Shipbuilding News November 2010

DOT announces $39 million in ferry grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced ferry grants for 39 projects in 20 states. Totaling $39 million, the grants range from $80,000 to $3 million.

Of the 35 projects, 14 are vessel related, while the balance is for ferry terminal, dock and pier improvements.

On the vessel side, there are grants of $2.4 million for a new ferry for Wayne County, Mich., and $2 million for a ferry for Kelleys Island in Ohio.

Much of the grant money is for refurbishment and new equipment on existing ferries. Work includes replacement of engines, adding radar and the complete overhaul of some vessels, the largest of which is $2 million for M/V Medocino, which operates near San Francisco.

This is the second consecutive year that DOT has made substantial grants to improve ferry infrastructure and vessels. Many of the 2009 projects have moved past the design phase and are either in the yards or are out for bid.


Foss to build second hybrid tug 

Foss Maritime Company, of Seattle, is building a second hybrid tug. Carolyn Dorothy, the first such vessel, debuted a year ago. The new tug will be a refit of an existing tug and will bring hybrid tug technology to the San Pedro Bay area in southern California.

The retrofit will be made possible by a $1 million grant from the California Air Resources Board. The vessel to be renovated is Campbell Foss. The work will be done at Foss’ Shipyard in Rainier, Ore. 

The goal is to realize annual reductions of 1.7 tons of diesel particulate matter, more than 53 tons of nitrogen, 1,340 tons of carbon dioxide and over 100,000 gallons of fuel.


More details on giant Gulf Craft crew/supply boats

Earlier this year, Gulf Offshore Logistics, of Mathews, La. announced that Gulf Craft Inc. would build four crew/supply boats and that four large supply vessels would be built by Thoma-Sea Ship Builders, in Lockport, La. 

A few details have been released on the crew/supply boats. At 225 by 36 feet, they are the largest crew/supply boats ever built. Deck capacity is 500 long tons, the industry highest. Deck size is 4,350 square feet.

Power will be a quartet of 3,000-hp diesels each driving a waterjet. Cargo water is 66,000 gallons and cargo fuel is 51,000 gallons. There will be space in the main cabin for 84 passengers and the vessel will operate with a crew of eight.


Halter to build ships in Brazil?

Vision Technologies Systems, parent company of VT Halter Marine, 

has opened an office in Brazil. No doubt the parent company planted the flag in Brazil because the company has more interests than shipbuilding. But with Edison Chouest Offshore building 280-foot supply boats as fast as its shipyard in Brazil will allow, no doubt Halter Marine wants a piece of that pie.

The offshore oil and gas industry in the Campos Basin off the east coast of Brazil is just beginning to develop, so there will be a continuing need for oil/gas industry vessels, including supply boats, crew supply boats, lift boats and other vessels.


ACL/Jeffboat sold

American Commercial Lines Inc and its shipbuilding subsidiary, both of Jeffersonville, Ind., has been sold to Platinum Equity for $777 million. Company shareholders will get $31.25 for each share of stock they own if the deal closes before Dec. 31, 2010, or $33 a share after that date.

Both companies have been industry leaders in the transportation of bulk commodities and the building of barges to carry those bulk materials.  

Platinum Equity will be able to infuse capital into the company, allowing for expansion.


Halter delivers second supply vessel to BoTruc

VT Halter Marine Inc., of Pascagoula, Miss., has delivered the second 230-foot supply boat to L&M BoTruc, of Golden Meadow, La.  Cheramie Bo-Truc is one of the oldest supply boat companies in the Gulf of Mexico. This is Cheramie BoTruc No. 41.

Earlier this year Bollinger Shipyards, of Lockport, La., renovated three 25-year-old Cheramie supply boats, so the company is tooling up for the future. 


Kvichak Industries builds three tenders for Dutch

Kvichak Industries, of Seattle, has delivered three 22-meter pilot boats built for the Dutch government. The vessels feature a pair of 970-kW Caterpillar C32 ACERT engines with Tier 2 technology. 

All three vessels were christened and commissioned on Sept. 29 and went into immediate service. The vessels can hold three crew and 12 pilots.


Chesapeake Shipbuilding receives grant

Chesapeake Shipbuilding, of Salisbury, Md., recently received a U.S. Department of Transportation grant for $519,000 to upgrade the company’s hull fabrication shed. The work includes a new air and gas distribution system, heaters, exhaust fans and large doors.

These improvements will enable Chesapeake to use multi shifts in the building more efficiently.

In the past Chesapeake was primarily a shipbuilder for parent company American Cruise Lines, but has taken in other work recently, such as a series of six tugs for Vane Brothers, of Baltimore, Md.


Facing an empty pipeline

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard is facing a first quarter 2011 close according to the company’s third quarter report. Currently the yard is finishing hulls Nos. 15 and 16. Twelve of these vessels are for Overseas Shipholding Group. After they are finished, the company will be essentially out of work.

The company said “it cannot remain a going concern” without any orders behind these tankers. With an empty pipeline, Aker Philadelphia Shipyard will close next year.


MetalCraft Marine delivers fireboat

The fireboat market is joining the fast-food industry in super sizing its products. For example, Jacksonville, Fla., has taken delivery of a 70-by-22.5-by-6.5-foot fireboat that can pump almost 18,000 gpm at 120 psi. 

Designed and built by MetalCraft Marine, of Ontario, Canada, the all-aluminum boat is the second NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 1925 class II vessel built. MetalCraft also built the first of this class. Vessels of this class have complete systems redundancy, damage stability and can pump at least 10,000 gallons of water per minute. 

There is also a foam system on board.

Power for the vessel is generated by four Caterpillar C-18 engines rated at 1,015 hp each. They give the vessel a top speed of 41 knots.

Seattle and New York City have also taken delivery of huge fireboats in the past two years. 

By Professional Mariner Staff