Vigor completes repower of AMHS ferry

Written by Nick Blenkey
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AUGUST 29, 2014 — Naval architecture and marine engineering firm Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) reports that the repower of the M/V Columbia has been completed.

EBDG provided design services and ongoing owner support services for the ferry’s repower, which was performed by Vigor Marine’s Portland, OR, shipyard.

“The Columbia was designed for the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) by EBDG’s predecessor firm, so we’re intimately familiar with the vessel and its systems,” said EBDG Project Manager Matt Williamson. “The main engines were at the end of their useful life and the AMHS opted for replacing them, along with replacing or upgrading drive train components and auxiliary systems where it made economic sense. Replacing the main engines is a significant undertaking in the life a vessel. EBDG’s strong familiarity with the Columbia made us the natural choice as the designer for this repowering project.”

According to AMHS, the original main engines, two Enterprise DMRV – 16 – 4, V-16 cylinder diesels, developing 6500 horsepower each, were installed as original equipment almost 40 years ago and had accumulated over 125,000 hours of operation. The two new Wärtsilä 9L32 main engines each develop 7,000 horsepower from nine cylinders configured in-line.

The repower included replacing all ancillary equipment to the engines, including pumps, motors, valves, heat exchangers and piping for the lube oil systems, engine cooling systems, air pressure systems, and fuel systems. New Lufkin reduction gears will completed the repower.

For nearly 40 years the Columbia has been the Alaska Marine Highway System’s flagship vessel, linking a number of inside passage communities. The 418-foot vessel accommodates 625 passengers and features two vehicle decks with capacity for 134 vehicles.

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