Winter work, ATB newbuilds keep Fincantieri Bay busy

FEBRUARY 16, 2017 — The winter repair season is in full swing at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Sixteen Great Lakes bulkers of various sizes are in the shipyard for

Ship caught fire in dry dock due to electrical fault

NOVEMBER 15, 2016 — A National Transportation Safety Board Report finds that the probable cause of a fire that broke out December 11, 2015 on a 1942-built Great Lakes steamship while in

Ferry Good Ambitions

Considered the “forgotten borough” by some New Yorkers, Staten Island is on the verge of making its presence known in the city that never sleeps. The borough is a 25-minute ferry ride from the lowest tip in Manhattan, the Staten Island Ferry terminal at Whitehall.

Staten Island’s plan for renewal includes a $1.2 billion investment that will see the construction of the New York Wheel at St. George—an impressive 630 ft tall observation wheel that will rival England’s infamous London Eye, and feature 36 pods with accommodations for 40 in each, on a 38 minute ride/revolution, giving passengers a spectacular view of New York Harbor. Alongside the New York Wheel, New York City’s first outlet mall, Empire Outlets, is currently being constructed at St. George. The mall will feature 350,000 square feet of retail, 100 different shops and a 190-room hotel. Both the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets are expected to be operational by 2018.

How will tourist, potential shoppers, and New Yorkers alike make their way to these new attractions? They’ll be taking the Staten Island Ferry of course. The fleet, currently comprised of nine ferries, carries 22 million passengers a year—second only to Washington State Ferries’ fleet which carries over 23 million passengers annually.

And come 2019, the Staten Island Ferry fleet will welcome a new class to its fleet—the Ollis Class ferries.

Designed by Seattle-based Elliott Bay Design Group, the Ollis Class will mix the new with a bit of the old, providing passengers with a faster, more efficient ride to help meet increased ridership demand.

Its design will give the 320 ft x 70 ft ferries a striking resemblance to the beloved John F. Kennedy—which was commissioned in 1965 and is one of the oldest ferries in the Staten Island Ferry fleet. The Kennedy is one of three-that will be retired once the new Ollis Class series is delivered—the S.I. Newhouse and Andrew J. Barberi, both commissioned in 1981 are the other two.

The new Ollis Class will be double-ended and have capacity for 4,500 passengers; and like the Kennedy, will feature plenty of open air space, enabling passengers to enjoy the harbor view. The ferries will be built to ABS class requirements and will be powered by Tier 4 EMD engines and Voith Schneider Propulsion Drives.

The first of the three ferries will be named in honor of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis, a native Staten Islander who died while saving another soldier in Afghanistan. He was only 24 years old.

The Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis ferry is expected to begin operations in 2019, with vessels two and three following later in 2019 and 2020.

Building the Ollis Class
As we were going to press, yards were putting in their final bids for the ferry project.

Among the yards that have expressed interest in the Ollis Class—at least according to the 2015 Industry Day attendance—are Conrad Shipyard, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, and Vigor. All are builders of a variety of vessel types including ferries.

Conrad Shipyard—which has won a number of newbuild contracts this year — has had its share of ferry projects in the past, and is looking to keep the momentum going.

As Dan Conrad, Conrad Shipyard’s Senior Vice President and Director, explains, “Conrad Shipyard has a great track record on deliveries to the Puerto Rico Maritime Authority, the Texas Department of Transportation, the State of North Carolina and the Alaska Marine Highway, among others.” And he assures that his team is committed to pursuing the ferry market for years to come.

Most recently, Conrad’s Conrad Aluminum, Amelia, LA, yard delivered the M/V Woodshole to the Steamship Authority. The 235 ft x 64 ft ferry was designed by Elliott Bay Design Group and has capacity for 384 passengers, 55 automobiles or 10 eighteen-wheel tractor-trailers.

