The 1974 vintage pipe carrier and offshore supply vessel Star Arcturus has been converted by Stabbert Maritime, of Seattle, to the construction ship Ocean Carrier.
â€œThe year-long project employed 100 people working round the clock and every system was rebuilt or replaced,â€ said Daniel Stabbert, marketing and project manager for the Stabbert group of companies. While Stabbert Maritime is a specialist in yacht and commercial repair at its yard in Seattle, the company reworked Ocean Carrier at the Port of Houston.
The 270-by-58-foot vessel had her main engines rebuilt by the Scottish engine maker Polar. Three Caterpillar 3516 gensets, each rated at 1,500 kW, were added to operate the four thrusters, giving the vessel excellent DP-2 capability. Two additional Caterpillar engines were added, one for the hotel load and a second engine as an emergency generator.
As soon as Ocean Carrier was complete, it was deployed to Mexico. â€œAt the present time the Ocean Carrier does not have its 150-ton crane, nor a deep-sea winch installed,â€ Stabbert added. â€œThose items were not needed by the customer, so we will add them when the vessel completes it first assignment.â€
The construction of lift boats, construction vessels, crane barges and anything else that floats and mounts a crane is proceeding at a high level. There is still significant work to be done in the Gulf of Mexico, including shelf undersea repairs and plug-and-abandonment projects on old platforms, as well as new construction. All of this activity contributes to the shortage of cranes.
VT Halter Marine builds two new OSVs
VT Halter Marine, based in Pascagoula, Miss., has two supply boats under construction for L & M Botruc Rental, of Golden Meadow, La. The 240-by-56-foot vessels will be named Botruc 40 and 41 and will be DP-2 capable. Delivery is anticipated in 2010.
Ferry to be stretched
Miller Boat Line, Put-in-Bay, Ohio, will stretch one of its ferries. Great Lakes Shipyard, of Cleveland, has been awarded a contract to add a 40-foot mid-body section to one of Millerâ€™s four ferries.
After completion, the ferry will be 136 feet long and able to carry an additional eight automobiles or 100 more passengers on the Lake Erie route from Catawba to the islands of Put-in-Bay, including South Bass Island and Middle Bass Island.
The work includes new rudders, steering system and main engine keel cooling system.
U.S. Maritime Administration guarantees barge loans
Trinity Marine Groupâ€™s shipyards in Port Allen, La., and Caruthersville, Mo., will build nine asphalt barges and 30 open hopper barges for Canal Barge Co., of New Orleans. The asphalt barges will be used to carry home heating products and the open barges will carry coal to power plants.
The U.S. Maritime Administration will guarantee 87.5 percent of the project cost of $46.6 million.
The project will involve 270,000 hours of shipyard work or one yearâ€™s employment for 130 workers.
American Commercial Lines (ACL) has announced it will build 50 covered hopper barges in the first quarter of 2010.
â€œWe are beginning our dry barge replacement program to reduce the age of our fleet,â€ said ACL President and CEO Mike Ryan. â€œWith scrap steel prices the highest in years, we will continue to scrap our oldest barges and replace them with new high-quality barges built at our Jeffboat facility.â€
Bollinger renovating C-Truc 7
Bollinger Shipyards Inc., of Lockport, La., has completed the renovation of C-Truc 7, a supply boat owned by L & M Botruc Rental, of Golden Meadow, La. One of a number of similar supply boats built 27 years ago, the 170-by-40-foot vessel will get the addition of a 30-foot mid body, an upgrade to DP-1, an increase in power from from 2,000 to 3,600 hp via Cummins QSK 50 engines, increased bulk and liquid mud capacity and a new 750-hp Cummins bow thruster.
C-Truc 7 is one of three identical vessels Bollinger will upgrade in this manner. Delivery of the third vessel is slated for next summer.
Huge crane barge built in Houma
Manson Gulf, a subsidiary of Manson Construction Co., of Seattle, has completed construction of a large crane barge that will work in the Gulf of Mexico. The 380-foot barge mounts a crane that can lift 1,000 tons in water 1,000 feet deep.
â€œIt is the first such vessel built for the Gulf of Mexico in 40 years, according to Vincent Dinkler, VP of Manson Gulf.
Working on a schedule of 28 days on and 14 days off, the vessel has extensive accommodations and galley spaces for the crew of 156.
Named E.P. Paup, the $80 million crane barge was built in pieces in several areas of the country and assembled in Manson Gulfâ€™s Houma yard. The barge base was built in Portland, Ore., the cabin quarters constructed in Abbeville, La., and part of the crane was made at APA Fabrication in Houma.
Basic Marine to build crane barge
Speaking of crane barges, Basic Marine Inc., of Escanaba, Mich., has been awarded a contract for final engineering design and construction of a crane barge for the Memphis District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The $7.7 million fixed-price contract has a project delivery date of Dec. 31, 2010. The crane will be used to support the riverbank revetment mission of the Army Corps of Engineers on the Mississippi River system.
Bollinger busy building Bees
The waters around Bayou Lafourche in Lockport, La., adjacent to Bollinger Shipyards look like an unfinished boat storage area. Actually, it represents several supply boats under construction for BeeMar LLC, of Houston.
Four of the 210-foot vessels have been delivered: Worker Bee, Honey Bee, Busy Bee and Bayou Bee.
â€œThe fifth 210-foot vessel will deliver in approximately eight weeks to be followed by three 234-foot vessels in April, June and September of 2010, making a total of eight supply vessels to this company,â€ said Robert Socha, VP of sales and marketing for Bollinger.
About the author:
Larry Pearson has been covering the maritime industry since 1981. His work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including Marine Log, Diesel Progress, WorkBoat, Professional Mariner and American Ship Review. He published his own magazine, Passenger Vessel News, from 1991 to 1998. A graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism and a minor in mechanical engineering, he lives in the New Orleans area.