Shipbuilding News, December 2020

Great Lakes Dredge to build Jones Act ship for offshore wind
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp. (GLDD) has announced plans to build a specialized ship that will support the installation of offshore wind power in the United States.

Ulstein Design & Solutions B.V. will design the new inclined fall pipe ship, which will be used for undersea rock installation. This process is important when stabilizing underwater structures or leveling the seabed. It will be the first of its kind in the U.S. Jones Act fleet, GLDD said earlier this month.

“We are initiating this project because we firmly believe that a Jones Act-compliant offshore wind subsea rock installation vessel is a critical foundational piece required to advance the U.S. offshore wind energy industry,” said Lasse Petterson, GLDD’s chief executive officer and president. “We are committed to safe and sustainable operations and excited to make history with this landmark vessel.”

The company, now based in Houston, did not announce a builder or share detailed specs. However, it will be built at a Gulf of Mexico shipyard. GLDD expects to initially operate the vessel along the East Coast, where much of the activity around offshore wind is happening.

“The vessel is expected to help spur additional job growth and regional economic opportunities corresponding with the establishment of a U.S.-based rock supply chain network for subsea rock installation, with quarries in states along the East Coast,” GLDD said in a news release.

Delivery is pegged for early 2024, a timeline that aligns with likely start dates for large-scale offshore wind projects in the pipeline.

The inclined fall pipe ship is the latest Jones Act-compliant vessel announced for the offshore wind sector. Multiple crew transfer vessels have been built over the past year, and this fall Edison Chouest Offshore announced plans to build the first wind farm service operation vessel.

Metal Shark completes last vessel for NYC Ferry
Metal Shark’s four-year run building vessels for the NYC Ferry service in New York City came to an end this fall with delivery of the 85-foot Time Traveler. Future growth, however, could revive the partnership.

The 150-passenger high-speed catamaran is the 12th vessel of its size built for the ferry system by the Louisiana company, and the 22nd overall. The remaining 10 ferries are 97 feet long with seating for 350 people. Other shipyards in Florida and around the Gulf of Mexico also have built ferries for the transit system, which has a fleet of more than three dozen vessels.

“We are thrilled with the operations and production that the Metal Shark team has been able to deliver for NYC Ferry throughout the past four years by working together through the design process, regulatory changes, hurricanes, pandemics and more,” said Junior Volpe, director of special projects for Hornblower Group, which operates the NYC Ferry system.

Production started in mid-2016 soon after Metal Shark and Horizon Shipbuilding won contracts to build the initial ferries for the new service. Metal Shark later acquired Horizon and uses the shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Ala., for repair and building steel-hulled ships. Sunset Crossing, built by Metal Shark, carried the first load of paying customers on the new NYC Ferry system in May 2017.

Subsequent orders fueled an unprecedented period of construction for the builder, and might have continued but for the pandemic and its effects on commuting.

“From our initial six on-time deliveries in 2017 to the multiple additional orders that followed, our relationship with this client is something we are very proud of,” said Carl Wegener, Metal Shark’s vice president of commercial sales. “It is unfortunate that current conditions in the passenger vessel market caused this streak to end; however, we are confident that we will be teaming again in the future.”

Derecktor building hybrid research catamaran for UVM
Derecktor Shipyards is building a new research vessel for the University of Vermont (UVM) equipped with a hybrid propulsion system. Chartwell Marine designed the 62-foot catamaran.

Propulsion will come from twin 306-hp Cummins engines paired with BAE electric traction motors. The vessel will be capable of all-electric propulsion for voyages of less than two hours.

“This will provide a number of benefits — not only reduced engine maintenance costs, as its diesel power plants see usage fall by 55 percent, but also improved low-speed maneuverability, a quieter operating platform with less vibration for students, and also a less intrusive vessel for studying marine life,” Chartwell Marine said in a news release.

UVM sees three main uses for the vessel. It will serve as a mobile classroom for undergraduate field trips, a platform for graduate students researching on Lake Champlain, and a way for engineering students to study the future of hybrid vessel design and propulsion.

Derecktor said it won the contract in part based on its experience building hybrid vessels. Construction began this fall and delivery is projected for April 2022.

Armstrong Marine USA rebrands as Brix Marine
West Coast boatbuilder Armstrong Marine USA has changed its name to Brix Marine. Brix, the company said, is a measure of sweetness in liquid.

“Brix is more than a sweet-riding hull,” said Perry Knudson, the firm’s managing director. “Our custom projects begin with the first  communication and the relationship continues after the boat is delivered. Brix is committed to an owner-centric approach.”

The company, based in Port Angeles, Wash., has long specialized in aluminum catamaran vessels for recreational and commercial users. Notable projects in recent years include the research vessel Bob and Betty Beyster and a water taxi for Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey.

Louisiana pilots group orders Gladding-Hearn launch
Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding of Somerset, Mass., has won a contract to build a Chesapeake-class pilot boat for the Associated Federal Pilots in Metairie, La.

The 52-foot aluminum vessel will be powered by twin 641-hp Volvo Penta D16 engines turning nibral propellers through ZF gears. Electrical power will come from a single Northern Lights generator. Ray Hunt Design developed plans for the deep-V hull form.

Inside the wheelhouse, there will be Llebroc helm chairs as well as bench seating. The vessel will have raised boarding platforms at the bow and boarding platforms on the roof of the wheelhouse. A control station will be installed on the aft deck for a winch-operated rescue davit system.

Davie delivers second converted icebreaker to Canadian Coast Guard
Canadian officials came together in late November to mark the delivery of CCGS Jean Goodwill following its conversion and refit work at Davie Shipbuilding in Quebec. The project was completed as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.

The 275-foot CCGS Jean Goodwill underwent work to enhance its icebreaking capabilities and endurance, while also upgrading crucial crew spaces, propulsion controls and navigation and communication electronics, according to Canadian authorities.

CCGS Jean Goodwill joins CCGS Captain Molly Kool, which entered the fleet in 2018 after being converted. A third interim icebreaker, the future CCGS Vincent Massey, is scheduled for completion next year. Together, the ships will support icebreaking operations “while new ships are being built and the existing fleet undergoes repairs and planned maintenance periods,” the government said in a prepared statement.

CCGS Jean Goodwill will be home-ported in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It will start assisting icebreaking work early next year.

By Professional Mariner Staff