SEPTEMBER 4, 2014 — Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc., Panama City, FL, had a busy day August 28, with the delivery of a further inland towboat to Florida Marine Transporters, Inc., Mandeville, LA, and the christening and launching of the fifth and final platform supply vessel in a series of Vard SV290 design vessels for export customer Boldini S.A., part of Brazil's Bravante Group.
The FMT towboat, M/V Kimberly Hidalgo, is the latest in a long series that began with 25 vessel contract that has since expanded to 61vessels — making it the largest single builder, single owner new construction program of the same class towboat design in U.S. shipbuilding history.
The three most recent deliveries of the Gilbert Associates, Inc. designed 90 ft x 32 ft x 10 ft towboats feature EPA Tier 3 main propulsion engines and generators. Each is powered by by two Caterpillar 3512C Tier 3 diesels rated at 1,500 HP at 1,600 RPM with electrical power provided by two 99 kW John Deere 4045AFM85 99KW Tier 3 generator sets rated for 60 Hz, at 208 VAC.
Those attending the launch of the M/V Bravante IX at Eastern's Nelson Street shipyard included the President of Bravante Group, Nuno Neves, who praised Eastern's on-time, on-budget deliveries and the performance of the three vessels already delivered.
The Bravante PSVs have been built with the support of U.S. Maritime Administration Title XI financing and the agency's Small Shipyard Grant program. Attendees at the Bravante XI launch included U.S. Maritime Administrator Paul "Chip" Jaenichen, who next day blogged: "Having lived so much of my life at sea, I have a special appreciation for seeing a ship rumble down the boards and splash as it first hits the water, launched very much the same way as it has been done throughout history. (I'll just need to remember to stand a little further back from the splash next time.) So watching the launch of the Bravante IX, built in a U.S. shipyard, I was especially pleased to know that investments made by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) just three years ago had brought this ship to this moment."