Shipbuilding News July 2011

Kvichak delivers AquaLink II ferry

Kvichak Marine Industries has announced the delivery of AquaLink II to Long Beach Transit in Long Beach, Calif. The new ferry, designed by Incat Crowther of Australia, is the second vessel built by Kvichak for Long Beach Transit. Both vessels are operated by Catalina Express to shuttle visitors and commuters between the Long Beach downtown/waterfront area and Alamitos Bay Landing. 

AquaLink II, an all-aluminum 65-by-24-foot fully-enclosed catamaran, is powered by twin Cummins QSM 11 diesel engines, rated for 610 hp at 2,300 rpm, and fitted to ZF 360A marine gears. The 74-passenger catamaran will operate at a service speed of about 25 knots with a crew of two.

During travel, passengers can enjoy food and beverage service at the snack bar kiosk that is integrated with the main passenger cabin. Kvichak outfitted the kiosk with a refrigerator, coffee brewing system, soft drink dispenser, sink and Corian bar top.

Long Beach Transit held a christening celebration on June 27 welcoming the vessel to the fleet. AquaLink II started service on July 1. 


Austal awarded contract for additional Joint High Speed Vessels

The U.S. Navy has awarded construction contracts for the sixth and seventh Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV), as part of a 10-ship program potentially worth over $1.6 billion. The construction contract for both vessels is valued at approximately $313 million.

With options remaining for another three vessels, the JHSV program is set to deliver a predictable revenue stream of $347.3 million per year from 2012 to 2015.

Austal was awarded the construction contract for the first 338-foot JHSV in November 2008, with options for nine additional vessels between FY09 and FY13. The Austal JHSV team includes platform systems engineering agent General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems. It is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the ships' mission systems, including internal and external communications, electronic navigation, and aviation and armament systems.

Austal received authorization from the Navy to start construction on the first vessel of the contract, Spearhead (JHSV 1), in December 2009 after completing the rigorous design in a 12-month period. Spearhead is scheduled for launch in August 2011 and delivery in December 2011. Construction on Vigilant (JHSV 2), began in Austal's Module Manufacturing Facility on Sept. 13, 2010. 


Nassco awarded $60 million contract

General Dynamics Nassco has announced that it has received a $60 million contract from the U.S. Navy to purchase materials for the construction of a third Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) ship. Nassco is already under contract to build two MLP ships. With this new contract, Nassco will place orders for the ship's engines and other components that have significant manufacturing lead times. A contract that fully funds construction of the third MLP ship is expected to be awarded by early next year. 

"With the first MLP ship now under construction, we are pleased to be selected to build another MLP," said Frederick J. Harris, president of General Dynamics Nassco. "This contract demonstrates the U.S. Navy's confidence in our ability to build and deliver a high-quality ship on schedule."

The MLP is a new class of auxiliary ship for the Navy. Once delivered, MLP ships will join the three Maritime Prepositioning Force squadrons that are strategically located around the world to enable rapid response in a crisis. MLP ships will be 765 feet in length and 164 feet in beam, with a design draft of 29 feet. The deadweight tonnage is in excess of 60,000 metric tons.


Major defense shipyards join Shipbuilders Council of America 

The Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) announced on June 24 that Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding division and General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works (General Dynamics Nassco is currently a member of the SCA) have joined its national trade association. The move will enhance SCA's ability to communicate the critical role that the shipbuilding and repair sectors play in bolstering economic, national and homeland security. 

"Today's announcement is an important development for the effective representation of the shipyard industry in our nation's capital. The integration of these major defense construction shipyards into the SCA will improve the industry's ability to speak with one voice to Congress and the Administration about the critical need for a strong shipyard industrial base. We are excited about the strategic opportunities to advance the shared goals and interests of our diverse membership," SCA President Matthew Paxton said.

"Collectively, the shipbuilders of SCA build ships that are statements of national purpose and protect America's interests around the world in an ever-changing global environment," said Mike Petters, president and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries. "The vitality of this industry, including our national supply chain, is directly linked to our country's continued strength as a maritime nation."

"The entire shipbuilding and repair industry now speaks with one voice in Washington, D.C. This is a very positive step toward effectively advancing the association's strategic goals and promoting the industry as a whole on both Capitol Hill and with the regulatory agencies," said Chris Bollinger, executive vice president of Bollinger Shipyards and SCA chairman.

SCA member shipyards employ over 72,000 people across the United States. When combined with the shipyard supplier base, the industry as a whole employs approximately 400,000 Americans across all 50 states. This broad footprint allows SCA to work closely with Congress to advance the priorities of the industry.

