Shipbuilding News, January 2018

Eastern delivers Jones Act dredge to Weeks Marine

Eastern Shipbuilding of Panama City, Fla., has delivered the U.S.-flagged trailing suction hopper dredger M/V Magdalen to Weeks Marine.

Royal IHC designed and engineered the 356-by-79-by-27-foot vessel. Propulsion consists of twin GE 16V250 main engines each generating 5,682 hp. Twin shaft generators each produce 3,400 kW. A GE 6L250 provides backup power, and a Caterpillar C-18 provides emergency power. The hopper has a capacity of 8,550 cubic yards.

“This successful project was the result of a close working relationship between Weeks and ESG," Joey D’Isernia, president of Eastern Shipbuilding Group, said in a written statement. "The completion of a partially constructed dredge requires clear and open communication by both parties during the bidding phase and the execution phase.”

“We thoroughly enjoyed working with Weeks on this project and look forward to seeing the Magdalen positively impact the Jones Act dredging market,” he said.

BAE Systems of Mobile, Ala., was the initial builder and laid the keel in 2012. Weeks Marine, based in Cranford, N.J., contracted with Eastern in 2015 to complete the vessel. Weeks took delivery just before Christmas.

Washington christens fourth Olympic-class ferry

Washington state officials gathered Jan. 6 at Vigor’s Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle for the christening of Suquamish, the fourth ro-ro Olympic-class ferry capable of holding 144 cars.

The event signaled the final stage of construction and the upcoming sea trials for the $122 million vessel for Washington State Ferries. Suquamish follows delivery of sister vessels Tokitae in 2014, Samish in 2015 and Chimacum last year.

"The state's wise decision to build these four Olympic-class ferries in succession resulted in cost reductions and quality improvements in each successive build," said Vigor CEO Frank Foti. "Vigor and the skilled men and women who built these ferries are honored to partner with Washington State Ferries, and we commend the Legislature for its critical investments in marine transportation for the state's citizens."

The 362-foot Olympic-class ferries are powered by twin EMD 12-710 engines producing 6,000 total hp, and they have a service speed of 17 knots. Each new delivery replaces older vessels in the fleet, some of which date back to the 1950s.

Sea trials are scheduled to begin later this year, and if all goes well Suquamish should formally enter the 22-vessel Washington State Ferries fleet this fall. It will primarily serve the Mukilteo-Clinton route.

Construction on the first ferry began in 2012 and the total project cost exceeded $500 million, according to Washington State Ferries.

Vane orders four pushboats from Chesapeake

Vane Brothers has ordered four 3,000-hp pushboats from Chesapeake Shipbuilding on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

The Subchapter M-compliant vessels will be powered by twin Caterpillar 3512 engines turning conventional props with rudders and flanking rudders. The 94-foot vessels will have berthing for seven people. Vessel names have not been chosen.

Chesapeake has already delivered more than a dozen of the Sassafras-class tugs. When completed, the Salisbury, Md., shipyard will have built 20 vessels for Baltimore-based Vane Brothers since 2008.

Gulf Island to build z-drive tug for St. Lawrence Seaway

The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. has awarded a contract to Gulf Island Shipyards of Houma, La., to build an ice-class tugboat. Technology Associates Inc. of New Orleans will provide the design.

The 118-foot steel vessel will have an icebreaking bow form to power through frozen sections of the Seaway, which links the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. The tug also will perform ship assist, push buoy and gate lifter barges, and handle aids to navigation on the waterway.

Propulsion will consist of twin controllable-pitch z-drive units powered by high-speed diesel engines. The vessel also will have a crane, stern roller and shark jaws on deck. The make and model of these components were not available. Delivery is scheduled for mid-2019.

Gladding-Hearn delivers newbuild to Alabama pilots

Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding of Somerset, Mass., has delivered a new pilot boat to The Alabama Pilot Inc., based in Mobile.

The 53-foot aluminum vessel has twin 671-hp Caterpillar C-18 engines turning five-blade nibral props through a Twin Disc gearbox. Other features include a Humphree trim-tab control system, 9-kW Northern Lights genset and six Llebroc seats.

The Chesapeake-class vessel, named Dixey, can hold 800 gallons of diesel, good for 400 miles at 20-knot speeds.

Metal Shark announces deals for Texas, USVI pilot boats

Metal Shark is building aluminum pilot boats for customers in Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the shipyard announced recently.

For the Virgin Islands Port Authority in St. Thomas, the shipyard is building a 45-foot Defiant pilot boat. The Brazos Pilots Association of Freeport, Texas, has ordered a 64-foot Defiant model. Both vessels are scheduled for delivery later this year.

Metal Shark, based in Jeanerette, La., designed the boats in-house. They will feature Metal Shark's “pillarless glass” pilothouse that the builder says reduces blind spots and improves overall visibility.

By Professional Mariner Staff