Shipbuilding News May 2021

Bollinger acquires Gulf Island Fabrication shipyard facilities
Bollinger Shipyards has acquired Gulf Island Fabrication’s shipyard facilities in Houma, La., in a deal valued at approximately $28.6 million.

Under terms of the agreement announced on April 19, Bollinger acquired 437 acres of land on the west bank of the Houma Navigation Channel. The existing yard has 18,000 square feet of administrative and operations space, 160,000 square feet of fabrication space and 20,000 square feet of warehouse space, Bollinger said.

The transaction also included Gulf Island’s dry docks ranging from 15,000 short tons down to 1,500 short tons.

Bollinger expects the acquisition will provide access to skilled workers and contribute to efficiencies and economies of scale.

“For 75 years, we’ve developed a deep expertise in and proven track record of building reliable, high-endurance steel vessels for the Coast Guard, Navy and our commercial customers,” Ben Bordelon, CEO and president of Bollinger Shipyards, said in a prepared statement. “As the needs of these customers change and grow, we are constantly looking for ways to invest in and expand our capabilities and innovative solutions.”

Gulf Island’s existing order book includes towing, salvage and rescue tugboats for the Navy and regional class research vessels for the National Science Foundation and Oregon State University. These projects will continue under the ownership of Bollinger, which has an active portfolio of government and commercial projects.

“The addition of the new Houma shipyard further strengthens our position within the U.S. defense industrial base as a leading shipbuilder and vessel repair company,” Bordelon said.


MarAd awards $19.6 million in small shipyard grants
The U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd) has awarded $19.6 million to 31 small shipyards in 15 states through the agency’s Small Shipyard Grant Program.

The money is intended to improve competitiveness, modernize facilities and support job growth. Since the program started in 2008, more than $262 million has been awarded to almost 300 shipyards across 32 states.

“These grants will help small businesses do what they do best: build essential infrastructure while creating long-term jobs for American workers,” Lucinda Lessley, acting maritime administrator, said in a prepared statement on April 23. “Better equipment means increased productivity and more ships moving through our small shipyards — and more ships mean more local jobs.”

The largest grant went to Stevens Towing Co. of Yonges Island, S.C. The family-owned company received $1.38 million to support the purchase of an 820-metric-ton marine travel lift at its new zero-emissions North Yard.

St. Johns Ship Building of Palatka, Fla., received $1.34 million to support construction of a 2,000-ton dry dock. Bollinger Marine Fabricators of Amelia, La., received $1.12 million to support the purchase of a blast and paint plate preservation line machine.

Other large grants went to Heartland Fabrication of Brownsville, Pa., which received $983,000 to help purchase a robotic welding system, and C&C Marine and Repair of Belle Chasse, La., which received $749,000 for welding enhancements and additional forklifts.

“These grants go directly to small shipyards across the country and will help protect and create local jobs, strengthen America’s maritime industry, and bolster our economic security,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said in a prepared statement.

Click here for the full list of grant recipients.

All American delivers 150-passenger boat to Alaska tour operator 

Major Marine Tours of Seward, Alaska, has taken delivery of a 150-passenger aluminum catamaran that will carry customers around Kenai Fjords National Park.

All American Marine of Bellingham, Wash., built the 87-foot Spirit of Matushka based on a concept developed by Teknicraft Design of Auckland, New Zealand. The hull is designed for efficiency and features Teknicraft’s bow wave piercer and innovative hydrofoil design, according to All American, which announced the delivery in late April.

Spirit of Matushka is powered by four Scania DI16 082 engines, each generating 788 hp at 2,100 rpm. The Scania mains are paired with HamiltonJet HM422 waterjets, delivering a cruising speed of about 20 knots and a maximum speed approaching 30 knots. Performance features include HamiltonJet AVX controls and a JetAnchor system for enhanced station keeping.

The vessel has seating inside and out, with a stadium-style arrangement at the bow.


Maryland pilots take delivery of Gladding-Hearn launch
Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding announced the delivery of a new Chesapeake-class launch to the Association of Maryland Pilots in late April.

The 52.6-foot Susquehanna, built with the Ray Hunt Design deep-V hull form, is powered by two 641-hp Volvo Penta main engines paired with five-blade nibral propellers through ZF gears. The vessel also has a Humphree interceptor trim control system installed on the transom. The top speed exceeds 26 knots.

The wheelhouse on Susquehanna has heated front windows and powerful HVAC units that supply heating and cooling as the seasons change. There is a portable head, lockers and settee/bunk in the forecastle. The vessel has LED lights throughout. Electrical power comes from a single 12-kW Northern Lights generator.

Gladding-Hearn of Somerset, Mass., has built 22 Chesapeake-class pilot launches since the introduction of the series in 2003. They are currently used by 12 pilot associations across the country.


Washburn & Doughty launches new ferry for Maine service
The state of Maine is closer to adding a new ferry following the launch of Capt. Richard G. Spear at the Washburn & Doughty shipyard in East Boothbay, Maine.

The 154-foot ferry designed by Gilbert Associates of Braintree, Mass., has the capacity for 250 passengers and 23 vehicles. The total cost of the vessel is $10.9 million, according to the Maine Department of Transportation.

“Maine ferries, along with fishing vessels, containerships and other boats that make daily trips among our shores to feed our state, bring our goods to market and transport residents and visitors alike, are an important part of our economy and an irreplaceable part of our history,” Gov. Janet Mills said in a prepared statement.

The ferry is named for Richard Spear, a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy who served in the U.S. merchant marine in the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean theaters during World War II. Spear was the first employee of the Maine State Ferry and managed the system for 30 years.

The new vessel, launched in mid-April, will undergo sea trials before entering service later this year. It will carry passengers and vehicles on a route connecting Rockland with the midcoast island of Vinalhaven, home to a large fleet of lobster boats.


SAFE Boats delivers workboat to NY harbormaster
The harbormaster in Hempstead, N.Y., has taken delivery of a Stormer Marine workboat built under license by SAFE Boats International of Bremerton, Wash.

The 22-foot aluminum Porter 68S entered service following delivery in late January. The vessel was built by SAFE Boats using a design by Stormer, which is based in the Netherlands.

“The Stormer Porter line is the multipurpose ‘pickup truck on the water’ that we needed for our fleet,” said Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin. “The vessel has been able to accomplish all tasks at hand but, most importantly, getting our crew back to the dock safely at the end of each trip.”

The new vessel is powered by two outboard engines and is equipped with a low-profile push knee at the bow. Additional details on the vessel were not available.

By Professional Mariner Staff