Shipbuilding News, September 2015

Seaspan cable ferry to operate on world's longest run

BC Ferries’ cable ferry, the 150-passenger, 50-vehicle Baynes Sound Connector, was towed from Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards in North Vancouver, arriving at Buckley Bay on Vancouver Island on Aug. 25. When it enters service this fall, it is expected to be the longest cable ferry in operation — about 1.18 miles.

“This is major milestone for the cable ferry project as we get another step closer to introducing our newest vessel, the Baynes Sound Connector, into service on the Buckley Bay–Denman Island route,” said Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ vice president of engineering.

Brian Carter, president of Seaspan Shipyards, said the shipyard is “honored to construct BC Ferries’ first-ever cable ferry and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership with them on future vessels.”

Baynes Sound Connector will be connected to the three cables that have already been laid.

BC Ferries’ crews will undergo extensive training and familiarization on the cable ferry in preparation for passenger and vehicle service. After receiving certification from Transport Canada, including final crew complement, and classification society Lloyd’s Register, the cable ferry will enter service this fall.

The vessel will be based at the Denman West terminal.

BC Ferries expects that the cable ferry will save the agency over $80 million over its projected 40-year service life. The projected savings are based on a smaller crew, lower fuel consumption, lower maintenance costs and more reliable service.

The 257-foot Baynes Sound Connector will operate with one drive cable and two guide cables. It is capable of speeds of 8.5 knots with a normal service speed of 7.5 knots.

VT Halter lays keel for Crowley LNG con-ro

VT Halter Marine Inc.'s Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard laid the keel for the second of two Commitment-class LNG-powered combination container–roll-on/roll-off (con-ro) ships on Aug. 25 for Crowley Maritime Corp.'s liner services group.

The keel-laying ceremony marked the next step in the construction of the two Commitment-class ships, which will serve the U.S.-Puerto Rico trade lane.

"The keel-laying marks the ceremonial beginning of the construction and formation of the backbone of a ship," said Crowley's Todd Busch, senior vice president and general manager of technical services. "Today's event symbolizes how far we've come in delivering on our commitments to our customers in Puerto Rico. We are very excited to continue the construction process for these technically advanced ships."

VT Halter Marine and Crowley entered into a contract for the pair of Jones Act ships in November 2013, and construction of the second ship began with steel cutting in Pascagoula on May 27, 2015.

With the first section set in place, the ship will now begin to take shape as it is built around the keel.

The first ship's keel-laying took place in January 2015.

The Commitment-class ships have been designed to maximize the carriage of 53-foot-long, 102-inch-wide containers, which offer the most cubic cargo capacity in the trade.

The ships will be 720 feet overall, with a beam of 106 feet and a draft of 33 feet. Approximate deadweight capacity is 26,500 metric tons.

Cargo capacity will be approximately 2,400 TEU (20-foot-equivalent-units), with additional space for nearly 400 vehicles in an enclosed roll-on/roll-off garage.

Each ship will be powered by a MAN B&W 8S70ME-GI8.2 main engine and three MAN 9L28/32DF auxiliary engines fueled by LNG.

The ship design is provided by Wärtsilä Ship Design in conjunction with Crowley subsidiary Jensen Maritime, a Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering firm.

Kvichak delivers third response boat for NYPD

Kvichak Marine Industries of Seattle in August delivered the third 44.5-foot response boat-medium C (RB-M C) to the New York Police Department Harbor Unit. The first two RB-M Cs were delivered in April 2010 and August 2012. Both have been providing maritime security and law enforcement along with search and rescue in the New York metropolitan area.

These all-aluminum vessels are designed by United Kingdom-based Camarc Design and powered by Tier 2-compliant twin Detroit Diesel 60 series engines rated for 825 bhp, each coupled to Twin Disc MG5114SC marine gears. Rolls-Royce Kamewa FF375S waterjets are the chosen propulsion.

A full cabin provides crew protection from the elements and is equipped with a robust navigation system, heat and air conditioning, shock mitigating seats and a communication system capable of communicating with other maritime security partners.

Keel laid for aircraft carrier JFK

Newport News Shipbuilding celebrated the keel-laying of the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy in late August.

The vessel is the second ship of the Gerald R. Ford class. Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the ship's namesake, the 35th President of the United States, was the ship's sponsor. 

"The aircraft carrier came of age in a time of conflict," Caroline Kennedy said. "It was untested, and the capabilities it brought were questioned. Since those early days, the carrier has come to be recognized as a symbol of peace, strength and freedom."

During the ceremony, Caroline Kennedy's initials were welded onto a steel plate by Leon Walston, a Newport News welder from Massachusetts. The plate will be permanently affixed to the ship, signifying the sponsor's enduring relationship with the shipbuilders and crew.

John F. Kennedy will be the second U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of the 35th president. Crewmembers who served on the first John F. Kennedy attended and were recognized during the ceremony. 

Like its forerunner CVN 78, Kennedy is a truly electric aircraft carrier, with many of the systems powered by steam on Nimitz-class carriers now powered by electricity. The ship is designed to save the Navy $4 billion in total ownership cost over the ship's 50-year lifespan, with fewer overall components, extended dry-docking interval, improved ship-wide air conditioning and more.

The new class is designed to generate 25 percent more sorties, or flight missions, per day on its five-acre flight deck. Weighing nearly 100,000 tons, John F. Kennedy will be capable of reaching speeds in excess of 35 knots.

Jensen offers new LNG bunker barge design

The options available for LNG bunker barges have grown with the addition of two new concepts from Crowley Maritime subsidiary Jensen Maritime.

The first involves outfitting an existing barge with an above-deck LNG tank. The concept can be further modified to accommodate more than one type of product if a customer has a need for multiple liquid transfers. Advantages of this design include a fast turnaround and a reduced need to invest in specialized assets if a customer has short-term LNG requirements.

The second concept is for a purpose-built bunker barge. Offering greater carrying capacity and improved visibility, the design features a larger LNG tank that is nestled inside the barge. 

The barges are ideal for ports not located near an LNG terminal or as an alternative to over-the-road transportation, Jensen said.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Design and Engineering Standards released interim guidance on the design of LNG barges. As interest in the use of LNG as a maritime fuel has increased, the Coast Guard has been approached by vessel designers and operators requesting specificity regarding the design and operation of barges carrying LNG in bulk.

U.S.-based Conrad Industries announced in March that its subsidiary Conrad Orange Shipyard has entered into a contract to build the first LNG bunker barge to service the marine market in North America. 

Conrad’s customer, WesPac Midstream, and its affiliate Clean Marine Energy, will deploy the barge initially to service shipowner TOTE. They aim to eventually offer LNG bunkering to other LNG-powered vessels in the Port of Jacksonville. The 2,200-cubic-meter barge was designed by Bristol Harbor Group and is scheduled for delivery in early 2016.

By Professional Mariner Staff