Shipbuilding News April 2012

New state-of-the-art pilot boat soon to be launched at Foss Maritime 

The pilot boat Connor Foss is currently under construction at Foss Maritime' shipyard in Rainier, Ore., and will replace Arrow 2 in June 2012. Arrow 2 will be taken out of service after 50 years of transporting river and bar pilots on the Columbia River in Oregon.

Arrow 2, a steel hull launch with a single 700-hp engine has made thousands of pilot transfers throughout its career.

"It's just time to upgrade our equipment," said Foss project manager Dan Cole. "The Arrow 2 has done a great job all these years, but the Connor Foss will far surpass it in terms of safety and efficiency."

The keel was laid for the new pilot boat in September 2011 and the vessel is nearly 75 percent complete. Connor Foss was designed by Kvichak Marine Industries and is based on the design of the pilot vessel Skomer, currently operating for the Milford Haven Port Authority in the United Kingdom. 

Connor Foss will have a steel hull with an aluminum deckhouse and be propelled by twin engines rated for up to 1,430 hp, offering power and maneuverability. The new pilot boat can travel at up to 14 knots with a semi-displacement hull riding more atop the waves than its predecessor.

Carrying on Foss' corporate focus on safety, Connor Foss will have many safety redundancies in place: tilted windows that offer better views, technologically modern operating systems, a side-mounted hoist system in case of an overboard incident, an onboard speaker system to aid communication, and a wet exhaust system — eliminating the need for the traditional smoke stack, which can hinder the operator's rear view.

"The Connor Foss will provide a more modern and therefore more stable and safe boarding platform," said Regional Operations Manager Mike Walker. "Seasonal wind and tidal conditions combine in and around the pilot boarding area, resulting in very challenging conditions at times."

The delivery is expected by June.


New paddle wheeler for American Cruise Lines

American Cruise Lines' (ACL) new paddle wheeler Queen of the Mississippi successfully completed sea trials on March 18 at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md.

"The Queen of the Mississippi sets a new standard in river cruising and raises the bar for grand travel on the Mississippi River," said Charles A. Robertson, president of ACL. Robertson also revealed that the new riverboat is nine weeks ahead of schedule.

 Queen of the Mississippi will be completed in May, with its inaugural cruise scheduled for Aug. 11, from New Orleans to Memphis. 

Queen of the Mississippi will be able to carry 150 guests in spacious staterooms, many of which are twice the size of those on any other Mississippi riverboat. Staterooms feature large private balconies with sliding glass doors, while maintaining the elegance of classic late 1800's Mississippi riverboats. 

ACL will operate the new vessel over the entire Mississippi River system, including the Ohio and Cumberland rivers. Queen of the Mississippi will also be able to travel at significantly higher speeds than all other Mississippi riverboats, minimizing night travel and making more itineraries possible with longer visits to the river towns.


Another 47-foot crew boat from Neuville Boat Works

Neuville Boat Works of New Iberia, La., has been meeting steady orders for its 47-foot crew boats for decades. Their most recent delivery for this tried and true design is for Inland and Offshore Contractors Ltd. of Trinidad. The yard is building another for the Bahamas Oil Refining Company (BORCO). The firm is the largest storage terminal facility in the Caribbean, with the ability to store, blend, transship bunker fuel oil, crude oil and various petroleum products. 

As with others in the class, the BORCO boat is fitted with a pair of 400-hp Cummins QSL-9 diesels turning open propellers through Twin Disc gears. Running light, the boat will achieve 24 knots.

The raised pilothouse has seating for two while the main deck cabin includes seating for the 24 passengers. The vessel is fully air-conditioned.

A second set of controls is mounted aft of the main cabin. The aft deck can carry up to 4,000 pounds of cargo. A pair of 250-gallon ballast tanks are located in each stern quarter, while an additional ballast/collision bulkhead is located forward. Tankage is provided for 300 gallons of fuel.

The BORCO boat has a push bumper on the bow to facilitate the transfer of crews to and from barges.


Pilots group orders Chesapeake-class launch from Gladding-Hearn

Northeast Marine Pilots has ordered a Chesapeake-class launch from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp. The new vessel will join the pilots' four-boat fleet, operating from Newport, R.I. Delivery is scheduled for late 2012.

With a deep-V hull designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates, the all-aluminum pilot boat measures 53 feet overall, with a 17-foot beam and a 4.8-foot draft. The new launch features twin Caterpillar C-12 diesels, each rated at 454-bhp at 2,100 rpm. Loaded top speed will reach 21 knots. The engines will turn five-blade nibral propellers via Twin Disc MGX-5114A marine gears with 2:1 reverse/reduction ratios. The vessel is equipped with a 12-kW Northern Lights genset.

More than 70 Gladding-Hearn pilot boats now operate in the United States and Central America. 


Aker Philadelphia Shipyard starts construction of Aframax tanker

On March 7, Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. began construction on the first of two 46,000-deadweight-ton Aframax tankers that it will build for SeaRiver Maritime Inc, Exxon Mobil Corp.'s U.S. marine affiliate. When completed in 2014, the vessels will be 820 feet long and capable of carrying 115,000 tons of crude oil.

Kristian Rokke, president and CEO of the yard, said, "We are excited to undertake this project which is an important demonstration of the power of American manufacturing. Today we used the shipyard's brand new plasma cutting machine, which was manufactured in Wisconsin, to cut steel that was rolled right here in Pennsylvania. Thousands of welding and fabrication hours will be spent in Philadelphia making this plate, and many more like it, into a quality vessel to move Alaskan oil."

SeaRiver President Jack Buono said, "This project, which is known as the Liberty class, represents our ongoing commitment to safe and reliable marine transportation. The robust design incorporates important technologies to meet some of the most demanding marine conditions in the world." 


Kvichak launches a new patrol boat

Kvichak Marine Industries recently constructed and launched a new vessel at its Seattle yard. The Patrol 28 is an all-aluminum vessel designed by Kvichak/Amgram Ltd., for effective operation in port and coastal waters, including shallow areas throughout the world.

The design is based on the Offshore Raiding Craft from Holyhead Marine for the United Kingdom's Royal Marines. Missions for the Patrol 28 include search and rescue, border patrol and maritime security.

Powered by twin Honda 225-hp VTEC outboards, the Patrol 28 cruises at speeds over 45 knots.


Fincantieri awarded $90 million contract with U.S. Coast Guard

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri announced during the Cruise Shipping Miami Conference and Exhibition that it has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Coast Guard for the construction of 40 boats, scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2013.

With an approximate value of $89.6 million, the new boats are part of a multiyear U.S. Coast Guard contract for the construction and delivery of up to 250 Response Boats-Medium at a total contract value of up to $600 million. This brings the total number of boats under contract to 166.

Marinette Marine Corp., a U.S. Fincantieri company, will act as prime contractor and program manager and will build half of the boats at its ACE Marine facility in Green Bay, Wis. Kvichak Marine Industries will build the other 50 percent of the boats at its Kent, Wash., facility.

By Professional Mariner Staff