Shipbuilding News August 2021

Eastern delivers first of three new Staten Island ferries

Eastern Shipbuilding has delivered the first of three massive passenger ferries destined to carry commuters between Staten Island and Lower Manhattan. 

The lead boat, M/V SSG Michael H. Ollis, left the shipyard in August under tow by the Dann Ocean Towing tugboat Colonel. It is scheduled to arrive in New York City after less than two weeks at sea, according to a shipyard news release.

The 320-foot ferries designed by Elliott Bay Design Group can hold 4,500 people. They are powered by four EMD Tier 4 engines generating a combined 9,980 hp. The powerful main engines turn one Voith Schneider propeller on each end through Reintjes combining reduction gears. 

The lead boat is named for a U.S. Army staff sergeant and Staten Island native who died heroically while fighting in Afghanistan in 2013. The second and third ferries in the series will be named Sandy Ground and Dorothy Day, respectively. 

Click here for more details on the project and the new ferry.


Nichols Brothers delivers second fast ferry to Kitsap

Kitsap Transit has taken delivery of a second 255-passenger fast ferry from Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB).

The 140-by-37-foot aluminum catamaran Commander is a sister ship to Enetai. It is powered by twin 3,435-hp MTU Tier 4 engines driving Kamewa waterjets through ZF gears. The ferries can reach 38 knots with a full passenger load. 

“They are the Audi A8 of passenger ferries — fast, smooth and quiet,” Nick Zustiak, director of manufacturing at NBBB, said in a prepared statement. “Customer friendly, modern, reliable ferries is what the Pacific Northwest needs, and Kitsap Transit is making it happen.”

The ferry has modern amenities, including wireless internet, and bicycle storage for commuters. More details on the ferry, including how construction was impacted by COVID-19, can be found here.


Halter wins contract for fifth Navy berthing barge

The U.S. Navy has awarded Halter Marine a contract option to build a fifth specialized barge designed to feed and house sailors. 

The 269-by-68-foot barges are essentially floating offices and apartment buildings. They are equipped with classrooms, a gym and barber shop along with housing and dining spaces. The mess can accommodate 224 enlisted personnel and 28 officers at once, and there is berthing space for 611 enlisted personnel and officers, Halter said in a news release.

The Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard won an initial contract in late 2018 to build an auxiliary personnel lighter-small (APL(S)) 67 class berthing barge. The contract for the fifth vessel in the series is for a firm $41 million. 

More details on the project can be found here.


New research boat will incorporate hydrogen propulsion

The University of San Diego has received funding from the California Legislature to build a new research vessel powered by a hydrogen-hybrid propulsion system.

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the university will operate the 125-foot vessel, which will cost at least $35 million. It is scheduled to enter service in late 2024 or early 2025. 

“This new vessel will feature an innovative hybrid propulsion system that integrates hydrogen fuel cells alongside a conventional diesel-electric power plant, enabling zero-emission operation,” Scripps said in a news release. 

The organization expects to operate 75 percent of its research missions on the hydrogen system, which generates zero emissions. The diesel-electric power plant will run during longer voyages. 

More on the groundbreaking project can be found here.


NASSCO christens future USNS John Lewis

The lead boat in the U.S. Navy’s John Lewis-class fleet oiler program was christened recently at General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego. The event coincided with the one-year anniversary of the death of the congressman and civil rights leader. 

The shipyard won a contract in 2016 to build a new generation of 742-foot fleet oilers that will support Navy carrier strike groups. The new oilers can hold up to 157,000 barrels of oil and extensive dry cargoes, according to NASSCO. They also are capable of 20 knots. 

The first boat in the series is the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205). Subsequent vessels in the series, — the future USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), the future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207) and the future USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208) — are under construction, NASSCO said. 

More details on the vessel and the new class of oilers are available here.


Crowley building first US all-electric tugboat 

Crowley Maritime has announced plans to build the first fully electric tugboat in the United States. 

The new vessel, called eWolf, will be built by Master Boat Builders in Coden, Ala., using a design from Crowley Engineering Services. Delivery is expected by mid-2023, and the vessel will work in San Diego. 

The tug will be powered by electric motors that turn L-drive azimuthing thrusters. Batteries installed in the machinery space will supply the electric drive motors.

Diesel generators will be installed to replenish the batteries only during longer voyages. Crowley does not expect to need them for most ship-assist jobs. The tug’s batteries will be recharged shoreside using a custom system. 

More on the project can be found here. 

By Professional Mariner Staff