Shipbuilding News, October 2019

Vigor lays keel for next-generation Army landing craft

Dignitaries joined Vigor workers and executives at the company’s Vancouver, Wash., shipyard on Sept. 16 for a keel-laying ceremony for the U.S. Army’s new landing craft, known as a maneuver support vessel (light), or MSV(L).

The vessel was designed in partnership with United Kingdom-based BMT and builds on the performance of the LCM-8 landing craft that dates back to the Vietnam War era. Vigor won the nearly $1 billion contract in late 2017. The lead vessel, SSG Elroy F. Wells, is named for an Army staff sergeant who died while serving in the war. 

Wells will serve as a prototype that will undergo testing and refinements before subsequent crafts are built. It will be followed by four vessels in a low-rate production phase and by up to 32 vessels in all, according to Vigor. 

The 117-foot vessels have a tri-bow monohull form and will be capable of 21 knots fully laden and more than 30 knots light. Propulsion will come from three 2,600-hp engines paired with waterjets. Their range will be more than 360 miles. 

In addition to BMT, Gladding-Hearn and Northrop Grumman are assisting with the MSV(L) project. 

Eastern launches first of two tugs for Bisso Offshore

The first of two new Tier 4 ship-assist tugboats under construction for an E.N. Bisso & Son subsidiary is in the water at Eastern Shipbuilding. Robert Allan Ltd. supplied plans for the vessels based on its RAL RApport 2400 design. 

The lead boat is C.D. White, which will be followed by sibling A. Thomas Higgins for Bisso Offshore. The 80-by-28-foot tugs are powered by dual 2,549-hp Caterpillar 3512 Tier 4 engines turning Rolls-Royce/Kongsberg z-drives. Two 99-kW John Deere 4045 genets provide electrical power. 

Markey supplied the forward hawser winch and aft capstan. Washington Chain & Supply provided the 90-ton towing hook. Firefighting equipment consists of a Counterfire pump and 4-inch Stang remote-controlled monitor. 

C.D. White is scheduled for delivery in December.

Gulf Craft delivers high-speed Maine tour boat

Gulf Craft recently delivered the 98-foot catamaran Coastal Explorer to Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co., a Maine operator with two sister vessels from the builder already in service. Incat Crowther designed the new vessel as well as Acadia Explorer and Schoodic Explorer, both delivered last year.

The 114-passenger Coastal Explorer will be used for whale watching, nature cruises, lighthouse tours and tender services for cruise ships visiting Bar Harbor. Passenger amenities include a snack bar, five TVs for entertainment, and an upper deck with seating for 65. 

Propulsion on the new tour boat differs from the two lead boats. Coastal Explorer is powered by four 800-hp Cummins QSK19 Tier 3 mains paired with four HamiltonJet HM461 waterjets. Two Caterpillar C4.4 engines provide electrical power, and the boat has Humphree interceptors for active ride control. The service speed is 28 knots. 

All American Marine launches Duke research boat

The Duke University Marine Lab is close to taking delivery of a hydrofoil-assisted catamaran built by All American Marine.

The 77-by-26-foot aluminum Shearwater has a Teknicraft design with demonstrated fuel economy and low-wake platform. The research and survey vessel will be used for conservation, biological oceanography and offshore energy projects. It has overnight berthing for 14 people and overall space for 30. 

Propulsion on Shearwater comes from twin Caterpillar C18 D ACERT engines rated for 803 hp at 2,100 rpm. The cruising speed is 24 knots.

Funding for the new vessel came largely from an $11 million donation to the Duke lab. All American Marine recently completed construction and launched the Subchapter T vessel.

The vessel will be based at the Duke lab in Beaufort, N.C. Shearwater is replacing the 135-foot Cape Hatteras and the 50-foot Susan Hudson, retired in 2012 and 2014, respectively.

Metal Shark delivers catamaran for Florida tours

Pure Florida, which operates charters and tours from Fort Myers and Naples, has taken delivery of an aluminum foil-assisted catamaran built by Metal Shark. 

The 40-by-14-foot Sea Flight, designed by Jutson Marine Design, can accommodate 33 passengers. The hull has transverse hydrofoils forward and aft that improve performance, fuel economy and passenger comfort. 

Propulsion comes from twin 440-hp Yanmar 6LY440 diesel engines paired with HamiltonJet HJ292 waterjets through ZF Marine 280-1 transmissions. Cruising speed is more than 30 knots, and Sea Flight can reach speeds exceeding 40 knots, according to Metal Shark. 

The vessel has an aluminum canopy for comfort in poor weather, LED lighting, and amenities for offshore fishing trips such as tackle storage, fish boxes, coolers and live wells.

Moran Boat building town’s new event vessel

Moran Boat Works of Onaway, Mich., is building a new version of the iconic Lowell Showboat for the Michigan city of the same name. Construction is scheduled for completion in spring 2020. 

The new vessel will replace a boat recently demolished after more than 40 years in service. The first Lowell Showboat, used for concerts, talent shows, weddings and other events, opened to the public in 1932. The most recent vessel dated to the 1970s. 

“We are excited to take on another project that will ultimately better a small Michigan community,” said Tom Moran, CEO of Moran Iron Works. “Our team has been working hard with the city of Lowell to get approval to move forward."

The vessel will be transported to its mooring location on the Flat River early next year. Final outfitting will occur on site.  

By Professional Mariner Staff