Eastern Shipbuilding Group is said to have the inside track on building the Ollis Class ferries, according to our sources. It would be quite a month for the Panama City, FL-based shipyard, which recently secured the lucrative contract to build the OPC for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Meanwhile, Fincantieri’s recent expansion is helping it position its Bay Shipbuilding yard for larger projects that can be produced and worked on, year-round. The three-acre expansion will pave the way for additional covered fabrication and erection facilities, an indoor paint and coating building, and outfitting shop that will enable FBS to increase its pursuit of ferry projects.

“This expansion allows us to increase our capacity and positions us to pursue a number of new construction markets, including large passenger ferries,” said FBS Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse. “Our experience in building ferries and other complex passenger vessels dates back to our origins almost a hundred years ago, and includes the New York Staten Island Ferry now operating (the Guy V. Molinari). We have the people, the experience, the facilities, and the global resources of Fincantieri to ensure that we can tackle the most challenging construction projects.”

As for the shipbuilding powerhouse in the Northwest, Vigor, it’s currently working on six ferry projects at the moment, including the final two vessels in Washington State Ferries’ new 144-car Olympic Class.

AlaskaDayFerry2“Vigor has deep expertise in the ferry market with successful, on-time and on-budget deliveries of car ferries, passenger only vessels and catamarans. Six ferries are currently under construction at our Washington and Alaska yards and we expect ferry construction to continue to be a focus in our business development efforts, leveraging our considerable experience,” said Corey Yraguen, Vigor Executive VP of Fabrication. 

Just last month the Chimacum, the third in the series was christened at Vigor’s Harbor Island yard. The fourth vessel in the series, the Suquamish, is currently under construction and scheduled for completion in 2018, with operations set to begin in 2019.

The 144-car ferries are the result of a combined effort from a consortium of Northwest based companies, including Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Freeland, WA, which has been in charge of building the superstructures for the144-car ferries.

In other Vigor ferry news, Vigor’s Ballard Facility (formerly Kvichak Marine) is building two 400 passenger ferries for the Water Emergency Transportation Authority of San Francisco (WETA). The Incat Crowther designed ferries will travel 27 knots and are scheduled for delivery Summer 2017.

And Vigor’s Ketchikan yard in Alaska has taken up the task of constructing the highly anticipated 280 ft Day Boat ferries for the Alaska Marine Highway System. The ferries, designed by Elliott Bay Design Group, are scheduled to be completed Fall 2018.

Vigor’s Executive VP of Business Development, Keith Whittemore, will be discussing Vigor’s ferry projects and more at the Marine Log Ferries Conference & Expo November 3 & 4, 2016, Seattle, WA. Attendees of the event will also have the chance to tour Vigor’s Harbor Island yard after the conference’s conclusion. Learn more at www.marinelog.com/events

Route Extension?
Staten Island Borough President, James Oddo sparked additional interest in the Staten Island Ferry system when he requested the New York City Department of Transportation explore the feasibility of extending the Staten Island Ferry’s route north of the Whitehall Terminal, possibly extending the service into midtown.

While the idea sounds great in theory, and will certainly foster a sense of “transit equality” for Staten Islanders who have a grueling commute (just ask our Editor-in-Chief, John Snyder), the route extension could prove problematic as there is currently no operating terminal in place in midtown, with the right infrastructure to handle such large vessels.

CITYWideHullNew York’s Ferry Boom
Of course, the Staten Island Ferry isn’t the only New York City ferry operation making waves. Operated by Hornblower NY, Citywide Ferry Service’s new fleet of ferries are currently under construction at Louisiana-based Metal Shark Boats and Alabama’s Horizon Shipbuilding. The contract catapults both yards into new markets—propelling Metal Shark into the commercial market in a very big way, and introducing Horizon to the ferry market.

A large portion of the Incat Crowther-designed ferries are expected to be delivered in time for Citywide Ferry Service’s launch Summer 2017. The service, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation is projected to make 4.6 million trips annually.

The 85 ft ferries will have capacity for 150 passengers, as well as space for bikes, strollers and wheelchairs. The Citywide Ferry Service is expected to add five new routes on the East River.

