Shipbuilding News, November 2018

Foss hires Nichols Brothers Boat Builders for new tugboat series

Foss Maritime is moving ahead with a new tugboat series after all.

Three months after closing its Oregon shipyard and canceling a partnership with Damen, Foss has awarded a four-vessel contract to Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) of Freeland, Wash. The contract includes options for up to six additional tugboats. Jensen Maritime Consultants will provide the plans.

The 100-by-40-foot tugboats will be powered by twin MTU Series 4000 Tier 4 engines and Rolls-Royce z-drives, with Markey winches on deck. Bollard pull is projected to be 90 tons.

The first deliveries are scheduled for early 2020 through early 2021, and Nichols Brothers is implementing a new production line to meet the aggressive timeline, according to a news release.

“Nichols Brothers Boat Builders is excited that Foss Maritime has chosen our shipyard to build their new tugs in this important program,” Tor Hovig, NBBB vice president of sales and customer relations, said in a statement. “This is the first contract we have had with Foss, and it allows us the opportunity to work with one of the most respected players in the U.S. tug and workboat industry.”

Foss plans to operate the ship-handling tugs on the West Coast of the United States.

Matson takes delivery of largest U.S.-built containership

West Coast shipper Matson Inc. has taken delivery of the largest containership ever built in the United States, and the largest vessel in its fleet.

Philly Shipyard recently delivered the 850-foot Jones Act-compliant Daniel K. Inouye, the first of two Aloha-class ships Matson ordered from the yard. The vessel weighs more than 51,400 metric tons and can hold 3,600 TEU.

"This new ship, our fifth delivered by Philly Shipyard, is the product of a great partnership with the Philly team in designing and constructing a new class of containership that will set a new standard for cargo delivery in the Hawaii trade," said Ron Forest, president of Matson.

The vessel was scheduled to depart Nov. 7 on a 5,298-mile voyage to Oakland through the Panama Canal. It should enter commercial service later this month with calls in Long Beach and then Honolulu on Nov. 28.

Seaway Pilots order launch from Gladding-Hearn

Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding has won a contract from Seaway Pilots Inc. to build a 53-foot pilot launch. Delivery of the aluminum vessel with a Ray Hunt Design Deep-V hull form is scheduled for early 2020.

Propulsion will come from twin 641-hp Volvo Penta D16 engines turning five-blade nibral props through ZF 500-1-A gearboxes. Electrical power comes from a 12-kW Northern Lights genset.

Humphree Interceptor trim tabs installed at the transom will improve the launch’s ride and overall efficiency. The top speed is 25 knots, although service speed will average around 20.

The vessel will have five Llebroc seats and powerful AC and heating systems for use during the cold New York winters.

The Seaway Pilots operate from Cape Vincent, N.Y. Its pilots navigate ships between Port Weller on Lake Ontario and St. Regis, N.Y.

Metal Shark building towboats for Florida Marine Transporters

Metal Shark has won a contract to build three towboats for Florida Marine Transporters.

The work will take place at Metal Shark Alabama in Bayou La Batre — the yard formerly known as Horizon Shipbuilding. The 120-foot, four-decked towboats designed by John W. Gilbert Associates will feature twin Caterpillar 3512 engines each rated for 1,911 hp. Construction has already begun, and the first deliveries are scheduled for next year.

The contract is the first since Metal Shark acquired Horizon in bankruptcy in June. At the time, Metal Shark said the yard would allow the company to expand into steel-hulled vessels.

“The first step in bringing our Alabama facilities online was to implement the technology, production and project management methodologies, and engineering-driven processes developed and perfected during the course of building over 1,000 vessels at our two Louisiana shipbuilding facilities,” Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard said in a statement.

“Now, with systems in place, multiple new steel vessels under construction, and strong demand for our refit and repair services, we can proudly say that Metal Shark Alabama is fully open for business,” he continued.

Metal Shark said it plans to staff up to complete the new towboat contract.

Wind power firm plans Jones Act-compliant fleet

Aelous Energy has hired Norway-based Ulstein Design & Solutions to develop the first-ever fleet of Jones Act-compliant vessels to service offshore wind farms.

Aelous, a clean energy company based in Orlando, Fla., is planning for a wide range of vessels that include cable ships, crew transfer vessels and hotel ships, according to a news release. The initial vessel will be a service operations vessel based on an existing Ulstein design.

“The design and ultimate construction of these vessels will result in significant job creation and is a demonstration of confidence in the American shipbuilding industry,” Elia Golfin, CEO of Aeolus Energy Inc., said in a statement.

“We are excited to be working with Ulstein, an established market leader in vessel design for offshore wind. We look forward to pushing the envelope in the offshore wind industry where Jones Act-compliant vessels are concerned,” Golfin continued.

Additional details on the project, including a potential build timeline, were not available.

Buyer found for former BAE Southeast Shipyards

A Houston firm specializing in offshore construction and decommissioning has acquired BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards Alabama, where it plans to service its own fleet and explore building barges and offshore structures.

Epic Alabama Shipyard, a subsidiary of Epic Companies, announced in mid-October that it acquired the Mobile shipyard, home to one of the largest dry docks along the Gulf of Mexico. The company also plans to work with city and state authorities to build its work force.

“Mobile is perfectly situated to support the maritime and energy sector, both in the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the Caribbean,” Epic executive Rob Gilbert said in a statement.

BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards announced last winter that it was closing the shipyard by summer. The yard primarily serviced and repaired vessels working in the slumping offshore energy industry. The closing eliminated more than 150 jobs.

By Professional Mariner Staff