Shipbuilding News July 2012

Fisheries research ship Reuben Lasker launched by Marinette

Marinette Marine Corp. launched the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fisheries survey vessel Reuben Lasker on June 16. Pamela A. Lasker, the daughter of the ship's namesake and its sponsor, christened the ship before the 208-foot vessel was side-launched into the Menominee River in Wisconsin.

“When completed, the Reuben Lasker will strengthen NOAA’s ability to collect and deliver vital information about our fish stocks and the health of our oceans,” said Eric Schwaab, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, who attended the launch. “In addition to providing critical jobs here in Marinette during construction, scientific information from this ship will support future fishing jobs in our coastal communities for decades to come.”

Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Reuben Lasker is the fifth in a series of Oscar Dyson-class ships built for the agency. The ship will be equipped with the latest technology for fisheries and oceanographic research, including advanced navigation systems, acoustic sensors, and scientific sampling gear. The Reuben Lasker will primarily support fish, marine mammals and turtle surveys off the U.S. West Coast and in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. 

The high-tech ship is also engineered to produce much less noise than other survey vessels, allowing scientists to study fish populations and collect oceanographic data with fewer effects on fish and marine mammal behavior.

The new vessel is named after the late Dr. Reuben Lasker, a pioneering fisheries biologist who served as the director of the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center's coastal fisheries division and as adjunct professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego. Dr. Lasker directed a renowned research group that focused on the survival and transition of young fish to adulthood, a topic with implications for fisheries management throughout the world.

Reuben Lasker will be operated, managed and maintained by NOAA's Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which includes commissioned officers of the NOAA Corps, one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and civilian wage mariners. The ship will primarily support NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center. The construction of the vessel is a vital part of NOAA's effort to revitalize and operate its fleet of research vessels for fisheries management, climate studies and hydrographic surveys.


New pilot launch from Kvichak

Kvichak Marine Industries, of Seattle, delivered Samuel A. Church, a 50-by-15.5-foot pilot vessel, to the Crescent River Port Pilots (CRPPA) of Louisiana. A christening ceremony was held in early June at the Southern Yacht Club of New Orleans before the vessel was delivered to its homeport in Pilottown, La. The Crescent River Port Pilots operate on the Mississippi River between Pilottown and New Orleans. Kvichak is currently building a second 50-foot pilot boat for the CRPPA with delivery scheduled for September.

Designed by Kvichak Marine, the all-aluminum vessel is powered by twin MTU 60 series engines rated for 600 bhp coupled to Twin Disc MG5114SC marine gears. Hamilton 364 waterjets were chosen for propulsion. This combination allows for excellent maneuverability and a top speed of about 32 knots. The vessel has a Wing Hybrid fendering system and a roof boarding platform specifically designed for the CRPPA.


General Dynamics to acquire Earl's Ship Repair Division

General Dynamics has agreed to acquire the Ship Repair and Coatings Division of Earl Industries, a leading East Coast ship repair company that supports the U.S. Navy fleet in Norfolk, Va., and Mayport, Fla. 

The value of the cash transaction has not been disclosed. The deal is expected to close this summer.

Earl Industries is a privately held company. The Ship Repair and Coatings Division employs approximately 575 workers in the Norfolk and Mayport areas. Earl Industries has been conducting U.S. Navy ship repair and conversions since 1985. 

It is a prime contractor for nuclear aircraft carrier multi-ship, multi-option (MSMO) contracts. MSMO contracts provide for maintenance, modernization and repair to all ships of a class in specific homeport areas. The company also provides maintenance and repair services to frigates and other classes of naval ships.

"The acquisition of the Ship Repair and Coatings Division of Earl Industries will extend the reach of Nassco's ship maintenance and repair operations in two key East Coast naval ports," said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics Nassco. “This move enhances General Dynamics’ ability to deliver cost-effective maintenance and repair services to the U.S. Navy, maximizing the life of in-service ships for the betterment of the entire U.S. fleet.”

The Ship Repair and Coatings Division of Earl Industries will become part of the shipbuilding, maintenance and repair operations of San Diego-based General Dynamics Nassco.


Incat Crowther to design wind farm supply vessel

Incat Crowther has been awarded a contract to design an 82-foot catamaran wind farm service vessel (WFSV). MMS Ship Repair, of Hull, U.K., will build the new ship.

The vessel will feature a large forward cargo deck that can accommodate a single 20-foot container or a pair of 10-foot containers. The 20-foot containers can be mounted longitudinally or transversely, allowing additional cargo to be carried as required.

A deck crane is mounted at the forward end of the cargo deck.

A passenger cabin at the aft end of the main deck will house 12 technicians, with a galley, wet room, dive stores and head. Four berths for crewmembers are located in the hulls.

The open cargo deck arrangement affords the wheelhouse excellent visibility of cargo-handling operations and enhances safety when the vessel is docked at turbines.

Turbine docking is also improved with the fitting of a concave fendering assembly across the bow. As with many Incat Crowther WFSVs, this reinforced bow appendage is bolted on, allowing for quick and easy replacement in case of damage or the need for job-specific attachments.

The vessel will be powered by a pair of Caterpillar C32 Acert main engines, each outputting 970 kW (1,300 hp). Propelled by a pair of five-blade propellers, the vessel will reach a fully loaded speed of 23 knots, with a top speed of 25 knots.

As well as being highly flexible, the vessel will become a member of the “2 meter club,” meaning it can maintain operation in seas of up to 2 meters. This aids the profitability of the vessel, since such vessels see approximately twice as much work as vessels capable of operating in 1.5-meter seas.

By Professional Mariner Staff