Meanwhile, another well-known ferry operator in New York harbor is upping its stake in the market. Seastreak says its “raising the bar in fast passenger ferry service” with the addition of a new, high-speed, 600-passenger, catamaran in 2017. The ferry will be the highest passenger capacity USCG K-class high speed ferry in the U.S.

The addition of the new ferry will help Seastreak meet growing passenger demand on the New Jersey to New York route.

SeastreakDesigned by Incat Crowther, the ferry, the first in Seastreak’s new Commodore class, will be 147 ft 8 in x 39 ft 5 in. The vessel was designed to provide Seastreak with an operational advantage. The ferry’s boarding arrangement will include large forward and aft side gates as well as an adjustable bow ramp. This will help facilitate turnaround times at terminals.

The first vessel in the series will be built at Gulf Craft Shipyard, Franklin, LA. Construction is to be completed by 3rd quarter 2017. Meanwhile, Seastreak expects a keel to be laid for a second Commodore class vessel before the end of 2016.

The Commodore Class ferry will be powered by four MTU 12V4000 M64 EPA Tier III main engines, each delivering 1,875 hp at 1,800 rev/min and driving Rolls-Royce KaMeWa 63S4 waterjets. The vessel will also feature LED lighting and an advance energy efficient HVAC system.

The ferry’s main deck will hold 234- passengers; mid deck will seat 271 passengers inside and 52 passengers outside; and the third deck features 160 exterior seats as well as the vessel’s wheelhouse.

Seastreak is also initiating the upgrades and repowering of several members of its current operating fleet. First one up will be the Seastreak New York, which is expected to enter into drydock this coming winter. At press time, the bids were out to multiple yards. The repowering project is expected to be completed by the end of the 1st quarter 2017.

Florida gets in the game
New York isn’t the only city getting its ferry action on. This month, service officially begins on the Cross-Bay Ferry system—connecting St. Petersburg and Tampa, Fl. The service is part of a pilot project intended to introduce residents and visitors to water transit services in the area. 

The route will be operated by the 98 ft twin-hull aluminum catamaran, Provincetown IV. The ferry was originally built for Bay State Cruise Company, Boston, MA, by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, the Duclos Corporation, Somerset, MA. Designed by Incat Crowther, the 149-passenger ferry can operate at a top speed of up to 30 knots on the 50 minute route.

“We only have one vessel, and one crew, so we cannot do everything, but we do mean to showcase this technology to a lot of people and test ferry service in a variety of ways and markets,” said Ed Turanchik, policy advisor for the project.

Organizers of the project are testing the service on a variety of different market segments including tourist and local commuters, and the entertainment and sports markets. Learn more about the project at CrossBayFerry.com.

VDOT accepts ferry bids
Last month, the Virginia Department of Transportation was accepting bids for a new 70-vehicle ferry based on a design by Alion Science. The boat would be a replacement for the VDOT’s oldest ferry, the Virginia, built in 1936. Construction on the steel-hull ferry is to start this fall with completion in 2018.

Gladding Hearn delivers high-speed ferry
Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, the Duclos Corporation, recently delivered a new 493 –passenger, high-speed Incat Crowther designed ferry to Hy-Line Cruises, a division of Hyannis Harbor Tours, Inc., Hyannis, MA. 

The all-aluminum ferry is 153.5 ft x 35.5 ft and is powered by four Cummins QSK60-M, EPA Tier 3 diesel engines each delivering 2,200 bhp at 1,800 rev/min. Each engine will power a Hamilton HM721 waterjet through a Twin Disc MG61500SC horizontally-offset gearbox.

Incat Crowther says the ferry represents an evolutionary step from its previous designs built by Gladding-Hearn. According to the designer, the capacity increase had to fit within docking constraints, enforcing upper limits on both the length and beam of the vessel. To meet the requirements, it moved the wheelhouse to a third deck, freeing up the front end of the second deck for VIP passengers.

The restructuring shifted boarding arrangements, with the addition of a middeck boarding door and both forward and aft stairways improving passenger flow and turnaround times, says Incat.

The ferry will provide year-round service between Hyannis and Nantucket Island. It will top speeds of over 34 knots when fully loaded at a deadweight of more than 64 tonnes, said Peter Duclos, President of Gladding-Hearn.

