FEBRUARY 13, 2017 — All American Marine, Inc. (AAM), Bellingham, WA, has won a contract to build a 600-passenger aluminum monohull passenger vessel for San Francisco’s Red and White Fleet.
To be christened Enhydra, the vessel will be 128 ft long with a molded beam of 30 ft and will be the first aluminum hulled, Lithium-Ion battery-electric hybrid vessel built from the keel up under U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter K passenger vessel regulations and the latest guidelines for structural fire protection.
All American Marine partnered with BAE Systems to design and integrate the complete battery electric hybrid system. BAE Systems will supply a HybriDrive Propulsion System that includes a generator, control system, and AC electric traction motor. The generator will mount to a variable speed Cummins QSL9 diesel engine developing 410 hp at 2,100 rpm.
The motor generator offers diesel-electric operation of the AC traction motor which is coupled directly to the propulsion shaft. With this configuration, torque is immediately available for the propeller and the speed can be precisely controlled without the need for a reduction gear.
The hybrid system will also incorporate battery power from two 80 kWh Lithium-ion battery packs with Corvus Energy’s next generation Orca Energy batteries.
The BAE HybridDrive system automatically utilizes full electric battery operation at slower speeds and when maneuvering in and out of the harbor, at higher speeds, the generator will automatically engage and augment the additional power demands of the traction motor.
The battery system is sufficient to meet the entire demand of the vessel’s hotel load while at the same time providing silent and emission-free operation of the propulsion system during an evening sunset cruise.
“We are very pleased with the team All American Marine has put together to deliver this unique vessel and are eager for our guests to experience San Francisco Bay from the silent decks of the Enhydra in 2018,” said Red and White Fleet’s Vice President of Operations, Joe Burgard. “We see the propulsion configuration on the Enhydra as phase one in our move toward the full electrification of our fleet. Stay tuned for phase two.”
Enhydra is specifically designed for harbor tours of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Guests on board Enhydra will be able to experience amazing views of the bay and cityscape from each of the three decks, complete with their own convenient snack bar.
The second level offers a full wrap around viewing deck with access to the enlarged bow foredeck. The top deck is completely open and offers ample outdoor seating.
“All American Marine is pleased to have been chosen to construct this innovative new vessel for Red & White Fleet and we are proud to offer a hybrid propulsion system that truly works with instant and tangible benefits,” says Joe Hudspeth, AAM’s Vice President of Business Development.
AAM’s latest contract follows an earlier announcement made by the shipyard of a construction agreement for a 500 passenger aluminum monohull tour boat for Argosy Cruises of Seattle, WA.
Argosy will take delivery of its vessel in the late fall and the Red and White Fleet will receive its new craft in the late spring of 2018.
Both Red and White and Argosy were originally pursuing construction contracts for steel monohulls, but AAM was successfully able to demonstrate considerable savings in construction and maintenance costs with an aluminum design, while ensuring delivery of a robust and solid hull structure.
The contracts bode well for AAM, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary and is in the process of moving into a brand new purpose-built shipbuilding facility at Squalicum Harbor.
All American Marine is the exclusive builder for Teknicraft Design Ltd. of New Zealand vessels in North America.