Shipbuilding News May 2013

Derecktor builds new catamaran for aquarium

Robert E. Derecktor Inc. announced on April 5 that it has been chosen to build a new 63-foot catamaran for research and to serve as a floating classroom vessel for The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Conn.

The Maritime Aquarium has been providing student and public research voyages in the protected waters of Long Island Sound since 1988. The new Incat Crowther-designed all-aluminum vessel will carry up to 65 students and a crew of five. The safety of the students is of paramount importance in the vessel’s design and construction. The vessel will be fully ADA compliant and meet all current U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter T requirements.

“We are happy to have this opportunity to build an unusual and sophisticated vessel for The Maritime Aquarium,” said Paul Derecktor, president of the shipyard. “This vessel's requirements match our fundamental competencies: high-quality custom aluminum construction with complex machinery installations. She will be another in a long line of outstanding technical achievements for the shipyard.”


Signal stops work on ATB hopper dredge project

Signal International Inc. announced on April 16 that design work on an articulated tug/barge hopper dredge for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) has been discontinued. Signal and GLDD entered into a contract for both the design and construction of an ATB hopper dredge in August 2012, with construction originally scheduled to begin in January 2013.

According to Signal, the project has undergone numerous delays and construction had not started due to a series of major design changes initiated by GLDD. These ongoing requests for modifications have continued even past the revised construction start date. Signal stated that it has been working with GLDD to firm up the design but the attendant escalating costs and schedule delays were not being addressed by GLDD in an equitable manner.

Signal retained PA Consulting Group, a leading management, IT and technology consulting firm, to conduct a strategic analysis of the program situation and options. PA’s analysis included assessing the impact of GLDD-driven design changes on the program cost and schedule, and options to improve the program. The results of PA’s program modeling and analysis showed significant delay and construction cost impacts from the changes, as well as a variety of mitigation options that would reduce cost and schedule impacts if there were reprogramming and schedule adjustments. A senior member of PA presented their findings to GLDD and Signal management on March 21.

Signal CEO Richard Marler said, “Our company reaches out to customers when we see a red flag on a program with the idea that risks can be reduced if both sides understand the problem and work together to develop mitigating solutions. The primary consideration is providing quality products that help make our customers more successful while respecting the integrity of our company, our employees and community constituents.” GLDD’s response has been to terminate Signal and find another shipyard to build the ATB dredge with a substantially revised specification. Signal has demanded arbitration under the contract in order to resolve the dispute.

GLDD did not respond to a request for comment on Signal’s account of the dispute.


New launch for Northeast Pilots

The Northeast Marine Pilots took delivery on April 30 of a new Chesapeake-class launch from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp. The vessel joins the pilots’ four-boat fleet, operating from Newport, R.I. 

With a deep-V hull designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates, the all-aluminum pilot boat measures 53 feet overall, with a 17-foot beam and a 4.8-foot draft. The new launch features twin Caterpillar C-12 diesels, each rated at 454 hp at 2,100 rpm. Loaded top speed is about 21 knots. The engines turn five-blade nibral propellers via Twin Disc MGX-5114A marine gears with 2:1 reverse/reduction ratios. The vessel is equipped with a 12-kW Northern Lights genset.

The launch includes heated handrails and decks to prevent ice build-up in the winter and wide side decks. At the transom are throttle and steering controls, and a winch-operated rotating davit over a recessed platform for pilot rescue operations. The heated and air-conditioned wheelhouse and forecastle are equipped with reclining Llebroc seats, bunks, galley, and an enclosed head.


Navy commissions amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage

The Navy commissioned a new amphibious transport dock ship, USS Anchorage, in Anchorage, Alaska, on May 4.

The 24,900-ton ship was built by Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Avondale Shipyard in Louisiana. The ship is 684 feet in length, has an overall beam of 105 feet, and a navigational draft of 23 feet. Four turbo-charged diesels power the ship to sustained speeds in excess of 22 knots.

Designated LPD 23, Anchorage is the seventh amphibious transport dock ship in the San Antonio class. As an element of future expeditionary strike groups, the ship will support Marine Corps ship-to-shore mobility, which consists of the landing craft air cushion vehicles, amphibious assault vehicles and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

Anchorage will provide improved war-fighting capabilities, including an advanced command-and-control suite, increased vehicle and cargo-carrying capacity and advanced ship-survivability features. The ship is capable of embarking a landing force of up to 800 Marines. The ship will carry a crew of 360 officers and enlisted Navy and Marine Corps personnel.

By Professional Mariner Staff