November 2021 Shipbuilding News

Bay Shipbuilding launches new Great Lakes freighter 

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and The Interlake Steamship Co. celebrated the launch of Mark W. Barker, the first new U.S.-built Great Lakes freighter in nearly 40 years. 

The 639-by-78-foot, River-class self-unloading ship is slated for completion next year. It will operate within the Great Lakes and carry raw materials such as salt, iron ore and stone.  

“Today is truly gratifying for our company to commemorate the first time the completed hull of our new ship has touched water,” said Mark W. Barker, president of Interlake and namesake of the new vessel, at the ceremony Oct. 28. 

Mark W. Barker is the first new ship constructed for the company since 1981, according to a news release from Bay Shipbuilding. Interlake, Bay Shipbuilding and Bay Engineering partnered on the bulk carrier’s design and its internal systems.  

The project is supporting nearly 700 jobs at the shipyard in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., plus additional work for contractors and other partners. Key partners include ABS, EMD engines, Caterpillar, Lufkin, Kongsberg and MacGregor.  

More on the ship can be found here.


NASSCO christens, launches future USNS Harvey Milk 

The second ship in the U.S. Navy’s John Lewis-class fleet oiler program has hit the water.  

Dignitaries and shipyard officials gathered at General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego on Nov. 6 to christen and launch the future USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206). The 742-foot ship is named for the former San Francisco human rights activist and elected official who was killed in 1978.  

The lead ship in the series, USNS John Lewis, is named for the former Georgia congressman and civil rights leader who died last year.  

“Leaders like Harvey Milk taught us that diversity of backgrounds and experiences help contribute to the strength and resolve of our nation,” Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said. “There is no doubt that the future sailors aboard this ship will be inspired by Milk’s life and legacy.” 

The six John Lewis-class ships will be operated by Military Sealift Command. These next-generation fleet replenishment oilers are capable of holding 157,000 barrels of oil, as well as dry stores and other equipment. The series will replace the T-AO 187-class ships.  


Foss Maritime closes Seattle shipyard 

Foss Maritime has closed its long-running shipyard on the Lake Washington Ship Canal in Seattle.  

The company, in a prepared statement, suggested the shipyard was no longer viable. The number of impacted workers was not immediately available from Foss, although local media said nearly 120 people were directly affected. Employees will be paid through the end of 2021.  

“While the closure of the Seattle shipyard is a strategic decision for the future of Foss, it is not a decision we have taken lightly,” said Will Roberts, president of Foss. “We have employees and families who have been with us for decades; our priority is assisting them in this transition.” 

Foss plans to contract with other Pacific Northwest shipyard operations to upgrade and repair its fleet of tugboats and other assets.  

In July 2018, Foss announced the closure of its shipyard in Rainier, Ore., which left 10 people out of work.  


Gladding-Hearn inks CTV deal with Mayflower Wind 

Massachusetts shipbuilder Gladding-Hearn has reached an agreement with offshore wind developer Mayflower Wind to build a new hybrid crew transfer vessel (CTV).  

The vessel would be equipped with a battery-electric propulsion system described as a “bridge” to full electrification. The aluminum catamaran would be designed by Incat Crowther. 

“Mayflower Wind aims to develop the most innovative, fuel-efficient CTV built in the United States,” Michael Brown, CEO of Mayflower Wind, said in a prepared statement. “Ensuring that this vessel is constructed at a shipyard in Somerset is a big boostto the Massachusetts maritime economy and launches this shipyard toward a new and growing market.” 

Construction is predicated on a successful bid by Mayflower to supply electricity to Massachusetts from offshore wind. According to a news release, vessel construction “will proceed if Mayflower is awarded a contract under the latest Massachusetts procurement for offshore wind.” 

The current timeline calls for vessel design to occur during 2022 and 2023, with construction and delivery tentatively scheduled for the mid-2020s when Mayflower Wind turbines would be operational.  


SAFE Boats building six patrol boats for Ukraine  

Washington boatbuilder SAFE Boats has won a contract worth $89.7 million to build six Mk VI patrol boats designed for littoral operations in Ukraine under a U.S. State Department agreement. The deal includes an option for two additional boats.  

SAFE Boats, based in Bremerton, expects to create up to 75 new positions, many at its Tacoma site, to fulfill the contract. Final deliveries are slated for March 2025, or March 2026 if the option is exercised, the company said in a news release.  

The 85-foot vessels will be powered by two 2,600-hp MTU 16V2000 engines paired with HamiltonJet waterjets. The boats will have a cruising speed of about 25 knots and a top speed exceeding 35 knots. 


Austal USA to lease San Diego yard for ship repair 

The San Diego Board of Port Commissioners has approved Austal USA’s plan to assume Marine Group Boat Works’ facility lease in the port, according to an Austal news release. The agreement is set to close within 45 days.  

Austal plans to use the 15-acre site adjacent to U.S. Naval Base San Diego to repair ships operated by Military Sealift Command, the Coast Guard and the Navy. The company said it will add a new dry dock specifically to handle small and medium-sized ships. 

“This investment marks a major milestone in Austal’s focus on growing our services business and anchors our commitment to servicing Navy, Military Sealift and Coast Guard ships in the INDO-PACOM region,” Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh said in a prepared statement.  

Marine Group Boat Works plans to shift its focus to yacht repair at its Chula Vista shipyard, Austal said.

By Professional Mariner Staff