Shipbuilding News, October 2014

Two tugs delivered to Signet Maritime

This past summer, Signet Maritime took delivery of Signet Arcturus and Signet Polaris, the eighth and ninth tugboats designed for the company by Robert Allan Ltd., to add to its fleet of 37 conventional and ASD vessels. The tugs were constructed at Patti Marine Enterprises in Pensacola, Fla.

The tugs are based on the Signet Weatherly design, but with additional power and higher bollard pull. The vessels are intended for multidisciplinary work including offshore support, towing, ship-assist, ship escort, subsea and rig moves. A number of design modifications were incorporated from the original design to increase the vessel’s capabilities for this multidisciplinary work.

Signet Arcturus and Signet Polaris are of the RAmparts 3200 class Z-drive tug design from Vancouver, British Columbia-based Robert Allan. According to the designer, there are now well over 100 of this class in service worldwide. 

USS Enterprise anchor installed on USS Abraham Lincoln

Although the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2016, its legacy lives on. Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division recently installed one of Enterprise's anchors on younger carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72).

USS Enterprise, originally built by Newport News in the 1960s and refueled for the third and final time in the early ’90s, is currently docked at the shipyard's Pier 2 for inactivation. After more than 50 years of service, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is being put to rest before final disposal.

In a drydock a few hundred yards from Enterprise, USS Abraham Lincoln, less than half the age of Enterprise, is undergoing its refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH). During this multiyear process, every inch of the carrier is updated or refurbished, including its two massive anchors.

During the overhaul process, Newport News shipbuilders' inspections found that one of the Lincoln's anchors needed to be replaced, so shipbuilders swapped out the old anchor for one of Enterprise's. The anchor, cast in 1962 and weighing in at 30 tons, is an exact twin of Lincoln's other, and much younger, anchor. With two working anchors, the sailors aboard Lincoln will be able to test the carrier's anchor-lift system during sea trials, scheduled for 2016.

Portsmouth yard goes out of state for maintenance job

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) conducted the USS Springfield's maintenance off-site at Sub Base New London in Groton, Conn. Although PNSY routinely performs work outside the Kittery, Maine, shipyard, off-site work requires and extraordinary teamwork. 

The Springfield Project Team and Ship's Force, with support from PNSY and the Regional Support Group in Groton, did just that, according to Project Superintendent Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Luteran. He attributed the under-budget and ahead-of-schedule successful maintenance to teamwork and good project management practices. 

"Portsmouth prides itself on first-time quality, and it couldn't have been more evident than the work completed during this maintenance period," said Luteran. "The project team's performance during the docking period enabled us to undock one week early and ride that success into the end game of the availability, returning Springfield to the fleet sooner than expected."

Throughout the docking phase of the maintenance period, the project team successfully executed nearly 24,000 man-days of maintenance. This contributed to the delivery of Springfield one day early and $3 million under budget.

"Springfield's project team kept its focus on safety and first-time quality," said Shipyard Commander Capt. William Greene. "It's the team's commitment to excellence that delivers results in submarine maintenance and returns mission-ready submarines back to the fleet on-time and on-budget."

New York Power Authority orders tugs from Great Lakes

Great Lakes Shipyard has been contracted by New York Power Authority (NYPA) to build and deliver two new tugboats for the Authority’s Niagara River Ice Boom Operations in Buffalo, N.Y., to augment and replace existing vessels in its fleet currently used for the installation, removal and maintenance of the Lake Erie Ice Boom and various associated marine construction projects.

The tugs will be specially reinforced for operations in seasonal ice and employ heavy stems for light ice breaking and shell reinforcement along the ice belt. The design of the conventional drive tugs includes elevated pilothouses for improved visibility when maneuvering as well as a spacious work deck aft to facilitate ice boom connections. The tugs are designed to comply with proposed Subchapter M of Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations for inspected towing vessels. Delivery of the first tug is scheduled for September 2015.

The tug construction contract, valued at nearly $5 million, is the company’s second major order from the authority. In 2010, Great Lakes Shipyard built the agency’s new 80-by-34-foot Ice Boom Operations Barge, including the supply and installation of a new Terex 80-ton, pedestal-mounted lattice boom crane.

Like the barge, the naval architecture and marine engineering firm Bristol Harbor Group Inc., of Bristol, R.I., (BHGI) was contracted by NYPA to develop the contract design documents for the vessels and provide consultation during both the bid and construction phases. BHGI assisted NYPA during the bid process and will be acting as NYPA’s on-site representative during the fabrication process, performing quality assurance and certification functions.

NYPA is the nation’s largest state power organization, controlling 16 power generation plants, including fossil-fueled and hydroelectric generating facilities.

New York re-launches ‘greener’ canal workboat

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of an all-electric dredge tender workboat on the Erie Canal in the Utica area of New York. The project, a partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), utilized an electric motor supplied and installed by Elco Motor Yachts LLC, of Athens, N.Y. Significantly, the New York State Canal Corp. collaborated with Yorkville-based New West Technologies LLC, in order to determine how best to transition the state’s workboat fleet to a cleaner propulsion system.

Like any ‘green’ initiative, funding and support has to start from the top. This project was no different. “By partnering with the private sector, New York state is transforming an 86-year-old tugboat into a cleaner, greener and more modern zero-emission vehicle,” Cuomo said. “Projects like this demonstrate our commitment to protecting the environment and show how this continued dedication is laying the groundwork for a clean energy economy of tomorrow.” And, depending on the metrics and data that comes out of this effort, the state of New York and its storied canal system could see more of this sort of clean propulsion.

The project made use of a 1928 tugboat, now in service as a dredge tender and for buoy removal and other canal workboat missions. Previously running off a 1980s-era diesel engine, Tender 4 now operates eight hours a day, running on a battery-powered, all-electric power train system.

The Canal Corp. partnered with New West Technologies LLC to evaluate and help determine a clean propulsion transition path for its workboat fleet. The initial Phase 1 feasibility study completed through this partnership validated the energy, economic and environmental benefits of electric propulsion for Canal Corp.’s workboats. Phase 2 includes the goal of evaluating the tender’s operational and maintenance data to support the goal of transitioning the long-term sustainability of New York’s fleet.

By Professional Mariner Staff