Shipbuilding News, June 2016

Bath Iron Works delivers Navy ‘stealth ship’

The U.S. Navy has taken delivery of a new “stealth” destroyer from General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works.

The Bath, Maine, yard delivered the 610-foot USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) late last month. Zumwalt is the lead ship in a class of new vessels designed with a unique hull form and superstructure to be less visible on enemy radar.

The ship will serve many roles within the Navy, including sustained operations in the littorals and land attack. It also will support special operations forces and serve alongside other vessels as part of joint and combined expeditionary forces, Bath Iron Works said in a news release.

Zumwalt, which underwent extensive testing before delivery, is perhaps best known for its “wave-piercing tumblehome” design. The unique superstructure and antenna layout also reduce the ship’s presence on radar.

Zumwalt is the first Navy surface vessel with an integrated power system that distributes 1,000 volts of direct current throughout the ship.

“The IPS’ unique architectural capabilities include the ability to allocate all 78 megawatts of installed power to propulsion, ship’s service and combat system loads from the same gas turbine prime movers based on operational requirements,” the release said.

Zumwalt will be commissioned in Baltimore in October before sailing to its designated home port in San Diego. Bath Iron Works is also contracted to build the second and third ships in the new class, Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) and Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002).

Conrad Shipyard christens new Martha’s Vineyard ferry

The Steamship Authority of Woods Hole, Mass., will soon take delivery of its newest ferry. Conrad Shipyard in Morgan City, La., christened the 235-foot passenger ferry M/V Woods Hole on May 20 at Conrad Aluminum in Amelia, La.

“She’s a beauty,” project manager Thomas Rachal said in a statement. “This vessel is a perfect example of the ships built by Conrad Shipyard. Quality in every detail.”

Woods Hole will make multiple daily runs between Woods Hole, Mass., on the mainland and the island of Martha’s Vineyard. The new ferry can carry 384 passengers, 55 cars and trucks and up to 10 18-wheel tractor-trailers.

Passengers will have plenty of amenities during the 45-minute ride. The ferry has leather reclining seats, a snack bar, conference-style tables and wireless Internet. Crew will have access to modern radar, communications and navigation systems.

Woods Hole represents the very latest in passenger comfort, safety and convenience. I am very proud of the members of the Conrad shipbuilding team who brought this beautiful vessel to life,” Conrad President and CEO Johnny Conrad said in a statement.

Moran Towing accepts new ATB

Moran Towing has taken delivery of a new articulated tug-barge unit built by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding of Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

The 5,300-hp tug Barbara Carol Ann Moran will push the 110,000-barrel fuel barge Louisiana. The ATB is slated to work from the East Coast to the Gulf of Mexico.

“These vessels confirm Fincantieri’s commitment to continue to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations,” Francesco Valente, president and CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group, said in a statement.

The ATB is the second that Bay Shipbuilding has delivered to Moran under a 2014 contract. The yard delivered the ATB tug Leigh Ann Moran and tank barge Mississippi on Dec. 1. The yard also built a tank barge delivered last spring.

Navy chooses Eastern Shipbuilding for landing craft design work

The U.S. Navy has selected Eastern Shipbuilding to complete a design study and analysis for a new class of landing craft.

The Panama City, Fla., shipyard, which is partnering on the project with Vard Marine, will spend more than three months  “addressing technical solutions for the future LCU 1700 to support the program goal of providing all the capabilities required in the most cost-effective manner,” Eastern said in a news release.

LCU stands for landing craft utility. The new class of vessels will build off the 32 existing LCU 1610s, which can carry personnel and equipment from ship to shore.

Kvichak delivers latest response boat to NYPD

The New York Police Department’s Harbor Unit took delivery of a new response boat in late May, the fourth that Vigor subsidiary Kvichak has designed and built for the NYPD.

Camarc Design assisted with the plans for the 45-foot response boat-medium C (RB-M C). The vessel is the commercial version of those used by U.S. Coast Guard crews around the country.

“It has proven itself to be ideal for patrol, law enforcement and search-and-rescue operations,” Art Parker, Vigor business development manager, said in a statement. “Kvichak has built six RB-M Cs for three different police departments to date and is in active negotiations for more at home and abroad.”

The military and civilian versions of the design have many similarities. Both are capable of high speed and high performance with tactical handling, Kvichak said in a news release. However, the civilian version comes with more amenities for crew comfort.

Kvichak and Vigor merged operations last year. Kvichak said the move has created new opportunities, particularly in the realm of overseas military sales.

NASSCO delivers LNG-ready tanker, lays keel for another

General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego has delivered Magnolia State, a 610-foot ECO-class tanker for American Petroleum Tankers, a Kinder Morgan subsidiary.

The shipyard also laid the keel for Liberty, another LNG-ready ship under construction for SEA-Vista LLC.

Magnolia State is the second of five 330,000-barrel tankers the yard is building for APT. The Jones Act-compliant ship is part of the ECO class of tankers that can be converted to run on liquefied natural gas.

The ECO-class ships have an optimized hull form and are up to 33 percent more efficient than tankers built just a few years ago, according to the shipyard.

SEA-Vista is a partnership between SEACOR Holdings and Avista Capital Partners. Seabulk Tankers will operate Liberty upon delivery. NASSCO delivered Independence, the first ECO-class tanker built for SEA-Vista, in April.

Detyens Shipyard retrofits Maine-to-Canada ferry

In late May, Detyens Shipyard refloated The Cat, a high-speed catamaran that will provide ferry service between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The vessel underwent extensive refitting, upgrades and repairs at the Charleston, S.C., shipyard beginning in April. Final inspections and sea trials are required before the vessel leaves for Nova Scotia. The date of that voyage had not been set as of June 1, although the ship is scheduled to begin service between the U.S. and Canada on June 15. 

The Cat previously served as USNS Puerto Rico and also operated under the name Alakai for Hawaii Superferry. Bay Ferries of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, has chartered the vessel from the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command.

The Cat replaces Nova Star, which carried passengers between the two countries for two years. Nova Star’s parent company filed for bankruptcy in Canada earlier this year after the ferry logged two disappointing seasons sailing the Gulf of Maine.

Foss christens second Arctic-class tug

Foss Maritime has christened the second of three Arctic-class tugboats designed and built to work in the demanding far north. Denise Foss will enter service this summer.

The Glosten-designed tug is 123 feet by 41 feet and powered by two Caterpillar C280-8 Tier 2 engines producing 7,268 total horsepower. Service power comes from two Tier 2 Caterpillar C-9s and a John Deere 4050 generator provides emergency power. The tug, built by Foss at its Rainier, Ore., yard has 110.5 tons of bollard pull.

The new tug is virtually identical to the first Arctic-class tug, Michele Foss, which went to work last year. According to Foss, Michele is exceeding expectations.

"The christening ceremony is our way of honoring our history," Foss COO John Parrott said during the June 1 christening in Tacoma, Wash. "The boat sitting behind me represents our future."

The Arctic-class tugs have ABS 1, SOLAS and Green Passport certifications. The vessels can work around the globe, allowing Foss to compete for jobs in the oil and gas industries, the company said.

The third vessel in the class, Nicole Foss, is scheduled for delivery next summer.

By Professional Mariner Staff