Marjorie C

Marjorie C.1

The 692-foot Marjorie C had just docked in San Diego as part of its second round-trip between the U.S. mainland and its home port of Honolulu. Amid the bustle that comes with any newbuild taking to the water, Capt. Gregory Johnson fielded questions from a steady stream of crewmembers and technicians who poked their heads through the door of his temporary office.

The Pasha Hawaii captain had taken the combination container/roll-on/roll-off vessel (con-ro) to the West Coast in early May from its birthplace, VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Miss. He then stayed on as master for its first run and half of its second. As he provided direction from his shipboard office in early June, Johnson assessed Marjorie C’s performance.

Cargo is offloaded via crane and the con-ro’s sizable stern quarter ramp.

Brian Gauvin

“Overall, it’s been good,” he said. “I was actually pleasantly surprised at how well she turns. She handles very well — very maneuverable. I was also surprised at how well she rides. I thought she would have a little more roll, but she actually has a very nice ride. It’s performed up to expectations.”

Expectations were high given Marjorie C’s pedigree. It is the second Pasha Hawaii ship from VT Halter, following Jean Anne in 2005. The 579-foot ro-ro was Pasha’s first pure car/truck carrier and was named Ship of the Year by American Ship Review. Johnson was also at the helm of Jean Anne when it left VT Halter, serving as master of the ship until January 2014.
Croatia’s Uljanik Shipyard provided the design for both vessels. When it came to Marjorie C, Pasha was looking for a vessel class that had already been built and was actively in service.

Capt. Gregory Johnson, shown aboard the ship during construction at VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Miss., was at the helm for Marjorie C’s initial voyages.

Brian Gauvin

“We wanted a proven design that would best serve our customers and also fit with our long-term commercial and operational needs,” George Pasha IV, president and CEO of The Pasha Group, told American Ship Review. “Marjorie C’s shallow draft (31 feet), onboard cranes and combination ro-ro and lo-lo (lift on, lift off) capability give her flexibility to effectively serve small niche ports such as the Neighbor Island ports in Hawaii. She can also carry reefer and 40-foot and 45-foot containers, providing a platform to expand our service offering, and in hindsight, complements the Hawaii assets we acquired from Horizon Lines (in 2015).”

Marjorie C can handle 1,400 TEUs and up to 1,200 vehicles, and its generous stern quarter ramp — 39 feet wide, 21 feet high and rated up to 350 metric tons — provides access for oversized items that many other cargo ships can’t accommodate. Deck equipment includes a pair of Liebherr 40-metric-ton cranes.

“Her more capable ramp and higher inboard deck heights with no stanchions will allow her to effectively handle even larger and harder-to-ship pieces than the Jean Anne, such as Chinook helicopters for the military and large yachts for our Transpac customers,” Pasha said. “Specialized trailers will enable her to carry even larger and heavier static project cargo pieces similar to the Siemens turbine and generator, carried for the Hawaii Electric Co. by the Jean Anne, with ease.”

Marjorie C’s first two round-trips involved docking in San Diego, but the ship’s ports of call are now Honolulu and Los Angeles. Johnson said the ratio of cargo typically will be 60 percent containers, 30 percent cars and 10 percent oversized items.

“On the first run we had a bunch of carnival rides,” he said. “We carry a lot of odd cargo like that. It works to roll that on. Anything that can be trailerized, we can carry it on this boat.”

Main power on Marjorie C is provided by a MAN B&W 8S60ME-C diesel engine rated at 19,040 kW at 105 rpm.

Brian Gauvin

Marjorie C’s propulsion is provided by a MAN B&W 8S60ME-C main engine, rated for 19,040 kW at 105 rpm, coupled to a four-blade, fixed-pitch Rolls-Royce propeller. Four MAN B&W 1,280-kW gensets deliver auxiliary power. A pair of Wartsila bow thrusters and a Wartsila stern thruster give the con-ro maneuverability at the dock. Service speed is 21 knots.

Pasha said Marjorie C was designed and equipped to minimize its environmental impact, which he said was especially important given its operation in the company’s key markets of Hawaii and California. The ship has a main engine shaft generator, electronic variable fuel-injection timing, segregated ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel tanks, an advanced fluoropolymer hull coating, navigational track steering and advanced engine performance monitoring.

The ship’s spacious stern quarter door and interior allow it to handle larger cargo than Pasha’s Jean Anne.

Brian Gauvin

“Slow steaming is utilized where applicable,” he said. “In addition, (the ship’s) original sisters were outfitted with variable-pitch propellers. Pasha opted to have a more efficient fixed-pitch propeller designed and outfitted.”

While using an existing European design eliminated the need for VT Halter to start with a clean sheet for Marjorie C, the shipyard made some modifications for handling 40- and 45-foot containers. Once the ship entered service, Pasha made a few changes of its own.

“Operationally, we are making the adjustments required to efficiently load and discharge the myriad of container equipment, including reefers,” Pasha said in early August. “We have made a few modifications to the vessel such as adding onboard reefer plugs in different locations.”

Chief engineer Brian Davis, right, first engineer John Maggiora, center, and third engineer Paul Connolly discuss Marjorie C’s performance while the ship is moored in San Diego.

Brian Gauvin

Pasha said the fact that Jean Anne has ably served the company for the past 10 years, allowing the carrier to firmly establish its place in the Hawaii shipping market, contributed to VT Halter getting the contract for Marjorie C.

“Halter’s familiarity with our build strategy and their willingness to build a single vessel in the time frame that met our requirements gave Halter an advantage in winning our business,” he said.

By Professional Mariner Staff