Shipbuilding News May 2012

New tug for Puerto Rico Towing

A new tugboat, Handy-Three, was named at a ceremony at Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland on May 2. The tugboat has been sold to Puerto Rico Towing & Barge Co. of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur was the sponsor and principal speaker at the ceremony.

The vessel is the third of a class of Handy Size tugboats designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants of Seattle. Designed for harbor and coastal towing, the Handy Size class fills the market niche in the 2,000 to 4,000-hp market for harbor work, fireboats and construction operations as well as for coastal barge towing.

The Great Lakes Shipyard, a division of The Great Lakes Towing Co., has a full-service shipyard with a 770-ton Travelift and a 250-ton dry dock.  The shipyard is currently in the fourth and final phase of an expansion project, which is to be completed by July 2014.  


New pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn

Delta Launch Services, of Metairie, La., has ordered its fourth St. John’s class pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp., to serve the Associated Branch Pilots at the Southwest Pass of the lower Mississippi River. Delivery is planned for late 2012. 

Like its sisters, the new all-aluminum launch with a deep-V hull designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates, measures 52.6 feet overall, with a 16.11-foot beam and a 4.8-foot draft.  

It will be powered by twin Caterpillar C-18 diesel engines, each developing 671 hp at 2,100 rpm. Top speed is expected to be 25 knots. The EPA Tier 2-rated engines will turn five-blade bronze propellers via Twin Disc MGX 5135A reverse/reduction gear boxes. A Northern Lights diesel generator will provide 12 kW of output.

The launch will be U.S. Coast Guard approved to carry 12 passengers for hire. It will be equipped with wide side decks, side and rear doors, and a boarding platform on the roof. At the transom are redundant throttle and steering controls and a winch-operated rotating davit over the water-level, a recessed platform for pilot-rescue operations. A removable lower stern ladder will be recessed into the transom to aid in rescues. 

The air-conditioned wheelhouse and forecastle will be outfitted with seven Llebroc pilot seats, four bunks, a settee, and an enclosed head. 


Alaska Ship and Drydock to help design Alaska-class ferry

The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) announced today that Alaska Ship and Drydock (ASD) has officially signed on as a partner with the State of Alaska to design the Alaska-class ferry.

The contract signed between the state and ASD designates the shipyard as the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) for the design phase of the Alaska-class ferry project.

“I’m pleased to see that the design work for this new vessel can now begin in earnest using the CM/GC process,” said Michael Neussl, Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities Deputy Commissioner for Marine Operations. “ASD, along with Elliott Bay Design Group, the state’s naval architect and engineering firm for the project, can now get down to designing the ship that will serve Alaskans for years to come.” 

Alaska Ship and Drydock operates the Ketchikan Shipyard under a long-term private/public partnership agreement with the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA).

“It’s important to note that the signed agreement between the state and ASD does not guarantee that the shipyard will build the ferry,” said Neussl. “However, ASD will have the ability to make a guaranteed maximum price proposal for the construction contract as the design nears completion.” 

The state has appropriated $120 million toward the Alaska Class ferry project. The new ferry is intended to help AMHS serve existing routes more efficiently. The vessel is being designed to serve shorter routes, thus allowing the remainder of the mainline fleet to run long-distance routes more efficiently.


USNS Medgar Evers accepted into MSC fleet

The U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) accepted delivery of its newest dry cargo/ammunition ship, USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE 13), during a short ceremony at the General Dynamics Nassco shipyard in San Diego on April 24.

The ship, which was christened Nov. 12, 2011, in San Diego, honors slain civil rights leader Medgar Wiley Evers, who is remembered for his efforts to end segregation at the University of Mississippi in the 1950s and for his opposition to Jim Crow laws in the 1960s. Evers was assassinated by a white supremacist in 1963. Since its launch, the ship has been undergoing a series of tests and trials in preparation for its delivery to MSC.

“As USNS Medgar Evers joins the MSC fleet of combat logistics ships today, the food, ordnance and fuel it will provide to the Navy’s combatant ships at sea are critical mission enablers for our globally deployed naval forces," said Tim McCully, MSC Pacific's deputy commander. 

The 689-foot Evers, designated T-AKE 13, is the 13th of 14 new dry cargo/ammunition ships scheduled for delivery to the Navy by the end of this year. The first 11 dry cargo/ammunition ships are currently operating as part of MSC’s Combat Logistics Force, delivering fuel, equipment and supplies to Navy warships at sea. The remaining three are expected to be assigned to maritime prepositioning squadrons, which strategically place combat cargo at sea for rapid delivery to military units ashore.

Evers has a crew of 125 civil service mariners working for MSC and 11 Navy sailors who provide operational support and supply coordination.

T-AKEs are replacing some of the MSC’s aging single-mission supply ships such as Kilauea-class ammunition ships and Mars- and Sirius-class combat stores ships as they reach the end of their service lives.

By Professional Mariner Staff