Shipbuilding News, December 2015

New Bay-Houston escort tug launched at Eastern

Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. announced the launch of the escort tug H. Douglas M (Hull 236) for Bay-Houston Towing Co. on Nov. 17. This series of Robert Allan Ltd. (RAL) designed Z-Tech 2400-class terminal and escort tugs is currently under construction at Eastern’s Nelson Street facility. H. Douglas M is scheduled to deliver in early 2016.

The launch ceremony was held at Nelson Street. H. Douglas M is the first of a series of four Z-Tech-class boats being constructed for Bay-Houston Towing. Eastern is constructing an identical series of the same design for Suderman & Young Towing Co., the first of which is currently completing regulatory trials. G&H Towing Co. is the owners’ on-site representative and agent during the engineering, construction and delivery for both Bay-Houston and Suderman & Young.

RAL, of Vancouver, British Columbia, has provided the Z-Tech 2400-class design and engineering. G&H Towing's fleet currently consists of eight Z-Tech tugs in operation. This Z-Tech incorporates the latest technology for escort service and ship assist.

Gulf Marine and Hendry consolidate operations

Gulf Marine Repair Corp., of Tampa, Fla., consolidated operations with Tampa-based Hendry Corp., its affiliated company and fellow shipyard, effective Nov. 30.

Rick Watts, the newly appointed president of Gulf Marine, said, “The intent of this consolidation is to create a focus, flexibility and competitiveness that will meet both the needs of existing customers and the emerging markets.” 

Hendry was started by Capt. F.M. Hendry in 1926 as Shell Producers Co., and in 1942 the name was changed to Hendry Corp. “This 89-year-old company was founded by owner Aaron Hendry’s father. We value this history and want to continue Mr. Hendry’s long-lived success,” Watts said.

The transition will result in the combination of shipyard assets and work forces, creating a service provider with a broader customer offering and a deeper talent pool. “We value all of our employees and want to keep them here,” said Watts. “Repairing tug/barge units and ships is not an easy job. Our employees take pride in what they do, and we take pride in our relationship with our employees.”

Under Aaron Hendry’s vision and leadership, the combined companies recently created an employee stock ownership plan, which will allow all team members to participate in the success of the newly combined company. This innovative plan is one of the first in the ship repair industry.

Va. marine architecture firm has new owner

Gibbs & Cox has acquired Donald L. Blount and Associates (DLBA), a Chesapeake, Va.-based naval architecture and marine engineering firm.

Gibbs & Cox has designed and engineered nearly 7,000 vessels, and it supports military and commercial clients in the U.S. It also has offices in Newport News, Va.; Washington, D.C.; New Orleans, Philadelphia and New York.

“With this key strategic acquisition, Gibbs & Cox continues our strategy aligned to provide high-performance marine craft solutions to our military and paramilitary clients, as well as continued expansion of our commercial market areas in engineering, design and construction management of vessels, including megayachts, commercial craft and production boats,” Gibbs & Cox Chief Executive and President Rick Biben said in a statement.

Biben emphasized Gibbs & Cox’s focus on expansion and innovation.

“DLBA’s new association with Gibbs & Cox will significantly enhance DLBA’s depth and breadth in providing timely and quality high-performance marine solutions to our worldwide market, while continuing to foster and maintain our important and close relationships with our clients,” DLBA President Don Blount said. 

“This new relationship with Gibbs & Cox will provide our clients with the assurance of new technology application and expert staff reach-back from one of the largest, premier naval architecture and marine engineering firms in the world,” Blount said. “We are proud of the many accomplishments of DLBA over the last 27 years and look forward to being an integral part of Gibbs & Cox.”

Founded in 1988, DLBA is a naval architecture and marine engineering firm specializing in the technical development of high-performance marine craft consulting services related to the design, evaluation, testing and construction management of motor yachts, custom sport-fishing boats, production boats and commercial, military and paramilitary vessels.

Tampa Bay pilots select Volvo Penta IPS for launch

The new Chesapeake-class MKII launch delivered in November by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding to the Tampa Bay Pilots Association features integrated engine and drive from Volvo Penta.

The 52.7-foot, 28-knot pilot boat, designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates, is powered by twin Volvo Penta D11 six-cylinder 503-hp diesel engines with IPS2 drives and Volvo Penta EVC electronic steering and control system. Each of the IPS pods has two counter-rotating forward-facing props that pull the boat through the water rather than pushing it. The EVC control system and three-axis joystick will increase the boat’s overall maneuverability alongside a ship and when docking. The system complies with Environmental Protection Agency Tier 3 emission standards.

“We selected the Volvo Penta IPS2 for our next-generation Chesapeake-class boats to improve the performance and the arrangement of planing hulls like our pilot boats,” said Peter Duclos, president of Gladding-Hearn. “IPS2 provides what pilots have been asking for — higher speeds, lower fuel consumption and more comfort.”

The boat is fitted with an interceptor trim-control system supplied by Humphree. “The combination of the Volvo Penta IPS and the Humphree interceptors gives the pilots higher speeds and improved comfort,” said Duclos. “Initial sea trials revealed a 25 percent improvement in fuel consumption over comparable Chesapeake-class vessels, as predicted.”

Last year, Volvo Penta and Gladding-Hearn teamed to produce the first commercial craft in North America to be powered by triple IPS drives and dynamic positioning for automatic hands-off station keeping. The 64-foot Fort Ripley was delivered to Southeast Ocean Response Services in Charleston, S.C.

Washburn & Doughty delivers JRT Moran

Washburn & Doughty associates delivered JRT Moran (Hull 114) in November to Moran Towing Corp. of New Canaan, Conn.

The new ship-docking z-drive tug measures 93 by 38 feet with a draft of 15 feet 6 inches, and is powered twin EMD 12-710G7C Tier 3 marine diesels. Designed by Bruce Washburn, JRT Moran is the latest in a highly successful series of 93-footers built for Moran by the Maine shipyard. JRT Moran will join the company’s fleet in New York Harbor.

By Professional Mariner Staff