Shipbuilding News, October 2017

Vigor wins Army landing craft contract worth nearly $1 billion

Vigor has won a U.S. Army contract to build a new generation of landing crafts worth nearly $1 billion over 10 years. The deal is the largest in Vigor’s history and will support full-time work for about 200 people, the company said.

The Seattle-based shipyard operator developed the Vigor MSV(L) design with BMT naval architects of the United Kingdom. The tri-bow monohull vessel is intended for maneuverability and stability in a wide range of conditions, including high sea states and the littorals.

The new vessel class builds on capabilities of the current LCM-8 with added performance and flexibility, according to Vigor.

“This award is the culmination of a five-year process of research and development that first began with Kvichak prior to its merger with Vigor,” Frank Foti, Vigor CEO, said in a prepared statement. “We are grateful for the exceptional work done by our entire team and honored to have been selected to serve the Army in this important project.”

The project is valued at more than $979 million. The first phase consists of refining the design, then building an MSV(L) prototype. The contract calls for one prototype vessel, four vessels under low-rate production, and up to 32 additional vessels.

Other partners in the landing craft project include Gladding-Hearn and Northrop Grumman. Vigor did not specify a delivery schedule.

Metal Shark gets order for five more NYC ferries

Louisiana-based Metal Shark, which already has built six vessels for Hornblower's new NYC Ferry, has announced orders for five additional high-speed aluminum catamarans for the commuter service.

The new work calls for four 97-foot, 350-passenger Rockaway-class ferries that can accommodate more than twice as many people as the original 85-foot, 150-passenger ferry platform. It also includes one more 150-passenger River-class ferry. All five boats will be delivered next year, according to Metal Shark.

Incat Crowther designed both ferry classes, which are powered by twin Moteurs Baudouin engines paired with ZF Marine ZF 3050 gearboxes and five-blade Michigan Wheel props. Operating speed of the new 97-foot ferries is 24 knots.

Earlier this year, Hornblower said demand for the new ferry service had exceeded expectations, spurring demand for the larger vessels.

Metal Shark chosen for next-generation Navy patrol boats

Metal Shark also has been awarded a contract to produce a next-generation patrol boat for the U.S. Navy using an in-house design.

The 40-foot aluminum PB(X) is intended to replace up to 160 of the Navy’s 25-foot and 34-foot patrol boats over the course of 15 years. According to Metal Shark, the Navy has ordered 11 of the new crafts, but the award could grow to include up to 50 PB(X) vessels, along with spares and related equipment. The total contract could exceed $90 million.

Metal Shark already has built a PB(X) prototype that has undergone extensive testing. The vessel is powered by twin diesel inboard engines paired with waterjets for speeds exceeding 35 knots. It can be equipped with a wide range of weapons systems.

Metal Shark, which also won a contract this year to build 85-foot near-coastal patrol boats for the Navy, plans to build the PB(X) vessels at its Jeanerette, La., production facility.

Lake Assault delivers 24 barges for San Antonio River Walk

Wisconsin shipbuilder Lake Assault Boats recently delivered 24 river barges for the San Antonio River Walk. The city of San Antonio bought the vessels as part of a 43-vessel order.

Propulsion for the barges comes from a 10-kW electric outboard motor that runs off 16 rechargeable lithium batteries. The batteries are charged when the vessel is plugged into shoreside power, according to Lake Assault.

The 24 boats have five different rail patterns and can be outfitted in multiple floor plans to support different uses such as touring, commuting, dining and special events. The flexible deck design allows tables and chairs to be placed according to the use.

Vessels in the first delivery arrived by truck and were lifted into the river by crane, Lake Assault said. The remaining 19 vessels in the order will be delivered by Dec. 1.

Bisso adds to z-drive tugboat fleet

Bisso Towboat Co. has added another z-drive tugboat to its Mississippi River fleet. Main Iron Works of Houma, La., built the 4,480-hp Liz Healy as well as three earlier sister vessels in the class.

The 100-foot Liz Healy has twin Caterpillar 3156C engines generating 2,240 hp at 1,600 rpm turning Rolls-Royce US205FP z-drives. Twin Marathon 99-kW generators provide electrical service, and a JonRie Series 230 hydraulic winch is installed on deck. Total bollard pull is estimated at 60 tons.

The wheelhouse is equipped with Simrad electronics and navigation equipment, and soundproof insulation has been installed to reduce noise and vibration in crew spaces. The tug has four bunkrooms with berthing for seven people.

Main Iron Works has built seven z-drive tugs and 11 tugs overall for Bisso Towboat of Luling, La., in the past 25 years. Liz Healy is the 12th boat in Bisso’s fleet, which performs ship-assist work on the Mississippi River.

Master Marine delivers fleet boat for Waterfront Services

Waterfront Services Co. has taken delivery of the first of four new 67-foot fleet boats from Master Marine of Bayou La Batre, Ala.

The lead boat, Miss Deborah, is powered by twin Mitsubishi Tier 3 diesel engines each producing 803 hp, coupled with Twin Disc gearboxes at a 5:1 ratio and 70-inch, four-blade Sound props. Electrical service comes from twin Northern Lights 65-kW generators. Schuyler provided the fenders.

Other components on Miss Deborah include twin Wintech 40-ton deck winches and Thordon bearings, bushings and shaft seals. Heating and cooling on board the vessel comes from a Mitsubishi mini-split system.

Delivery information for the remaining three vessels in the order was not available from the Cairo, Ill.-based operator.

By Professional Mariner Staff