The new ferry is also outfitted with a Naiad Dynamic trim-tab, ride-control system to help improve passenger comfort and safety. The system’s motion sensor measures the relative movement of the vessel and transmits a signal to the hydraulic device to counter the boat’s actions through the waves.

Europe’s Ferry Market
The European ferry market remains in the forefront of technology. The continent that gave the world emission-free, battery operated ferries, will now give forth, the world’s largest hybrid ferry.

Just last month, Norway’s Color Line reported that it would order the largest hybrid ferry ever built. The ferry, which will feature batteries charged via green electricity from dedicated shore side facilities, or recharged on onboard via the ship’s generators, would double the capacity of the vessel it will replace.

Tentatively named the “Color Hybrid, the ferry will be 160 m long and have capacity for 2,000 passengers and up to 500 cars. The ferry is expected to be put into service on the Sandefjord, Norway to Stromstad, Sweden route in 2020.

DAMENwaterbusAnd not to be outdone, Damen says its ready to launch its first composites-construction Water Bus. As we were going to press, the prototype was prepping to begin sea trials.

The Damen Water Bus is the first vessel for public transportation produced at Damen Shipyards, Antalya, Turkey. Its benefits are plentiful—the vessel, which features a slender hull, making it lighter than a traditional aluminum vessel, requires less fuel consumption, less maintenance, will suffer from no corrosion or fatigue problems. It can travel at speeds up to 21 knots and has capacity for 100 passengers.

Damen’s Design & Proposal Engineer, Fast Ferries, Marcel Elenbaas, explains that the Water Bus is built using high quality vacuum infusion technology that creates a “difficult to penetrate closed cell, epoxy sandwich structure.”

Damen says the vessel is ideal for highly congested urban areas, and is a simple and efficient way for using a city’s natural waterways system.

The Water Bus is equipped with two, forward facing, double-screw podded propulsion units—helping to reduce vibrations. Damen says the vessel can be easily adapted to customer specifications, and because of the nature of the composites’ production process, delivery to clients will be quick.

Great Lakes Regional Focus: Thriving business

Anyone needing reassurance that the shipbuilding sector in the United States is alive and well need look no further than the Great Lakes. While yards along the U.S. Gulf reshuffle business strategies to help during the down oil market, yards along the Great Lakes continue to work on a number of projects, investing in infrastructure and leveraging partnerships to diversify portfolio offerings.

Perhaps the busiest group of all is Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG)—the U.S. subsidiary of one of the world’s largest shipbuilders in the world, Fincantieri. The Fincantieri Marine Group is comprised of three Great Lakes shipyards—Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS), Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM), and Fincantieri ACE Marine (FAM).

Since acquiring the Wisconsin yards in 2008, Fincantieri has invested well over $100 million to build a shipbuilding group that will provide flexibility for its customers, and provide construction and repair services to both the government and commercial sectors.

Sturgeon Bay, WI-based Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS), which is one of the last boat builders remaining in the Bay, has been essentially non-stop the last couple of years. The yard currently has numerous projects under various stages of construction with a backlog that extends through 2018. Most notably, the projects include newbuilds for one of the most active sectors in the country, the ATB market.

This past May, the yard delivered the Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) unit Barbara Carol Ann Moran and the 110,000 barrel ocean tank barge Louisiana to Moran Towing Corporation, New Canaan, CT. The unit was the third delivery to Moran under a 2014 contract. 

The 5,300 HP, 121 ft ATB tug Barbara Carol Ann Moran is certified ABS Class +A-1 Towing Service, +AMS, and is equipped with state-of-the-art navigation and communications technology.

What made the delivery of the unit so impressive was that it was delivered on the exact day called for by the contract—emphasizing FBS’ high standards of meeting customer requirements, building a quality vessel and delivering on time.

Currently, FBS is under contract to construct two ATB tugs and two ocean going tank barges for Kirby Corporation; one ATB tug and one oceangoing tank barge for Plains All American Pipeline, LP; and one ATB tug and one oceangoing tank barge for AMA Capital Partners.

