JANUARY 16, 2015 — Vigor Industrial has awarded Ice Floe, LLC dba Nichols Brothers Boat Builders a contract to construct the superstructure portion of the third Olympic Class 144-car Washington State Ferry, the M/V Chimacum.
Nichols Brothers completed the superstructures for the first and second WSF 144-car ferries, the Tokitae and Sammish, and delivered them to Vigor for final assembly in March and December 2013.
Nichols Brothers is responsible for construction of the grand block section of the vessel including the upper car decks, exhaust stacks and pilothouses. Additional work awarded the shipbuilder includes all superstructure piping, windows, stairs, ladders, all exterior hand rails, and completely painting the interior and exterior.
The third superstructure will be more or less complete before arriving at Vigor's facility in Seattle, WA.
Construction will commence at Nichols Brothers' Freeland, WA, shipyard in February 2015 with delivery scheduled April 2016.
Nichols Brothers will use the same technique for launching the superstructure as it did for the Tokitae and Sammish.
A complex hydraulic transfer system will move the 1,100 ton superstructure approximately 600 ft from inside the Nichols Brothers' facility to a barge in Holmes Harbor. The barge will then transport the complete superstructure to Vigor's Seattle facility to join with the hull and complete final outfitting, dock and sea trials.
Newbuild projects currently underway at Nichols Brothers are two new 136' x 44' x 19' ATB tugs for Kirby Offshore, a new 115' 23-car ferry for Wahkiakum County. In addition Nichols will begin construction of a new 140' x 36' x 7' Ro-Ro cargo supply vessel in spring 2015.
Current repair projects include a 140' x 40' deck barge repair, a 52' tug repair both of Western Construction, and a 114' x 30' tug repair for Olympic Tug and Barge.