Shipbuilding News, September 2020

Shipbuilders council announces 2020 safety awards 

The Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) has recognized more than a dozen U.S. shipyards for safety efforts during the past year. The awards are available to member shipyards that submit injury and illness surveys, have zero fatalities over the course of the year, demonstrate fewer recordable safety incidents than the SCA average, or reduce recordable incidents by at least 10 percent.

Data from the SCA shows injuries have steadily fallen in recent years, with the most dramatic drop in 2019.

“American shipyards are dedicated to not only achieving the highest safety standards of any heavy manufacturing industry, but are also leading in advancing safety practices,” said SCA President Matthew Paxton. “The shipyard industry is no stranger to the essential protective equipment our nation and world has become accustomed to, which allowed for our hard-working essential workforce to continue operating during COVID-19.”

The following shipyards earned awards for Excellence in Safety and Improvement in Safety:

• BAE Systems Jacksonville Ship Repair (Jacksonville, Fla.)
• Boston Ship Repair, a division of Northeast Ship Repair (Boston, Mass.)
• Fincantieri Marinette Marine (Marinette, Wis.)
• Southwest Shipyard LP (Channelview, Texas)
• Tecnico Corp. (Hampton Roads, Va.)
• BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair (San Diego, Calif.)

Receiving the Excellence in Safety Award:

• Metal Shark (Franklin, La.)
• Bollinger Shipyards (Lockport, La.)
• BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair (Norfolk, Va.)

Receiving the Improvement in Safety Award:

• MHI Ship Repair & Services (Hampton Roads, Va.)
• BAE Systems Hawaii Ship Repair (Pearl Harbor, Hawaii)
• Philadelphia Ship Repair, a division of Northeast Ship Repair (Philadelphia, Pa.)
• Conrad Industries (Morgan City, La.) 

NASSCO lays keel for next-generation Navy oiler

General Dynamics NASSCO held a virtual keel-laying ceremony on Sept. 3 for the second of six John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oilers for the U.S. Navy. The new vessel will be called Harvey Milk (T-AO 206) in honor of the California civil rights pioneer.

The 746-foot ship, displacing 49,000 tons, will provide logistics support to Navy carrier strike groups conducting missions around the world. The oilers carry fuel, food, spare parts and other supplies needed to sustain Navy operations.

All six ships in the John Lewis class will be named for Americans who fought for civil rights and human rights. The lead ship in the class is named for the late Georgia congressman and civil rights leader.

The keel-laying ceremony for the future Harvey Milk took place virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Ship sponsors Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Paula Neira, a former naval officer and member of the U.S. Naval Academy class of 1985, had their initials welded onto the keel. 

Chesapeake delivers third modern riverboat to ACL

Chesapeake Shipbuilding has delivered the 190-passenger river cruise ship American Jazz to American Cruise Lines (ACL). The vessel is the third in a series of five modern riverboats planned for the U.S. inland cruise industry.

The 269-foot ship is designed with many creature comforts, including staterooms ranging from 300 to 350 square feet, private balconies, and independent climate controls for each room. It will feature artwork by New Orleans artist Greg Creason and a multi-story atrium at the center of the ship.

American Jazz follows American Song and American Harmony, sister ships delivered in 2018 and 2019, respectively. American Melody is the fourth boat in series, scheduled for delivery in 2021. The fifth and final boat is expected in 2022.

American Cruise Lines, based in Guilford, Conn., acknowledged that the delivery of American Jazz comes at a challenging time for the cruising industry. However, the company expressed confidence in the inland cruising market, and predicted the 2021 season would be strong.

Maritime Partners adds new towboat from C&C Marine

C&C Marine and Repair of Belle Chasse, La., recently delivered the 84-by-34-foot towboat Brooks M. Hamilton to Maritime Partners. It is the second in a 15-boat series.

The 2,600-hp vessel designed by Entech Design of Kenner, La., is powered by twin Cummins QSK38-M1 main engines paired with Reintjes reduction gears. Rio Marine and Hydraulic supplied the steering system HPU, and Marine Interior Systems provided the soft-core joiner system for improved crew comfort. The vessel has berths for six mariners.

“We have been really impressed by the quality and speed at which C&C Marine has been able to build these vessels,” said Austin Sperry, chief operating officer of Maritime Partners of Metairie, La.

C&C Marine, meanwhile, highlighted its commitment to meeting production deadlines.

“We understand the economic incentive for everyone involved to produce these vessels in a timely manner, while maintaining the highest quality of construction,” said Tony Cibilich, C&C Marine’s owner.

Gladding-Hearn delivers launch to St. Lawrence pilots

St. Lawrence Seaway Pilots of Cape Vincent, N.Y., has taken delivery of the 53-foot launch Seaway Pilot V from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding.

The all-aluminum boat is powered by twin 641-hp Volvo Penta engines turning five-blade Nibral propellers through ZF gearboxes. Electrical power comes from a 12-kW Northern Lights genset. Humphree interceptors installed at the transom provide automatic trim optimization. The top speed is 23 knots.

The Chesapeake-class launch features heated decks, windows, handrails and cabin thanks to a 100,000-BTU diesel-fired hydronic heater supplemented with waste heat from the main engines.

The cabin has seating for three pilots, the captain and a deck hand, while the forecastle has a settee available during downtime. The hull is strengthened to handle ice in the St. Lawrence River.

New York officials welcome latest icebreaking tugboat

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo led a group of state officials who welcomed the new icebreaking tugboat Breaker II to western New York in early September.

The 56-foot vessel is powered by twin 375-hp Caterpillar engines and is equipped with the latest navigation electronics. Bristol Harbor Group Inc. of Bristol, R.I., designed the boat, which was built by Blount Boats of Warren, R.I.

The tug joins three others in the New York Power Authority fleet that spend winters managing ice near Buffalo and downstream on the Niagara River. Ice buildup can affect hydropower production and cause shoreline flooding.

The most visible of those ice management efforts is the placement of 22 spans of steel pontoons that effectively block ice sheets from Lake Erie from entering the Niagara River. Breaker II also will be used for icebreaking.

“It’s been a tough couple of years for our waterfront communities with flooding last year and the impact of COVID-19 this year,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. “We are committed to finding smart solutions to help mitigate flooding and help our shoreline communities build back better.”

By Professional Mariner Staff