SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 — Southeast Ocean Response Services, a sister company to Charleston Branch Pilots Association, Charleston, S.C., has ordered a new multi-purpose, fast response boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. Delivery is planned for late 2013.
The all-aluminum vessel, designed jointly by the Somerset, Mass., shipyard and C. Raymond Hunt Associates, has a deep-V hull, measuring 64.11 feet overall, with a 21.4-foot beam and a 6-foot draft.
Designed to meet its primary mission of supporting major salvage operations by other companies between Morehead City, N.C., and St. Augustine, Fla., the vessel will also serve as a fireboat for Charleston Harbor, a supply boat to ships offshore the harbor, and a back-up pilot boat for the Charleston pilots.
The 12-passenger boat features the first commercial application of Volvo Penta's IPS (Inboard Propulsion System) drives in the United States. Three IPS pods will be powered by three Volvo D13-700 EPA Tier III diesel engines, each producing 700 bhp at 2,300 rpm, with a projected top speed of over 30 knots loaded, said officials.
"We went with triple IPS drives because we could use smaller engines and still get the required speed with 30 percent improved fuel efficiency and EPA Tier 3 technology," said Winn Willard, a vice president at C. Raymond Hunt.
A Volvo IPS integrated control system provides for three stations with three-axis joysticks — at the wheelhouse console and at two aft docking stations — to control the engine speed and pod steering.
"This boat's maneuverability and handling are further enhanced by the Volvo Dynamic Positioning System, especially when holding in a stationary position on the ocean is essential," said Peter Duclos, the shipyard's president.
The vessel's fire-fighting system includes a pair of monitors that supplies seawater from a 3,500-gpm Hale pump that runs off the vessel's middle engine. For petro-chemical fires, there will be a foam-concentrate injection system that automatically proportions four to 20 gallons-per-minute to a single injection point.
A hydraulic knuckle-boom crane will be installed aft of the main cabin. Recessed steps, built into the transom, lead to a rescue platform. On the roof of the pilothouse will be a boarding platform.
Below the main deck are a forecastle with a galley and dinette, head and separate shower, and four berths. A 96,000 Btu seawater-cooled air conditioning system cools the vessel's interior.