“We continue to be optimistic about the future of the industry we serve,” says, Todd Thayse, Fincantieri Bay Shipyard Vice President and General Manager.

To keep the momentum going, Fincantieri recently purchased the Palmer Johnson facility adjacent to the Bay Shipbuilding yard. Bay Shipbuilding has extensive expansion plans set for the 3-acre site, including the construction of new indoor Fabrication/Erection facilities, an indoor Blast and Coating building, outfitting shops and additional office facilities.

“This recent acquisition of the former Palmer Johnson facility has been well received by the industry and will allow us to pursue several new construction projects, which may include fishing vessels, ferries and landing crafts, while continuing to serve our core ATB market. These purpose-designed buildings will increase our overall output and capacity and improve our ability to meet critical schedules,” says Thayse. 

“We will also be able to move more construction indoors which will allow FBS to further provide cost-effective solutions for our customers,” he added.

Indoor facilities will enable work to be ongoing for both newbuilds and repair work—especially during the winter months when Great Lakes fleet repairs are vital and time sensitive.

Earlier this year, FBS had 17 vessels at the yard undergoing winter repairs well into April. The vessels ranged from thousand-foot long bulk tankers, to medium-sized ships, to tugs and barges. Work included large-scale scheduled maintenance repairs, scrubber installations, repowering and structural steel renewal, in addition to electrical automation enhancement and ABS and U.S. Coast Guard inspections.

Additionally, Keylakes Shipping’s 768 ft bulk carrier John G. Munson is currently undergoing conversion at Bay Shipbuilding. The vessel is the tenth steam-to-diesel, or diesel-to-diesel repowering project that FBS has been awarded since 2009. The freighter, built in 1952 will undergo a complete repower at FBS. It is expected to undergo sea trials in 2018.

Meanwhile, FMG’s two other Great Lakes shipyards are busy constructing the next generation of warships for the U.S. Navy.

Earlier this summer, a keel laying ceremony was held at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Marinette, WI, for the U.S. Navy’s 17th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the USS Indianapolis. The ship is one of six in various stages of construction at FMM, with an additional three ships in long-lead procurement. The yard has already delivered four LCS ships to the Navy—the USS Freedom (the lead ship in the Freedom variant), the USS Fort Worth, the USS Milwaukee and the USS Detroit.

The Lockheed Martin-led team is made up of Fincantieri Marinette Marine, along with naval architectural firm Gibbs & Cox, and more than 500 suppliers across 37 states. The U.S. Navy’s LCS construction program is divided between two groups—the Lockheed Martin team, building the Freedom variant, and the General Dynamics-led team, with Alabama-based Austal USA building the Independence class LCS.

Fincantieri Ace Marine, Green Bay, WI, also has a hand in producing the Freedom variant of the LCS. The yard, which specializes in the design and construction of high-speed coastal intercept and patrol vessels, most notably the builder of the Response Boat-Medium (RB-M) for the U.S. Coast Guard, produces the aluminum superstructures and additional aluminum components for the class.

To top off FMG’s three shipyards success, all three received the annual “Excellence in Safety” award from the Shipbuilders Council of America earlier this year. The award recognizes a shipyard’s commitment to safety, and the hard work and dedication put forth from shipyard employees.

The Great Lakes Group Eyes Expansion, Partners with Damen
FMG isn’t the only regional player seeking to further develop. This past June, the City of Cleveland authorized the sale of property adjacent to the Great Lakes Towing company headquarters. The acquisition of the property will enable the Great Lakes Shipyard, part of The Great Lakes Group, to operate at full capacity, all year round.

The expansion will include a 68,000 square foot facility that will accommodate a state-of-the-art 770-ton mobile Marine Travelift crane—the largest on the Great Lakes, and third largest in the world.

Great Lakes Group says that with the new facility in place, the Great Lakes Shipyard will be able to continuously provide all services for new vessel construction, as well as custom fabrication, ship maintenance and repairs.

