Shipbuilding News, May 2019

VT Halter to build Coast Guard polar security cutter

VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Miss., has won a $745 million contract to design and build the U.S. Coast Guard’s next heavy icebreaker. The lead ship in the polar security cutter program is scheduled for delivery in 2024, and two additional vessels also are possible under the contract.

The project value would rise to nearly $1.95 billion if all three polar security cutters are built.

The new ships will replace two existing polar icebreakers nearing the end of their life cycle. Polar Star was commissioned in 1976, while Healy was completed in 1999.

“With the support of the administration and Congress, we plan to build a new fleet of six polar icebreakers — at least three of which must be heavy icebreakers — and we need the first new polar security cutter immediately to meet America’s needs in the Arctic,” the Coast Guard said in a statement to USNI News.

“The United States is an Arctic nation with extensive national and global responsibilities. Our role in the Arctic is growing,” it continued. “Diminishing Arctic sea ice is expanding access to the region and attracting attention from both partner and rival states across the globe.”

VT Halter was one of three shipyards that submitted bids to build the polar security cutter, according to the contract announcement in late April. Contracts for design studies and analysis had been awarded to VT Halter, Bollinger Shipyards, Fincantieri Marine Group, General Dynamics NASSCO and Huntington Ingalls.

All-electric tour boats planned for Niagara Falls

Maid of the Mist will soon launch the first of two all-electric tour boats for Niagara Falls that will run quietly over the water and generate zero emissions.

Burger Boat Co. of Manitowoc, Wis., is building the fast-charging catamarans based on a design from Propulsion Data Services of Marblehead, Mass.

ABB is providing the electric propulsion systems that include lithium-ion batteries and a shoreside charging station. The batteries will be recharged for seven minutes following each trip, bringing them up to 80 percent capacity.

"Maid of the Mist tours of the world-famous Niagara Falls waterfalls and of the Niagara River Gorge are a signature tourism attraction of western New York," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a prepared statement. "The new zero-emission boats will continue that proud tradition, while enhancing our efforts to make New York state a premier environmentally friendly tourism destination."

Burger Boat is scheduled to finish construction on modules for the lead vessel by mid-May. From there, they will be transported to Niagara Falls where Maid of the Mist will complete final assembly and outfitting at its maintenance yard and dry dock.

The lead vessel should enter service in September. Upon completion of both new electric boats, the tour operator will replace Maid of the Mist VI and Maid of the Mist VII, built in 1990 and 1997, respectively.

Nichols Brothers delivers next-gen hybrid tugboat

Baydelta Maritime has taken delivery of the hybrid tugboat Delta Teresa from Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Whidbey Island, Wash. Jensen Maritime Consultants designed the Valor-class tugboat, which shares the same hull form as six sister tugs.

The 100-by-40-foot Delta Teresa has twin Caterpillar 2,675-hp Tier 3 main engines that can work separately or in tandem with twin ABB 568-hp electric motors installed aft of Rolls-Royce (now Kongsberg) z-drives. Three 300-kW Cat C9.3 gensets and a 150-kW Cat C7.1 ship service generator supply current to the electric motors.

Total bollard pull exceeds 90 tons, and the electric motors alone are capable of more than 20 tons. The tug can reach 9 knots without using the main engines.

The gensets also provide power to electric Rapp winches installed fore and aft. The hawser features a liquid-cooled electric motor that allows the unit to run longer at higher output. The tug has berthing for seven people and will escort and assist tankers in San Francisco Bay.

Delta Teresa was christened May 4 at Baydelta’s headquarters at Pier 17 in San Francisco.

Washburn & Doughty to build new tug series for Moran

Washburn & Doughty (W&D) and Moran Towing have reached an agreement on a new series of ASD tugboats. Over time, the order could grow to 10 tugs in all.

Jensen Maritime Consultants will work with the shipyard’s in-house team of naval architects on the 86-by-36-foot tugs. Delivery of the first two is expected next year.

Propulsion will come from twin Caterpillar 3512E Tier 4 engines rated for 2,549 hp each at 1,800 rpm. Rolls-Royce/Kongsberg will supply the z-drives with 2,400-mm fixed-pitch props. Twin John Deere 99-kW gensets will provide ship service power. Markey will supply 50-hp hawser winches and aft-mounted capstans for each tug. Bollard pull will exceed 63 metric tons.

“We are proud to have earned Moran’s continued business and we look forward to working with them on this significant project," Bruce Doughty, W&D's chairman of the board, said in a prepared statement. "We know the standards to which Moran holds its fleet and it feels good to know that Washburn & Doughty tugs will continue to serve their crews up and down the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.”

Moran Towing of New Canaan, Conn., and W&D of East Boothbay, Maine, have long partnered on new tugs. The 93-foot Judy Moran, now operating in Norfolk, Va., after completion last summer, is the 40th tug the yard has built for Moran.

U.S. Workboats, Senesco get wind power vessel contracts

Orsted and WindServe Marine have reached an agreement to build a pair of offshore wind power support vessels at two East Coast shipyards.

The first high-speed aluminum crew transfer vessel is already under construction at U.S. Workboats in Hubert, N.C., and is scheduled for delivery late this year. Senesco Marine of North Kingstown, R.I., will build the second boat starting in 2020. BMT Group provided plans for both vessels.

The vessel under construction in North Carolina will work initially at Orsted’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project 27 miles from Virginia Beach. The boat will carry technicians and other personnel necessary to keep the turbines operating.

The vessel planned for Senesco will work at Revolution Wind off New England’s southern coast. Up to 400 wind turbines could be built at the site.

Quebec builder wins contract for Royal Canadian Navy tugs

Ocean Industries of Isle‑aux-Coudres, Quebec, has won a $102 million contract to build four advanced tugboats for the Royal Canadian Navy.

The vessels will be outfitted for towing, firefighting and other duties for the service’s Atlantic and Pacific operations. The newbuilds will replace five civilian-crewed Glen-class tugboats and two fireboats already in service. The project will support 140 jobs at the Quebec shipyard.

"We're very pleased to have obtained this contract to complete this project at our shipyard in Isle-aux-Coudres in the Charlevoix region. Though we've built a lot of ships, this is the most important contract ever taken on by Ocean Industries Inc.,” said Jacques Tanguay, president and CEO of Ocean Group.

“We worked hard to present the federal government with a competitive offer, and we're pleased that our efforts are materializing in these initial significant economic results for our company related to the National Shipbuilding Strategy,” he continued.

Propulsion equipment and other vessel specs have not been released. Two of the new tugs will be assigned to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt in British Columbia. The other two will be delivered to CFB Halifax in Nova Scotia. Two deliveries are expected in 2021, followed by two more in 2023.

By Professional Mariner Staff