Shipbuilding News, March 2018

TOTE marks milestone on Orca-class LNG conversions

TOTE Maritime marked a milestone last month in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) conversion project for its Orca-class ships in the Alaska trade.

The 839-foot North Star arrived in Anchorage, Alaska, in late February after being outfitted with two LNG fuel tanks behind the bridge. The ship’s plant also was upgraded to run on LNG as well as marine diesel.

“We are excited to be the first shipping company in the United States to undertake this important environmental effort,” Mike Noone, president of TOTE Maritime Alaska, said in a prepared statement.

LNG burns substantially cleaner than marine diesel. Particulate matter and sulfur oxides are both virtually eliminated with LNG, and carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides are reduced substantially, the company said.

The North Star work completes the first of four conversion periods to upgrade the ship and its sister, Midnight Sun. Both vessels are scheduled to be fully LNG-ready by early 2021.

BAE Systems to shutter Mobile shipyard

The ongoing oil and gas downturn in the Gulf of Mexico has claimed another casualty.

BAE Systems told 155 workers at its Mobile, Ala., shipyard on Feb. 28 that they will be laid off by July, according to a report by The announcement follows an earlier round of job cuts in fall 2016 that eliminated about 200 positions.

The decision stems from the persistent slowdown in the Gulf, a company official told, noting that the yard’s primary business was supporting vessels working in the oil and gas industry.

Conrad delivers ATB tug, fuel barge to Vane Brothers

Vane Brothers has taken delivery of a new articulated tug-barge (ATB) built at Conrad Industries shipyards in Texas and Louisiana.

Conrad Orange Shipyard of Orange, Texas, built the 4,400-hp tug Assateague. The vessel is powered by twin Cummins QSK60M Tier 3 diesels turning 102-inch, four-blade props through Reintjes WAF 873 gearboxes. Cummins generators provide electrical and backup power.

Greg Castleman of Castleman Maritime designed the tugboat, while Bristol Harbor Group designed barge DS 801 built at Conrad Industries of Amelia, La. The 403-by-74-foot oil product barge can transport 80,000 barrels. It has three John Deere 6135 294-kW gensets and a fourth John Deere 4045 99-kW unit.

The ATB is the first of three planned for Baltimore-based Vane Brothers. The other two ATB tugs will be named Chincoteague, for a barrier island on the coast of Virginia, and Wachapreague, named for a Virginian coastal town.

Assateague, named for a Maryland barrier island, is the first ATB tug the company has built in more than a decade.

All American Marine wins contract for two ferries

All American Marine has won a contract to build two additional high-speed catamaran ferries for Kitsap Transit in Washington state.

The Teknicraft-designed vessels will be the second and third in the Rich Passage class and will operate between Bremerton and downtown Seattle, according to the shipyard located in Bellingham, Wash. The lead vessel is called Rich Passage 1, and subsequent boats will be called RP2 and RP3.

The 77-foot, 118-passenger vessels will be capable of 37 knots courtesy of Caterpillar C-18 engines and quad waterjets. Low-weight composite materials and special bottom paint maximize performance while producing relatively low wakes.

Rich Passage 1 is not your typical ferry,” Matt Mullett, CEO of All American Marine, said in a prepared statement. “It was built to be lightweight and to fly smoothly through the sensitive wake zone.”

The two-boat order is in addition to an existing agreement between All American and Kitsap Transit for a 149-passenger hybrid ferry. The yard also is building a lithium-ion hybrid vessel for Red and White Fleet of San Francisco. Delivery dates for the new Kitsap ferries were not disclosed.

Gulf Island building tug for St. Lawrence Seaway

Gulf Island Fabrication has won a contract to build a Robert Allan Ltd.-designed z-drive tugboat for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. Delivery is expected in summer 2019.

The 118-foot tug will be based on the TundRA 3600 ice-class design, which incorporates an icebreaking bow form. The vessel will mainly operate between Snell and Eisenhower locks in upstate New York on the U.S. side of the waterway. Its duties will include icebreaking, pushing barges associated with the waterway, and handling navigation buoys, according to Robert Allan Ltd. It also can assist with firefighting and pollution response.

The Tier 4-compliant vessel will have a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) aftertreatment system to reduce emissions. Accommodations will be available for up to 14 people, although a standard crew contingent is four to six people.

Maine DOT awards ferry contract to Washburn & Doughty

Washburn & Doughty has won a contract to build a new vessel for the Maine State Ferry service. The East Boothbay, Maine, shipyard beat out four other bidders for the $8.8 million job, according to the Maine Department of Transportation.

Gilbert Associates of Braintree, Mass., designed the 154-foot ferry that can carry up to 23 cars and 250 passengers. The vessel will be able to reach the communities of Vinalhaven, North Haven, Islesboro, Swans Island and Frenchboro, which are all served by the state ferry system.

“This contract will create jobs at our shipyard during its construction and we are proud to have our Maine workers building a vessel to serve Maine residents, businesses and visitors to our midcoast island communities,” said shipyard spokeswoman Katie Maddox Doughty.

Washburn & Doughty, which also builds tugboats, fishing boats and other vessels, has delivered three other ferries in the Maine State Ferry fleet. The new boat will be the first for the state ferry system in more than five years.

Chesapeake Shipbuilding starts work on latest ACL vessel

Chesapeake Shipbuilding has begun construction on a second modern riverboat for American Cruise Lines (ACL).

The new ship will be a sister vessel to the lead boat in the new series, American Song, also built by Chesapeake Shipbuilding of Salisbury, Md. That ship is scheduled to begin sailing this fall. The second vessel should enter service in summer 2019, according to Guilford, Conn.-based ACL.

The riverboats have five decks and at least six lounges. Amenities include putting greens, shuffleboard and more than 90 staterooms, many with private balconies.

The new cruise ships will join ACL’s existing fleet of 10 vessels that operate on coastal and inland waterways around the United States.

By Professional Mariner Staff