Shipbuilding News, October 2016

Eastern wins cutter contract worth up to $10 billion

Eastern Shipbuilding has won a contract to design and build up to nine new offshore patrol cutters (OPCs) for the U.S. Coast Guard, beating out two other yards competing for the lucrative deal.

The Panama City, Fla., shipyard has a $110 million contract to build the first cutter and options to build up to eight more for a total of $2.4 billion. The Coast Guard ultimately plans to build 25 OPCs for a total price of more than $10 billion.

The Coast Guard also considered Bath Iron Works and Bollinger for the cutter contract before choosing Eastern.

The OPC “will be the backbone of Coast Guard offshore presence and the manifestation of our at-sea authorities. It is essential to stopping smugglers at sea, for interdicting undocumented migrants, rescuing mariners, enforcing fisheries laws, responding to disasters and protecting our ports," Adm. Paul Zukunft, commandant of the Coast Guard, said in a news release.

The new series of Coast Guard cutters will be 360 feet long and capable of speeds greater than 22 knots. They’ll have deck space to accommodate a Coast Guard helicopter and up to three small boats. The cutters will have the latest and most advanced combat and communications equipment.

“We knew from the beginning that the U.S. Coast Guard would appreciate our excellent performance record of on-time delivery of high-quality vessels built by our first-rate craftsmen,” Eastern President Joey D’Isernia said in a prepared statement.

“We believe that the Coast Guard is going to get the best value for its money and the finest vessels to succeed in its mission,” shipyard CEO Brian D’Isernia added.

The 25 new cutters will replace 29 medium-endurance cutters already in the Coast Guard fleet. Construction on the first new vessel is scheduled to begin in 2018.

Main Iron Works delivers z-drive tug Mr. Ruben

Bisso Towboat of Luling, La., has taken delivery of the 4,480-hp tractor tug Mr. Ruben from Main Iron Works. The z-drive tug is the first of two vessels the Houma, La., yard is building for Bisso.

The 100-by-38-foot tug is outfitted with twin Caterpillar 3515 Tier 3 mains generating 2,240 hp each. The engines are linked with Rolls-Royce US 205 FP z-drives turning 90-inch props in stainless-steel nozzles. Electrical service comes from two Marathon generators powered by John Deere 4045 Tier 3 engines. 

On the bow is a JonRie Series 230 winch loaded with 500 feet of 8-inch line. The tug’s bollard pull is estimated at 60 tons.

Main Iron Works has built 10 tugboats for Bisso in the past 25 years, six of which feature z-drives. The company’s fleet now consists of 12 tugs.

Washington State Ferries christens ferry Chimacum

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and other state officials celebrated the newest Washington State Ferries vessel recently during a christening ceremony at Vigor’s Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle.

The 144-car Chimacum is scheduled to begin sea trials early next year. If all goes well, it should enter service on the Seattle-to-Bremerton route next spring.

The vessel is the third in a series of four Olympic-class ferries replacing some of the oldest boats in the fleet. The lead vessel, Tokitae, and the second vessel, Samish, are already in service. Suquamish, the final vessel, is under construction at Vigor and set for delivery in 2019. The total project cost for all four ferries is $515.5 million.

Navy’s ‘stealth ship’ sustains engineering casualty

The U.S. Navy’s newest and largest destroyer designed with stealth technologies sustained an engineering problem less than a month ahead of commissioning.

Crew aboard USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) discovered the problem on Sept. 19 just before the ship was to begin another round of sea trials. The vessel underwent repairs and its commissioning is still on track for Oct. 15 in Baltimore. 

“The crew discovered the casualty after detecting a seawater leak in the propulsion motor drive lube oil auxiliary system for one of the ship’s shafts. The built-in redundancy of the ship’s propulsion plant allows this first-in-class ship to operate with multiple engine configurations. However, it was determined that the repairs should be completed in port prior to the ship transiting to sea,” U.S. Naval Surface Forces said in a September statement to USNI News.

Zumwalt will conduct the repairs at Naval Station Norfolk prior to getting underway for training and certification operations,” the statement continued.

The 610-foot destroyer features a wave-piercing tumblehome hull intended to shield the vessel from enemy radar. The vessel also has a wide range of modern armaments and can deploy Tomahawk missiles and other advanced weapons.

Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, built Zumwalt, and it has contracts to build two follow-on ships, the future Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) and Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002). Zumwalt will be home-ported in San Diego.

NASSCO delivers latest ECO-class tanker

General Dynamics NASSCO has delivered Bay State, the fourth of five ECO-class tankers to American Petroleum Tankers.

Bay State, like its Jones Act predecessors, is a 610-foot, 50,000-deadweight-ton ship that can be converted to run on liquefied natural gas. The tanker can carry up to 330,000 barrels of product. The ECO design promises up to 33 percent better fuel efficiency and features a ballast water treatment system, along with other environmental features.

NASSCO also is building ECO-class tankers for SEA-Vista LLC.

Master Marine delivers St. Simon to Marquette

Master Marine has delivered St. Simon, a 2,000-hp z-drive towboat built for Marquette Transportation. The vessel is the 10th of an 11-boat order Master Marine is completing for the Paducah, Ky., operator’s river division.

St. Simon is powered by twin Caterpillar C32 Tier 3 engines each producing 1,000 hp. The Cat mains are connected to ZF Marine z-drives with 65-inch props inside nozzles. The vessel has a running speed of 10 knots. Twin John Deere 4045 engines drive a pair of Marathon generators.

On deck, the towboat has Patterson 40-ton deck winches, while Schuyler Cos. provided the rubber fenders. Entech Designs of Kenner, La., designed the vessel.

Master Marine delivered another boat in the series, St. Matthew, last summer. St. Simon will join its predecessors pushing barges in on the Mississippi River and surrounding waterways. The final boat in the series, St. Matthias, is expected in December.

St. John’s delivers latest tug to Vane Brothers

St. John’s Ship Building of Palatka, Fla., has delivered the 4,200-hp tugboat Baltimore to Vane Brothers and is hard at work on Delaware, the fourth vessel in the Elizabeth Anne class. Frank Basile of Entech Designs provided plans for the model-bow vessel.

Baltimore is powered by twin Caterpillar 3516 Tier 3 engines each producing 2,100 hp, while two John Deere 4045 generators deliver ship service power. A third John Deere 4045 engine drives the Intercon DD200 towing winch. In the wheelhouse, crewmembers have access to solid-state Simrad electronics.

The Elizabeth Anne-class vessels will primarily tow petroleum barges in the North Atlantic. Baltimore joins Hudson, Elizabeth Anne and 20 other Vane Brothers vessels in Philadelphia.

Vane Brothers, which is based in Baltimore, expects delivery of the tug Delaware by spring.

By Professional Mariner Staff