Part of the services Great Lakes Shipyard will offer are those required for Subchapter M. Under Subchapter M regulations, towing vessels greater than 26 ft, or any vessel type moving dangerous or hazardous materials, must obtain a Certificate of Inspection documenting: Drydock inspection; Internal Structure Exam; Annual Inspection and Surveys; and Machinery and Electrical.

Stan TugboatJust last month, the yard kicked off construction for the first Damen Stan Tug 1907 ICE. The tug is the first in a series of ten being built in compliance with the new Subchapter M regulations. The tugs are being built for The Great Lakes Towing Company (the Towing Company).

The tugs will measure 65 ft x 24 ft x 9 ft and will be powered by two MTU 8V4000 M54R engines generating 1,000 hp at 1,600 rev/min.

“This new construction program is further evidence of the innovative spirit the Towing Company has always embraced since its founding over 117 years ago, and reflects the commitment we have to our customers and the entire Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway marine transportation industry,” says Joe Starck, President of the Towing Company.

Under the construction program two new harbor tugs will be introduced each year for the next five years—helping to stabilize operations and improve day-to-day business, assures Starck.

“The tugs,” he added, “will be ideal for the long-term sustainability of our harbor towing activities, and provide our customers with an even greater level of reliability, performance, and safety, across our entire Great Lakes service network.”

The Great Lakes Towing Company’s fleet provides ship assist, cargo transportation and logistics, ice breaking, and emergency assistance for every kind of vessel, barge and marine structure on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway.

The Damen Stan Tug 1907 ICE are also the first tugs to be built in the U.S. under Damen’s Technical Cooperation program with Great Lakes Shipyard. The agreement, which was entered into at last year’s Workboat show, authorizes the Great Lakes Shipyard as an official builder of Damen designs for the next five years.

Burger Boat’s diverse portfolio
Since 1863 Burger Boat Company, Manitowoc, WI, has done everything in its power to meet the needs of its growing customer base. The boat builder, which has delivered countless vessel types in the range of 50 ft to 200 ft in length, implements what it calls a “lean” philosophy to its business practice, ensuring procedures are performed and completed on time, and vessels are delivered to customers on budget.

A builder of steel and aluminum vessels, Burger builds everything from yachts to passenger vessels, such as the 98 ft passenger vessel Chicago’s Classic Lady for Chicago’s First Lady Cruises—and patrol to research vessels, such as the 78 ft research vessel Arcticus which was delivered to the U.S. Geological Survey in 2014, just to name is a few.

Last year, Burger delivered a tour boat to Chicago-based Wendella Boats. The 340- passenger Lucia is an 89 ft steel vessel that was designed by Timothy Graul Marine Design, Sturgeon Bay, WI.   The steel boat is certified USCG Subchapter K, and is powered by two Caterpillar C12 main engines and features two Northern Lights generators. 

Most recently, Burger began construction on a custom 103 ft 6 in x 26 ft 5 in full displacement steel and aluminum Explorer Motor Yacht for an unnamed owner.

The expedition style motor yacht has a steel hull and aluminum superstructure. The vessel, designed by DeBasto Design, Miami, FL, will be launched Spring 2017. The ABS class yacht will be powered by two Cat C-18 ACERT main engines, and will be able to reach a cruising speed of 12 knots.

Fraser faces OSHA fine
Located in Superior Wisconsin, on the St. Louis Bay of Lake Superior, Fraser Shipyards, part of the Fraser Industries group which also includes boat builders Lake Assault Boats, provides full shipyard services from its sixty five acre site, featuring two dry docks and approximately 2,200 feet of berthing space. Since 1890, Fraser Shipyards has been a prominent fixture in the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior, serving the Great Lakes shipping community. Most of its current 150 workers, 75 percent of which are structural welders, equipment operators, fitters and pipe fitters, are third generation employees for the company.

That kind of longevity and loyalty from workers can serve as a testament to Fraser’s commitment to the industry, the community and its employees, but recent findings have raised questions about the yard’s safety culture.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that sampling results taken during a recent retrofit determined that 14 of Fraser Shipyards workers were exposed to heavy metals and had lead levels 20 times higher than the exposure limit.

