August 29, 2003

Elsa Leigh

Bollinger redelivers supply boat
Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., Lockport, La., has redelivered the 254-foot supply boat, ELSA LEIGH, to Aries Marine Corp., Lafayette, La. While it looks like a new vessel, ELSA LEIGH is the new name for the former SEACOR CLIPPER after an extensive renovation at Bollinger's Morgan City shipyard.

The new name is in honor of Elsa Leigh, the four year-old daughter of Courtney B. Ramsay, vice-president of Aries Marine.

"This is the kind of project we love," said Donald "Boysie" Bollinger, chairman and CEO of Bollinger. "Repair, conversion and retrofitting boats has been a vital part of our business since my father founded the company in 1946 and jobs like this always present new challenges."

Much of the work involved mechanical systems in the hull and replacement of about 30% of the boat's steel.

The vessel was brought up to ABS DPS 1, FiFi1 and GMDSS Area 3 certification.

The two main EMD engines were removed and rebuilt by NREC in Houma, La., who boosted their power from 1,250 HP each to 1,500 HP each.

The boat's old reverse/reduction gears were replaced with reconditioned Falk gears to accommodate the higher horsepower and ther two drive shafts were re-conditioned at Bollinger.

ELSA LEIGH's Detroit Diesel 12V71 generator sets were "tuned up" and a Cummins KT-19 M3 700HP diesel engine replaced the existing Detroit Diesel bow thruster engine. That engine was re-conditioned and used to drive a fire pump that serves two new 11,000 GPM Stang fire monitors that Bollinger added to the boat.

Bollinger also adapted the stern to accommodate a Schottel skeg thruster unit powered by a Cummins KT-19 M4 600HP diesel engine delivering 600 HP. Two Cummins 6CT diesels were added to power new mud pumps and to drive Quincy air compressors that deliver dry bulk drilling mud.

Both dry and liquid drilling mud systems were totally upgraded. Bill Purvis, marine superintendent for Aries and project manager said, "Originally the vessel had dry mud tanks that were removed in the mid 1990's. We have installed four new dry bulk tanks rated at 80 PSI, giving the vessel 6,000 cubic foot capacity.

"We also converted six ballast tanks to hold liquid mud," said Purvis. "That, with the boat's four other liquid tanks gives ELSA LEIGH a capacity for 4,169 barrels of liquid product."

Two new mud pumps powered by two Cummins 5CT engines were also installed. The pumps and their associated piping are two separate systems permitting the boat to carry two different types of mud without contaminating the other. The double pump system is also used for "mud swaps" in which the vessel delivers fresh mud to a rig and the rig pumps the old mud back to the boat.

Extensive changes were also made in the pilothouse with the addition of an integrated electronics package manufactured by Engine Monitor, Inc., St. Rose, La.

It includes a dynamic positioning 1 system, a 96-point alarm, dry bulk controller and liquid mud mimic panel, steering and engine controls and controls for the bow and stern thrusters.

M/V Elsa Leigh

Main Particulars
Owner Aries Marine Corporation
TypeSupply Vessel
Dimensions 254 ft x 44 ft x 16 ft
Clear Deck 170 ft x 35 ft
Main Engines(2) EMD-12-645
Horsepower 3,000
Bow Thruster 700 HP
Skeg Thruste r600 HP
Classed ABS DPS 1
Firefighting FiFi 1

Liquid Mud 4.169 bbl
Bulk Mud 6000 cu.ft.

In expressing his appreciation for the work done at Bollinger, Courtney Ramsay, vice president of Aries Marine said, "Bollinger Morgan City under the care of Larry Vauclin, Tim Martinez, Assistant Yard Superintendent Gene Fontenot, and Leaderman Huey Adams put Aries' needs first and foremost. Their dedication to the daily details of this complicated project was exemplary. Our Marine Superintendent, Bill Purvis said problem solving was always carried out in a professional manner. Now that she is complete, Aries Marine is proud to have this high capacity vessel yet not constrained by draft and to offer our customers needing larger capacities the unique position of being able to work out of most ports along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico."

Aries Marine Corporation (, a privately owned company, was formed in 1981 and owns and operates offshore supply vessels and liftboats for the oil and gas industry in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Aries Marine has been employed by all of the major oil companies working within the Gulf region, along with numerous service and independent oil companies since its inception.

Vessels have worked for the Military SEALIFT Command on the West Coast and Hawaii, and have completed special projects for the U.S. Navy. All vessels are U.S. Coast Guard Certified. Aries Marine currently has a fleet of nine OSV's and fourteen liftboats.

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