The following is text of a news release from Moran Iron Works (MIW):
(ONAWAY, Mich.) — Moran Iron Works has signed a contract with Pictured Rocks Kayaking (PRK) to build a specialized passenger tour vessel. Together, and in conjunction with DLBA (a division of Gibbs & Cox Inc.), they are creating a special purpose tour boat that is first of its kind in the Great Lakes region.
The 64-by-19-foot vessel will be constructed out of aluminum at Moran Iron Works’ headquarters in Onaway, Mich. The purpose of this particular unnamed vessel is to escort 72 passengers and 36 kayaks around Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for guided kayak tours. This vessel will feature a custom-designed kayak launch system that is tailored to meet the specific needs of offshore kayak launching.
“Fabrication officially began with the laying of the deck plate on Dec. 6, 2018,” said Lee Fayssoux, project manager at MIW. “This is a very exciting project for us. It is a real privilege to have an ‘Inspired by Michigan’ vessel in our shop. This vessel will not only be capable of carrying passengers, but will also be capable of deploying and retrieving guests in kayaks. It’s a revolutionary way of experiencing the beauty that Northern Michigan, particularly Pictured Rocks, has to offer. This vision was recognized by our customer, and acted on with development from MIW and our partner architect DLBA. We are ecstatic that they chose MIW for this build, and ecstatic that this vessel will serve tourists who visit the waters of Pictured Rocks.”
The main engines will be twin Cummins QSK 19, rated at 800 hp each, driving propellers through Twin Disc reduction gears. Twin Seakeeper HD gyrostabilizers will be fitted for passenger comfort and safety. The hull form will be a double chine, variable deadrise monohull for improved seakeeping and efficiency. The vessel’s hull form, structure, machinery, and electrical systems will be designed by DLBA to meet U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter T requirements.
With nearly two months into the project, MIW and PRK are on their way to achieving the goal of launch and delivery in late 2019.