Shipbuilding News, January 2014

Eastern Shipbuilding Group launches Bravante VII

Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. of Panama City, Fla., announced the Dec. 20 christening and launching of Bravante VII for Boldini SA, Bravante Group of Brazil. The event was held at Eastern’s Nelson Street Facility.

Attending from Bravante were Nuno Neves, William Grutter, Pedro Correa and Cristiana Marsillac along with several members who traveled from Brazil witnessing the launch of the third of five platform supply vessels under contract with Eastern. The first vessel, Bravante V, was delivered in November 2013 and Bravante VI was launched in August 2013 with final delivery set for January.

In special attendance for the Bravante VII launch ceremony was Owen Doherty, acting associate administrator for the U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd).

Cristiana Marsillac, Bravante’s offshore director, had the honor of christening the vessel. Eastern’s President, Brian D’Isernia, said a few words about the bright future of shipbuilding here in the United States, how this project led to more local jobs and his gratitude to Eastern’s skilled workers prior to the launch. Neves, president of Bravante Group, spoke about the journey taken to get to this day, along with the quality of workmanship and the long-term partnership between Bravante Group and Eastern Shipbuilding Group. Deacon Timothy Warner of Saint John’s Catholic Church in Panama City gave the blessing.

Bravante VII is the third of five vessels in a series and are ABS A-1, SOLAS/IMO, FFV-1, DPS-2, AC diesel-electric powered, twin propulsion PSV’s. The 284-by-60-by-25-foot vessels all feature four Cummins 16-cylinder turbo-charged IMO Tier II diesel generator engines each rated at 1,825 kW at 1,800 rpm. Cummins furnished the four Marathon model 744 690VAC main generators. Main propulsion power is provided by two 690VAC electric motors driving two Schottel combi-drives single fixed pitch propellers with nozzles rated at 2,500 kW at 750 rpm each for a total of 6,700 hp. Schottel also provides two STT 4 Fixed Pitch Reversing Tunnel Thrusters rated at 1,180 kW at 1,170 rpm, each with direct coupled Hyundai 690VAC electric motors. GE Energy Power Conversion provides the complete system integrated diesel electric package, including the thruster drives, motors, control systems, DP system, switchboards, motor control centers, automation and navigation/communication electronics. These vessels are capable of a maximum speed of 14 knots with a cruising speed of 12 knots. The fully integrated bridge is arranged for increased visibility and features the latest technology in navigation and communication equipment.


Bollinger delivers new FRC Charles Sexton to Coast Guard District 7

Bollinger Shipyards Inc. of Lockport, La. announced in December the delivery of the eighth Fast Response Cutter (FRC), Charles Sexton, to the United States Coast Guard.

Charles Sexton was delivered to the 7th Coast Guard District in Key West, Fla., and will be stationed at USCG Sector Key West.

The 154-foot patrol vessel is the eighth vessel in the Coast Guard's Sentinel-class FRC program. The new cutter has a flank speed of 28 knots; state of the art command, control, communications and computer technology, and a stern launch system for the vessel’s 26-foot cutter boat.

The Coast Guard is scheduled to commission the vessel in Key West in March.

The vessel is named after Coast Guard Petty Officer Charles W. Sexton, who was posthumously awarded the Coast Guard Medal for extraordinary heroism. Sexton died in the line of duty while attempting to dewater a sinking 75-foot fishing trawler, Sea King, four miles northwest of the Columbia River Bar off the Oregon/Washington coast. Sexton and two of the four fishermen aboard went down with the vessel after an exhaustive effort to save it.


General Dynamics Electric Boat awarded $121.8 M contract modification

The U.S. Navy awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat a $121.8 million contract modification to buy long lead-time material for three Virginia-class submarines, SSN-793, SSN-794 and SSN-795. Electric Boat announced the award Dec. 23.

The contract provides funding for steam and electrical-plant components, main propulsion unit and ship-service turbine generator sets, as well as miscellaneous hull, mechanical and electrical-systems components to support construction of the submarines.

With the modification, the contract has a value of $716.5 million. It was awarded initially in April 2012.

Recognized as a model defense-acquisition program for its technical excellence and schedule performance, the Virginia-class submarine program provides the Navy with the capabilities required to dominate both the open ocean and the littorals.


Navy’s fifth Littoral Combat Ship launched at Marinette Marine

Lockheed Martin launched the nation's fifth Littoral Combat Ship, LCS Milwaukee, at the Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard on the Menominee River in Marinette, Wis. on Dec. 18. The ship's sponsor is Mrs. Sylvia M. Panetta.

Following christening and launch, Milwaukee will continue to undergo outfitting and testing before delivery to the Navy in 2015.

The U.S. Navy awarded the contract to construct Milwaukee in December 2010. The ship is one of four LCS currently under construction at Marinette Marine.

The Lockheed Martin-led team designed and built USS Freedom (LCS 1) and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3). Freedom recently departed from the U.S. 7th Fleet following successful multi-national maritime exercises during her deployment to Southeast Asia. Fort Worth has completed its scheduled maintenance period and is currently in its San Diego homeport. Detroit (LCS 7), Little Rock (LCS 9) and Sioux City (LCS 11) are in various stages of construction at Marinette Marine.

Wichita (LCS 13) and Billings (LCS 15) are in the early stages of material procurement.


All American Marine to build two new water taxis for Kings County Washington State

The King County (Wash.) Ferry District announced in December a contract with Bellingham-based All American Marine to design and build two new water taxis to replace its pair of 25 year-old leased vessels.

The new catamarans will replace Rachel Marie and Melissa Ann — vessels that have been operating from Vashon Island and West Seattle to downtown Seattle since 2010. The Ferry District owns and operates a third vessel, Spirit of Kingston, which will remain part of the water taxi fleet.

The new vessels will each carry 250 passengers, 78 more than the vessels they will replace. That added capacity means more passengers will be able to use the water taxis during the busiest weekday commute periods.

The vessels will have wider doors which will help speed boarding and unloading. The vessels will increase bicycle capacity from 18 to 26 and offer greater comfort for passengers.

Design and construction of the two vessels is expected to cost $11.8 million, 80 percent of which is funded by the Federal Transit Administration.

Construction is expected to start during the first quarter of 2014. The first vessel will be delivered by mid-2015 followed by delivery of the second vessel in late 2015.

By Professional Mariner Staff