"Today's announcement marks a new opportunity to work together to leverage the power of the industry as a whole. We are excited to be together again as part of the national trade association representing the shipbuilding and repair industry," said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics Nassco and former American Shipbuilding Association chairman.


Great Lakes Shipyard awarded contract to build Port of Milwaukee workboat

Great Lakes Shipyard, of Cleveland, has been awarded a contract for the construction of a 60-foot workboat for the Port of Milwaukee, Wis. The vessel will be specifically designed for operation in ice, with stem and hull shape strengthened to optimize performance in ice.

Design work will be by Jensen Maritime Consultants, of Seattle. The new 60-foot vessel will draw 6 feet 6 inches and have a maximum speed of 10 knots. It will be powered by a single 405-hp Cummins QSK11 Tier II diesel engine. 

Outfitting will include a telescopic boom marine crane by DMW Marine with capacity of approximately 9 metric tons. 

The design includes an extended steel main deckhouse to be used for a diver's changing room. Bench seating and gear lockers will be installed. The design will also include a diver's platform recessed into the stern from the main deck. Stairs will lead from the main deck to the diver platform where a hinged ladder will be installed that can be stowed in or out of the water.

The vessel's capabilities will include general harbor work, icebreaking, salvage and dive operations. Construction is slated to be finished by the end of this year. 


Great Lakes Shipyard replaces Coast Guard cutter propulsion controls

Great Lakes Shipyard has completed the eight-week on-site replacement of the main propulsion control system on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Bay, in Rockland, Maine. 

Previously, Great Lakes Shipyard completed the same upgrade to the electric propulsion system on the cutters Neah Bay in Cleveland; Bristol Bay in Detroit; and Penobscot Bay in Bayonne, N.J. The Bay-class cutters are 140-foot diesel-electric vessels, five of which operate on the Great Lakes. The other four operate in the Northeastern United States. Next on the schedule is Biscayne Bay, stationed in St. Ignace, Mich. That work will begin in August.

The old main propulsion control systems were obsolete, not supported, and at the end of their service life. The outdated controls were replaced with Avtron Model ADD-32 DMG electric drive propulsion system, manufactured by Avtron Industrial Automation Inc., of Cleveland.

Great Lakes Shipyard is a division of The Great Lakes Towing Co. and operates a full-service shipyard and dry dock in Cleveland. The company engages in all types of marine construction and vessel repairs, including tugs, supply boats, ferries, barges, excursion vessels, dinner boats, research vessels and large yachts. The shipyard is currently engaged in a $9 million major expansion program which will encompass state-of-the-art undercover construction and repair facilities, warehousing and lifting capabilities.

Three phases of the shipyard's four-phase expansion and modernization program are now complete. The final phase, to be completed over the next two years, is underway and includes construction of a 100,000-square-foot indoor facility to accommodate a vessel service center, design engineering offices, training and classroom facilities, as well as support facilities for alternative energy research. 

In addition to the cutter contracts for main propulsion control system upgrades, the shipyard's order book currently includes contracts for construction of two new 70-foot all aluminum research vessels for U.S. Geological Survey's Great Lakes Science Center, a new workboat for the Port of Milwaukee, and a new 3,200-hp Handy Size-class tugboat.


Gladding-Hearn prepared for new wind farm service market

Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp., has announced a new workboat designed to service offshore wind farms in the United States.

The first Catamaran Wind Farm Service Vessel, designed by the shipyard's high-speed ferry designer, Incat Crowther, and built by Lyme Boats in Exeter, England, is in service on the North Sea.

The all-aluminum, 55-foot vessel is powered by twin diesel engines, each delivering 750-hp. The vessel's loaded top speed is about 27 knots.

According to Incat Crowther, Lyme Boats' customer, P&O Maritime Services, worked closely with Incat Crowther and Lyme Boats to develop a design that provides a higher level of comfort and safety than the typical wind farm service vessels in service today.

"With about a dozen wind farms being planned along the East Coast and Great Lakes of the United States, we are now in a position to meet the service vessel needs of the construction crews and the technicians who will be working on these projects," explained Gladding-Hearn President Peter Duclos. "As a licensee of Incat Crowther since the mid-80s, we've built more than 35 high-speed passenger catamarans from their designs. We know these hull forms provide a very safe, stable and comfortable platform for offshore wind farm service vessels." 

A 59-foot vessel planned for operation in the United States is specifically designed to meet the applicable U.S. Coast Guard requirements and interface with the wind farm pylons, allowing transfer of technicians and cargo from the bow, stern, or alongside.

By Professional Mariner Staff