Shipbuilding News, February 2014

Metal Shark expanding in the shipbuilding sector

Metal Shark Aluminum Boats of Jeanerette, La., is investing $10 million to expand its operations and acquire a large waterfront parcel to accommodate the production of larger vessels.

The company plans to enter the shipbuilding sector with the recent purchase of a 25-acre waterfront tract located in south Louisiana’s St. Mary Parish. Plans for the new facility call for over 60,000 square feet of manufacturing space, with approximately 100 new employees expected to be hired within the next few years. Metal Shark is transforming the site into a shipyard capable of supporting aluminum and steel shipbuilding operations for vessels up to and exceeding 250 feet in length.

Construction of Metal Shark’s 45-, 55- and 75-foot vessels currently on order and in various stages of assembly at the company’s headquarters in Jeanerette will be transferred to the new yard, where production volume will increase as new, larger offshore vessels are added to the company’s backlog.

Metal Shark vessels 40 feet and under, including several models being built under multi-year contracts for the Coast Guard and Navy, will continue to be produced at the company’s existing facility in Jeanerette. The facility, which was expanded in 2011 and 2012, will be enlarged again to accommodate present and future growth.


Gulf Coast Shipyard Group launches LNG OSV for Harvey

Gulf Coast Shipyard Group (GCSG) has launched the first of six 302-foot-by-64-foot dual fuel offshore supply vessels for New Orleans-based Harvey Gulf International Marine. The LNG-fueled OSV will be moved to GCSG’s newly commissioned space at the Port of Gulfport, Miss., in mid-March for final completion and testing. The vessel will be christened and entered into service a few months later.

“The launch of the first vessel of its kind in the United States, with another five to follow, demonstrates the commitment both Gulf Coast Shipyard Group and Harvey Gulf have to providing engineering solutions to advance environmental technologies,” said John Dane III, Gulf Coast Shipyard Group’s president and chief executive.

“Certification of these vessels will be made by the American Bureau of Shipping to achieve ENVIRO+, Green Passport status," said Harvey Gulf Chief Executive Shane J. Guidry. “To meet the criteria, GCSG has met the requirements that the vessel be constructed with environmentally friendly materials and feature advanced alarm systems. Ultimately, the vessel will also be continuously manned by a certified environmental officer.”


Willard Marine delivers two rescue boats to the Alaska Marine Highway System

Willard Marine delivered two U.S. Coast Guard-approved Sea Force 670 SOLAS fast rescue boats (FRBs) for the 418-foot passenger/ro-ro ferry Columbia.

Each 22-foot fiberglass 670 FRB is powered by an inboard 230-hp diesel engine and waterjet and can carry up to nine passengers. The boats meet all requirements of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) treaty for passenger vessels and ro-ro ferries that travel on international routes.

“The AMHS has chosen Willard Marine as their preferred U.S. supplier for their ferries, confirming that our quality, purpose-built design continues to be the first choice for FRBs in the SOLAS market,” said Ulrich Gottschling, president of Anaheim, Calif.-based Willard Marine, a 56-year-old builder of composite and aluminum boats.

Willard is also supplying two U.S. Coast Guard-approved Sea Force 490 SOLAS RIBs for the AMHS’ Fast Vehicle Ferry (FVF) Fairweather and FVF Chenega, which service the Upper Inside Passage, Juneau and Sitka, Alaska. Delivery of the boats will take place in the spring and fall.

AMHS operates a state-owned commercial fleet of 11 vessels that run along a scenic 3,500-mile route from Washington state to the Aleutian Islands.


VT Halter Marine lays keel for Bouchard ATB

VT Halter Marine of Pascagoula, Miss., a subsidiary of VT Systems Inc., laid the keel for barge B No. 270 in January. The new barge is one of two articulated tug barge (ATB) units being built for Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc.

The barge measures 625 feet by 91 feet by 47 feet, and has a 250,000-bbl capacity and will be used to transport liquid petroleum. The barge is ABS and USCG certified for Jones Act service.

Construction of the two units began in April 2013 at VT Halter Marine’s Pascagoula facility, with delivery scheduled for mid-2015. VT Halter Marine also launched on Feb. 11 the oceangoing 112-foot, 4,000-hp ATB tug Denise A. Bouchard, sister tug to the previously built Evening Star. Measuring 112 feet by 35 feet by 17 feet, the tug is classed by ABS as an A1 towing vessel, dual mode, and is equipped with an Intercon coupler system. Upon delivery, the ATB units and the offshore tug will enter into Bouchard’s fleet service in New York.

Vigor to build three tugs for Tidewater

Vigor Fab was awarded in January a contract by Tidewater Barge Lines of Vancouver, Wash, to construct three new tugboats. Construction of the first tug was to begin in January with the keel laying at Vigor’s facility in Portland, Ore.

While Tidewater has rebuilt and repowered several of the vessels in its fleet, these tugs will be the first newly-built vessels for the company in nearly 30 years. Delivery of the first tug will be in December, with the second and third to follow in 2015.

“Vigor is a great fit for this project. The company has proven itself as a competitive shipbuilder with the capacity we need and the quality we demand. We are eager to start our new build program and be able to put these tugs to work for our customers,” said Bob Curcio, president and chief executive at Tidewater.

Designed by CT Marine of Edgecomb, Maine, the 102-foot vessels were specially designed to service the Columbia River market. The tug engines are EPA Tier III compliant and provide upgraded environmental standards for cleaner emissions and a lower environmental impact. The tug design also features ergonomic accommodations and comforts proven to minimize crew fatigue and reduce injuries.

By Professional Mariner Staff