Shipbuilding News June 2012

NOAA ship Ferdinand R. Hassler commissioned

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) commissioned the coastal mapping ship Ferdinand R. Hassler on June 8 in Norfolk, Va.

Hassler will be based at Newcastle, N.H. The primary mission of the 124-foot, twin-hull ship is to detect and monitor changes to the sea floor. Data collected by the vessel will be used to update nautical charts, detect potential hazards to navigation and enhance the understanding of the marine environment. The ship will operate along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and in the Caribbean Sea and the Great Lakes in support of the NOAA Office of Coast Survey’s nautical charting mission.

The vessel was built by VT Halter Marine, of Pascagoula, Miss.


Seacor chooses MTU engines for fast offshore supply vessels 

Seacor Marine has selected Tognum MTU marine diesel engines for its latest pair of fast supply vessels. The vessels, Seacor Lynx and Seacor Leopard, will each have an overall length of 190 feet and the capacity to carry up to 150 passengers. The vessels will also have the capacity to carry 150 tons of deck cargo and the ability to achieve speeds of 46 knots.  

Each vessel will be powered by four MTU 16V 4000 M73L engines rated at 3,860 hp at 2,050 rpm.

“The high-speed capability is important because of the long distances involved and the need for fast transportation of crews and time-sensitive cargo to the rigs,” said Joe McCall of Seacor Marine. “We felt that the MTU engines with their high power-to-weight ratio and low fuel consumption were the best engines to fit the hull configuration of new Seacor Lynx and Seacor Leopard. Dealer support and previous experience with MTU were also important.”

The new vessels will join two other MTU-powered high-speed catamarans operated by Seacor Marine, Seacor Cougar and Seacor Cheetah. Both have been in service for over four years. Like the existing craft, the two new vessels will feature Hamilton jet drives and Twin Disc marine gears. According to McCall, the jet drives are favored over propellers for better top-end speed.

Seacor Marine will also install the MTU Callosum System in Seacor Lynx and Seacor Leopard. The Callosum System is MTU’s latest generation of an integrated shipboard monitoring and control system, which not only monitors the propulsion engines, but also the marine gears, onboard generator sets and a majority of other vessel systems. This allows the operator to view virtually all vessel activities on the same screen at any time.

The two new vessels are currently under construction at the Gulf Craft Shipyard in Franklin, La. Seacor Lynx is scheduled to be launched in January 2013 and the launch of Seacor Leopard is planned for April 2013.


McAllister Towing building Tier III ASD tractor tug

McAllister Towing has announced plans to build a 5,150-hp twin-drive tractor tug at Senesco Marine LLC in North Kingstown, R.I. The tug will be designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants of Seattle.

 It will be powered by 3516CHD Tier III Caterpillar engines and classified with ABS as Maltese Cross A-1 Towing, Escort Service, FiFi-1 and Maltese Cross AMS. 

Towing machinery will include a JonRie 250 escort winch with full render/recover on the bow and a JonRie 512 tow winch with a spool capacity of 2,100 feet with two-inch wire on the stern. 

In the last few years, Senesco Marine has constructed 20 oceangoing ABS-classed double-hull petroleum barges fitted with ATB coupler systems. It has also delivered three 4,200-hp ATBs classed by ABS.

Upon delivery in 2013, McAllister plans to base the tug in the New Bedford, Mass., area primarily for escort work in Buzzards Bay. 

The tug will be called Eric M. McAllister after the company’s current chief financial officer. The boat will be the 24th tractor and the first Tier III tug in McAllister’s fleet. 


St. Johns Ship Building delivers Sea Strength

St. Johns Ship Building of Palatka, Fla., delivered the offshore service vessel Sea Strength to A.R. Singh Contractors Ltd., of Point Fortin, Trinidad. The 157-foot vessel will operate in the Caribbean offshore market.

A.R. Singh Contractors has served the Trinidad market since 1978 and provides marine transportation, pipe laying and offshore construction services. The company operates a fleet of approximately 20 vessels including tugs, barges, crew boats and supply boats.


MSC dry cargo/ammunition ship christened in San Diego

Military Sealift Command (MSC) ship USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE 14) was christened May 5 during a ceremony at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.

The 689-foot Chavez, the newest of the Lewis and Clark-class of dry

cargo/ammunition ships operated by MSC, continues the Lewis and Clark-class tradition of honoring legendary pioneers and explorers. The ship honors Cesar Chavez, an American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers.

Chavez, a well-known Mexican-American civil rights activist, used non-violent tactics that made the farm workers' struggle a moral cause with nationwide support.

USNS Cesar Chavez exemplifies the latest innovations in marine technology with its integrated electric power propulsion and ship systems,” said Navy Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, commander of the MSC. “This ship will go to sea better prepared than the ships that preceded her because the team that built her learned new lessons with every ship of the class and incorporated those lessons learned, along with energy-saving technologies into the next hull. USNS Cesar Chavez is the culmination of that extraordinary process — she is The Ultimate T-AKE!”

Chavez is the 14th and final dry cargo/ammunition ship, and is slated for use by MSC’s Combat Logistics Force (CLF). CLF ships deliver ammunition, food, fuel and other supplies to U.S. and allied ships at sea, enabling the Navy to maintain a worldwide forward presence.

Chavez is scheduled for delivery to MSC in November.

By Professional Mariner Staff