According to OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor, Dr. David Michaels, “Fraser Shipyards accepted a contract with a very low profit margin and penalties for delayed completion, but could not meet the schedule without endangering its workers.”

That contract, from Interlake Steamship Company, Middleburg Heights, OH, was for the modernization of the Herbert C. Jackson. OSHA stated in its report that Fraser Shipyards’ management was aware of the presence of lead and asbestos throughout the 1959 built vessel. The ship arrived at Fraser December 2015 for a six-month retrofit project and was required back in operation for the summer iron ore shipping season.

In a statement, James Farkas, President and Chief Operating Officer of Fraser Industries, said “We are a family-owned company that has been in Superior for 126 years. We see all of our employees, laborers and contractors as part of the family.”

He added, “We take the health and safety of our people and our community seriously. We acted to protect our people as soon as we learned of the problem. We have worked with all of our employees, laborers and contractors to ensure their health by bringing in medical experts, as well as the highest levels of testing, protective equipment and safe operating procedures. We strongly disagree with OSHA’s statement that any of the issues were caused or worsened by business or profit motivations.”

The agency cited 14 willful egregious health violations for each instance of overexposing a worker to lead, and cited five additional willful violations for failing to conduct monitoring to assess lead exposure and failing to implement a lead compliance or respiratory program.

Additionally, OSHA issued 10 serious violations to the company, and placed Fraser Shipyards in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). For companies on the list, mandatory follow-up inspections become the norm.

Since the findings, Fraser has taken steps to help mediate the matter, and protect its employees. According to a statement, as soon as the management learned of the high lead levels it halted work on the Herbert C. Jackson. Fraser Shipyards also went on to engage medical experts from the region’s two leading hospitals, and industrial safety experts from the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers union to advise the company and oversee health testing. And it purchased state-of-the-art safety gear and equipment to protect workers.

Additionally, Fraser engaged medical professionals, OSHA and union officials to develop and implement new safety procedures.

“We appreciate their responsiveness to getting this issue fixed and taking care our members,” said Mark Garrett, Director of Health and Safety Services for the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, the union that represents workers at the yard. “We don’t get many employers that step up like they did. They were straightforward, asked for our help and put in place our recommendations for safety.”

In total, Fraser could face close to $1.4m in OSHA penalties.

 

Tugs & Barges: Evolving with the market

Engineering company GTT has more than 50 years’ experience in the design of membrane cargo containment systems, but one project underway right now in Orange, TX, is quite unique. That’s because it’s the first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunker transport barge in the United States.

One of 118 GTT projects currently underway worldwide, the tank barge is taking shape at Conrad Orange shipyard, Aziz Bamik, General Manager of GTT North America, told delegates at Marine Log Tugs & Barges 2016 Conference & Expo held last month in Seattle. While Conrad has decades of experience building all types of tank barges—dirty oil, products, chemicals, and LPG—this is the first time that it is building a vessel with one of GTT’s Mark III Flex membrane tank technology. Following a certification process, Conrad signed a license agreement with GTT back in January 2015 to construct the Mark III Flex.

Designed to operate in inland waterways, bays, harbors, and U.S. coastal waters, the new 2,200 m3 tank barge will be used to refuel TOTE’s two 3,100-TEU LNG-powered containerships. The barge will travel about a mile from its mooring facility to fuel the two Orca Class containerships, which operate out of the Port of Jacksonville, FL to San Juan, PR. The barge is designed not as an Articulated Tug Barge unit, but rather to be towed by hawser wire, pushed or maneuvered by hip, says Bamik.

In anticipation of increasing demand for LNG as a marine fuel, Bamik also mentioned to the conference audience that GTT North America was working with Conrad on a larger Articulated Tug Barge unit that will have a capacity of 4,800 m3, with two GTT Mark III Flex Cargo Containment System tanks. The 319 ft x 62 ft barge would have cold LNG delivery with onboard reliquefaction.

