterpillar 3516C diesels rated at 3,070 hp each and cruising speed is 11 knots at a fuel consumption of 152 gph.

Deadweight is estimated at 5,609 tons. The vessel has 14 climate-controlled staterooms certified for 28 persons. Maximum speed is 12 knots; cruise speed is 1 knot slower. Certifications are USCG Subchapter L, Oceans-SOLAS, and SIP. It is classed as ABS +A1, OSV, +AMS, +ACC, DPS-2.

On a related note, Hornbeck has also bought a 432-foot offshore construction vessel. After purchasing Superior Achiever from Houston-based Superior Offshore Inter-national, Hornbeck has ordered an identical vessel from the same Dutch shipyard. To be called HOS Iron Horse, it is due for delivery in December. •

By Professional Mariner Staff