Wednesday, January 5, 2000

Derecktor wins pilot boat contract
Derecktor Shipyards has signed a contract to build two fast, all aluminum pilot boats for the New York/New Jersey Sandy Hook Pilots Association. The Sandy Hook Pilots serve the port of New York. They operate four boats from a stationary mother ship anchored near Ambrose Lighthouse in open waters and in a rough environment. .

The two vessels will be built on plans by Camarc Small Craft Designs of Worthing, U.K. in Derecktor's Mamaroneck, N.Y., facility. Delivery is slated for fall 2000.

"The Sandy Hook Pilots wanted a safe, reliable boat with superior ride comfort," says Gavin Higgins, general manager of Derecktor Shipyards. "We focused on a design that would give them great safety features in an
extremely robust construction while affording a very smooth ride. The Camarc boat answers all these points and the pilots were very impressed with its seakeeping abilities during a recent test run on a sister-ship in a gale off the coast of Nova Scotia."

The new boats feature a new continuous fender that is cleaner looking than the traditional tires and is also safer in that it avoids dangerous "hanging up". Other safety features include: heated decks and handrails, forward raked windows on bridge for maximum visibility of deck area and of boarding pilots, port and starboard side doors for direct exit of pilot from the shelter of the deckhouse to the ship's boarding ladder.

The structural design is based on Lloyds Register of Shipping Special Service Craft Rules and American Boat and Yacht Council Rules (ABYC) will be used for all the onboard systems. The hull design is an advanced double chine hull, with full skeg on the propellers, developed in conjunction with U.K. towing tank facilities since 1983. This basic hull design has been used on a number of vessels including 52 ft and 60 ft aluminum and steel Pilot vessels.

Derecktor plans to use scantlings well in excess of the rule requirements in order to obtain maximum hull strength and to exceed its minimum designed service life of 15 years. The duty cycle is expected to be an average of 3,000 hours per year. Slow speed cruising will account for between 25-50% of the operating hours and the remainder will be at full service speed.

Naval Architect:  Camarc Small Craft Design
LOA 55.8 ft /17.00 m
Length, Hull 53.0 ft /16.10 m
LWL 47.5 ft /14.48 m
Beam, Molded 16.1 ft / 4.90 m
Beam Overall 18.8 ft / 5.73 m 
 Draft 5.25 ft / 1.6 m 
 Fuel capacity 1,500 US gallons 5600 liters 
 Water capacity 25 US gallons 100 liters 
 Complement 10 max. 
 Full Load Displ acement 27 tonnes, approximately. 
 Main Engines 2 x Detroit Diesel 8V2000 
 Speed 25 knots 

U.K. tonnage tax proposals "lack flexibility"
British shipowners have enthused over the new tonnage tax regime intended to make the U.K. flag more competitive with open registers. Now, though, London shipping accountant Moore Stephens says the draft proposals on the new U.K. tonnage tax regime lack the flexibility shipowners need for timing acquisitions and sales of ships. The firm also warns that the draft legislation contains a very broad anti-avoidance clause that could cause companies to unintentionally breach the detailed rules of the tonnage tax scheme.

Sue Bill, shipping tax manager at Moore Stephens, also sees problems with balancing charges that will be imposed to claw back capital allowances made under the current U.K. tax regimes. These charges may may arise when vessels are sold, although they will be phased out.

"The new rules on the deferment of balancing charges appear to be harsher than the existing regime," says Bill. "Shipowners will have only one year before--and two after--the sale of a ship as a period of grace for
deferring balancing charges, as opposed to six years now. They will have to be very careful over the timing of both purchases and sales of ships, which means the tax rules hamper their market flexibility."

The proposed anti-avoidance clause allows the U.K. taxation authorities to eject shipowners from the scheme --triggering exit charges -- for wide and loosely defined abuses of the rules, even if unintentional.

Bill warned that other aspects of the proposed new rules have not yet been released. "It is not yet clear to what extent capital allowances will be available on expenditure on new ships during a period in the scheme if owners leave the scheme," she says. "The rules have to be clear and allow flexibility if British shipping is to benefit."

However, Bill welcomed proposed arrangements for capital allowances for lease finance deals. "The limits have been set at a more realistic level than the originally proposed £20 million. There is now a phased allowance up to £80 million," says Bill.

Navy contracts for Norshipco, Gibbs & Cox
Norfolk Shipbuilding and Drydock Corp., Norfolk, Va., is being awarded a $12,849,587 fixed-price contract for an extended drydocking selected restricted availability of USS LEYTE GULF (CG 55). Work includes miscellaneous structural, electrical and mechanical repairs, and shipalts to include drydocking the vessel. This contract contains options, which, if exercised, would bring the total cumulative value of this contract to
$19,981,466. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va., and is expected to be completed by June 2000. Contract funds in the amount of $12,364,708 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with three proposals solicited and one offer received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (N00024-92-H-8045).

Gibbs & Cox, Inc., New York, N.Y., is being awarded a $9,066,680 fixed-fee contract for design and support services required to update and maintain the Taiwanese PFG-2 class technical data package. The contract provides technical data package documentation, design services, and ship system feasibility assessments and installation support for the Taiwanese Navy (100%) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in New York, N.Y. (60%); Washington, D.C. (20%); and Kaohsuing, Taiwan (20%), and is expected to be completed by December 2004. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Arlington, Va.,
is the contracting activity (N00024-00-C-2102).

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