July 28, 2010
Marine Group Boat Works completes bio-fueled Navy Range Training Support Craft
Recently completed by Marine Group Boat Works, Chula Vista, Calif, the 114-foot Range Training Support Craft (RTSC-110) is the first of a three-boat series for the U.S. Navy, built under a $30 million small business set aside contract.
Among the green features of the series are a fuel filtration system that allows them to run on 100 percent biodiesel.
Designed by DeJong and Lebet, Inc., to fulfill a variety of missions in support of U.S. Navy training exercises, the boats have an all aluminum hull and measure 114 ft x 33 ft x 12 ft 6 in. Power is provided by a pair of CAT 3512C engines rated at 2012hp.
While the vessels will not be classed or receive a loadline, they are being designed and built to ABS-HSNC rules. Accommodations are being provided for up to 12 persons living on board for a week at sea.
A Seakeeper gyro stabilizing system allows the vessel to maintain excellent stability even in the roughest weather conditions or at zero speed.
Each boat is initially built upside down in an enclosed building.
Once the hull is built, the boat is taken out of the building and "flipped" right side up with the use of cranes. The hull and the wheelhouse portion are then welded together. By then, the outer shell of the boat is complete, and the generators, engines and stabilizers can be rigged.
Marine Group Boat Works then lifts the boat using its 665-ton Travelift—one of the fewest in the nation—and launches it into the water for a float test and for dockside work, such as installing the electrical and electronic systems. In the final stages of construction, the boat is lifted back out of the water onto dry land; the boat is fully painted, habitability spaces are furnished and fire systems are installed. The boat is launched back into the water for the final time to undergo sea trials, inspections and final touches before being delivered to the Navy.