Shipbuilding News, August 2020

Irving delivers Canada’s first AOPS 

Irving Shipbuilding has delivered the first Arctic and offshore patrol ship (AOPS) for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), and the shipbuilder has three others under construction. The lead vessel, Harry DeWolf, is the first of six such vessels planned and the first warship delivered under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.

Formal commissioning is still a ways off, the RCN said in a prepared statement. The ship must still undergo additional tests and trials ahead of a likely commissioning ceremony next summer. 

“What this new fleet brings to the table is impressive. It is designed with a thick and robust hull that will allow it to operate in up to 120 centimeters (47 inches) of first-year sea ice,” said Vice Adm. Art McDonald, commander of the RCN. “With its considerable space to efficiently transport cargo, it can accommodate a Cyclone helicopter as well as small vehicles, deployable boats and cargo containers.”

“This new class of ship is built for a real and clear purpose, and will provide the RCN with a modern, effective and high-quality ship to patrol Canada’s three coasts,” McDonald added. “We look forward to welcoming the first new AOPS into RCN service in summer 2021.”

Harry DeWolf, namesake for the class, honors a Canadian naval hero from World War II. Of the three other AOPS under construction, the future Margaret Brooke is furthest along. Construction on the fifth and sixth boats will start next year and in 2022.

Margaret Brooke was launched in November and work continues on it in the water. The future Max Bernays is in the assembly hall at Halifax Shipyard preparing for a move to land later this year, while the future William Hall entered the assembly hall last fall and will soon have a keel laying.

Two variants of the AOPS are also going to be built for the Canadian Coast Guard. Work on those ships is slated to start in 2022 and 2023, respectively. 

Bay Shipbuilding lays keel for LNG bunker barge

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding recently laid the keel for a bunker barge for Polaris New Energy that is built to carry liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Clean Canaveral is the first in an order of up to three 5,400-cubic-meter LNG bunker barges. The 340-foot vessel will be paired with a tugboat and operate as an articulated tug-barge unit providing LNG fuel along the East Coast. 

The barge will be fitted with four 1,350-cubic-meter tanks and a cargo-handling system designed by Wartsila Gas Solutions. The vessel will be classed by ABS. 

“Our workforce is very proud to construct a new LNG barge for Polaris New Energy,” said Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse. “We are excited about this partnership with Polaris New Energy and hope that it is the start of exciting things to come.”

The keel-laying ceremony at the shipyard in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., was followed by installation of the first 55-ton modules. Delivery is expected in late 2021. 

Bisso Towboat picks Main Iron Works for ASD tug

Bisso Towboat and Main Iron Works are partnering on another Tier 4 ship-assist tugboat. 

The 6,008-hp azimuthing stern drive (ASD) vessel will be a sister tug to Andrew S. delivered in late 2019. It will be powered by twin Caterpillar 35126E engines turning Schottel z-drives equipped with stainless-steel props in stainless nozzles. It is projected to deliver 78 tons of bollard pull. 

Other components include a JonRie Series 240 escort winch, Caterpillar C4.4 gensets, and a modern suite of navigation and safety equipment. 

Bisso Towboat of Luling, La., has long partnered with Main Iron Works, located down the road in Houma, and the new ASD tug will be the fifth in the past six years. Construction will begin this month, and delivery is scheduled for late 2021. 

All American wins contract for NOAA research boat

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has chosen All American Marine of Bellingham, Wash., to build a 50-foot research boat. 

The aluminum catamaran, designed by Teknicraft of New Zealand, will operate in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, a 3,188-square-mile area off the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. The Coast Guard Subchapter T vessel will have capacity for 18 people, including scientists and researchers engaged in seafloor mapping, data collection, marine wildlife surveys and other work. 

“A larger, more stable vessel will not only expand the potential for (marine sanctuary) operations, but also make it a more viable asset for our partners,” said Kevin Grant, deputy superintendent. “This new vessel will help the sanctuary provide science-based solutions that address evolving environmental pressures on our ocean and coasts.”

Propulsion will come from twin Cummins QSC8.3 engines, while the 250 square feet of working space on deck will accommodate an array of scientific and research equipment. The vessel will have lab spaces, a galley and dinette/bunk space. 

Blount to build icebreaking buoy tender for Maryland

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has awarded a contract to Blount Boats to build a 90-foot icebreaker and buoy tender. BMT Designers and Planners is designing the boat, which will be built at Blount’s facility in Warren, R.I.

The new vessel will replace J. Millard Tawes, a slightly larger boat commissioned by the Coast Guard in 1942, which has worked for Maryland since the 1970s. The primary mission of the new craft will include breaking ice in Tangier Sound between Crisfield Harbor and Smith Island in Chesapeake Bay, and tending buoys in a wide section of the Lower Bay. 

“The replacement vessel awarded to Blount Boats will be capable of placing buoys in very shallow water (4 feet) without damage to the hull, propellers or appendages, and returning buoys to their precise locations,” according to Blount. “The new vessel will also be capable of continuous icebreaking operations (in ice 1.5 feet thick) with sufficient power in an ABS ice-classed hull to back and ram rafted ice 3 feet thick.”

The steel-hulled ship will be powered by Cummins engines and outfitted with a Melcal crane on deck. It will go to work in the Chesapeake Bay upon delivery in mid-2022. 

Burger Boat launches latest Chicago tour vessel

Burger Boat Co. is close to delivering Chicago’s Emerald Lady for First Lady Cruises. The 250-passenger vessel is the third in a series designed by Mark Pudlo of Seacraft Design. 

The 98-foot steel vessel certified under Coast Guard Subchapter K will operate on tours around the Windy City. Propulsion comes from twin Caterpillar C4.4 engines turning four-blade nibral Michigan Wheel props through ZF reduction gears. Top speed is 11 knots. 

“The new vessel offers comfortable open-air top deck seating with plenty of space for social distancing, providing official Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise guests with 360-degree views of our city’s storied skyline,” said Holly Agra, president of Chicago’s First Lady Cruises. 

Chicago’s Emerald Lady is the third tour boat Burger has built for the company. The other two are Chicago’s Classic Lady and Chicago’s Leading Lady.

By Professional Mariner Staff