Shipbuilding News, September 2017

TOTE announces Hawaii service with Philly boxships

TOTE Maritime plans to launch a new shipping service from the U.S. mainland to Hawaii, with Philly Shipyard providing four new containerships to serve the route.

TOTE, based in Jacksonville, Fla., has begun talks to secure a deepwater container terminal in Honolulu, which TOTE said is critical to establishing the service. TOTE currently carries cargo between the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico and Alaska.

“TOTE’s presence on the islands will provide market stability and introduce new environmentally advanced vessels that will greatly benefit the islands,” Anthony Chiarello, president and CEO of TOTE, said in a prepared statement.

Under terms of a letter of intent, TOTE will order two 3,700-TEU containerships with an option to order two additional sister ships. The vessels will feature dual-fuel engines that can be adapted to use LNG.

The new vessels will enter service in early 2020 and 2021. The shipyard said in an earlier statement that it has already begun construction to support their optimal delivery dates.

Eastern cuts steel for first new Staten Island ferry

Construction has formally begun on the first of three new 4,500-passenger Staten Island ferries at Eastern Shipbuilding in Panama City, Fla.

The yard announced the first steel was cut on Aug. 29 for the lead boat, which will be named Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis after a native Staten Islander who died serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. The second vessel will be called Sandy Ground. The first delivery is scheduled for 2019.

The 320-foot ferries will be powered by four EMD 12-710 Tier 4 engines generating a combined 9,980 hp. Two engines will be paired with Reintjes DUP 3000P combining reduction gears turning one Voith Schneider propeller at each end of the ferry.

Elliott Bay Design Group of Seattle provided designs to the New York City Department of Transportation, while Guida Perla & Associates of Seattle will serve as the detail designer. Glosten of Seattle will handle onsite owner's representation for the project.

MarAd awards $9.8 million to 18 small shipyards

The Maritime Administration (MarAd) has awarded $9.8 million in grants to 18 small American shipyards to help modernize facilities and boost productivity.

The grants were primarily available to smaller yards with fewer than 600 employees. The awards range from about $200,000 to about $1 million. They typically allow for the purchase of one or more critical pieces of equipment.

“U.S. shipyards produce some of the world’s best-built vessels,” Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby said in a prepared statement. “These grants will fund the kinds of upgrades and modernization that ensure America’s shipbuilding industry remains strong and competitive internationally.”

MarAd, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation, has awarded $174 million since 2008 through the Small Shipyard Grant Program. Across the U.S., shipbuilding supports 400,000 jobs and contributes more than $37 billion to the American economy.

Grant recipients included Jeffboat LLC of Jeffersonville, Ind.; Vigor Alaska LLC of Ketchikan, Alaska; Gulf Island Shipyards Inc. of Houma, La.; Philly Shipyard Inc. of Philadelphia, Pa.; and Blount Boats Inc. of Warren, R.I.

For a full list of grant recipients and to see how each yard intends to use the money, visit

Army Corps takes delivery of new survey boat

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has taken delivery of Catlett, a 61-foot survey vessel that will work in and around Baltimore Harbor.

The aluminum-hulled Catlett has twin MAN V8-1000 engines each generating 985 hp paired with ZF 500 gears and HamiltonJet HJ403 waterjets. Two Kohler 15-kW generators provide service power, and the wheelhouse is outfitted with Furuno navigation electronics.

The vessel will map channel depths around the Port of Baltimore and Chesapeake Bay, keeping shipping lanes safe in and around the region’s ports, the Corps said in a prepared statement announcing Catlett’s commissioning.

“Keeping these channels open is critical to the region’s economy, including 34,000 jobs that stem from the cargo that transits the Port of Baltimore,” the agency said.

The survey boat is named for Harold Catlett Jr., who died in 2014 after working as a hydrographic surveyor with the Corps' Baltimore District for 30 years.

Homeland Security ferry nears completion at Gulfstream

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is close to taking delivery of a 118-foot ferry that will carry passengers, vehicles and cargoes between the mainland and the Plum Island Animal Disease Center located off Orient Point, N.Y.

Gulfstream Shipbuilding launched Edward V. Kramer from its Freeport, Fla., shipyard in August. C. Fly Marine Services of Mandeville, La., is the designer. The aluminum monohull has four Caterpillar C32 engines and a 100-hp Wesmar dual-prop thruster. Electrical power comes from twin John Deere 4045 gensets. The vessel’s top speed is 26 knots.

The vessel design is reminiscent of a Gulf of Mexico crew boat, with a diminished cargo deck and narrower beam at the waterline, the shipyard said in a news release. “A sharp entry and moderate deadrise will provide a comfortable ride platform within the operational envelope,” Gulfstream said.

The vessel’s namesake, Edward V. Kramer, died two years ago. He served in the U.S. Air Force and worked at the Plum Island facility for more than 60 years. Delivery is scheduled for late 2017.

St. Johns Ship Building launches landing craft

St. Johns Ship Building of Palatka, Fla., is nearly finished building the 190-foot landing craft Grand Master II for Bahamas Ferries. The yard launched the vessel in early August and delivery is expected later this year.

Propulsion comes from twin Cummins QSK19 engines each generating 700 hp, while electrical service comes from two John Deere 99-kW gensets. A 22-inch Wesmar electric thruster is installed at the bow for extra maneuverability.

The vessel has 6,400 feet of cargo space and a two-story deckhouse for crew quarters, passenger space and a galley. According to the shipyard, Grand Master II is the first of three 190-foot landing vessels set for delivery to customers in the Caribbean.

By Professional Mariner Staff