COMING DEMAND FOR LNG
The interest in LNG as a marine fuel seems to have waned in the U.S. with the drop in the price of oil. As of today, five vessels burn LNG as fuel in the Jones Act market. Besides TOTE’s two containerships, the Harvey Power, the third in a series of six dual fuel Platform Supply Vessels for Harvey Gulf International Marine, New Orleans, recently entered service in the Gulf of Mexico under charter for Shell. Next year, Crowley Maritime will take delivery of two Commitment Class Container Roll-on/Roll-Off (CONRO) ships for Puerto Rico. Those are being classed by DNV GL. All the other Jones Act LNG fuelled vessels are being built to ABS class.

Additional LNG Ready classed tonnage delivered or being built by General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego and Philly Shipyard Inc. in Philadelphia could grow the LNG-fueled Jones Act fleet if converted in the future. TOTE is also converting its two Orcas Class RO/RO ships for Alaska service in Singapore.

Globally, there are about 77 gas-fueled vessels in operation and another 79 confirmed newbuildings as of March 2016, according to Anthony Teo, Technology and LNG Business Development Manager, North America, DNV GL. “There are about another 50 LNG Ready vessels have been contracted,” Teo told delegates. He said that DNV GL estimates there will be 360 LNG fuelled vessels in operation by 2020.

The widespread adoption of LNG as a fuel, Teo pointed out, was is being hindered by the lack of gas fuel bunkering facilities in ports.

A panel of naval architects, liquefied natural gas reliquefaction technology providers, and regulators discussed more in-depth the current hurdles hindering the expansion of the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel for the tugs and towboats in the Jones Act market.

Panelist Rafael Riva, Marine Business Development Manager, ECA, Lloyd’s Register pointed out that the technology was well proven in Europe. The first LNG tugs, for example, were built in Turkish shipyard Sanmar for Norway’s Bukser og Berging AS and have been in service for Statoil AS since 2014. The DNV GL class tugs are equipped with lean burn gas engines from Rolls-Royce and Rolls-Royce azimuthing thrusters.

The LNG powered propulsion systems does require more space. The Shearer Group’s Engineering Manager Joshua Sebastian, PE, mentioned the complexities of integrating the necessary fuel tank, piping, and control systems required to burn LNG on the smaller towboat platform. Sebastian’s company, naval architectural firm The Shearer Group, has been contracted for the conversion of a 65-foot-long conventional diesel-powered towboat to burn LNG.

LNG-powered tugs also require small volumes of fuel with a dedicated delivery solution. Fueling can be accomplished either via tanker trucks, shore LNG storage tanks, portable gas fuel tanks or ship to ship or barge to ship transfer.

Panelist John Dwyer, Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection/Chief, Inspection Division at USCG Sector Puget Sound, provided the regulatory view on the development of LNG as a marine fuel in the U.S.

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a number of policy letters and guidance on the design and operation of ships using LNG as a marine fuel, as well as ships and facilities transferring LNG as fuel. The U.S. Coast Guard has addressed designs and facilities on a case-by-case basis.

Waller Marine’s Beau Berthelot pointed out that his company has worked on a number of refueling solutions. Waller Marine, for example, has been granted an Agreement in Principle (AIP) by ABS for a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) and regasification articulated tug barge concept. The vessel has the ability to load LNG from existing LNG terminals, liquefaction facilities or traditional LNG carriers and transport the LNG to existing tanks, traditional LNG carriers, trucks or marine vessels using LNG as a fuel. The barge also is equipped for regasification of LNG directly to a pipeline or to a power plant. An additional feature will be the use of natural gas as a fuel in the dual fuel engines of the tug to drive the tug-barge unit.

The benefit of the LNG Articulated Tug and Barge Regas Vessel (ATB RV) is that it allows LNG to be moved and delivered more efficiently on a small-scale basis in locations where large LNG infrastructure would be cumbersome, costly and time consuming.

Another possible solution for small footprint applications mentioned by panelists David Grucza, Director, Drilling and Marine U.S., Siemens, and Michael Walhof, Sales Director, Distributed LNG Solutions, Dresser-Rand, a Siemens company, was Dresser-Rand’s LNGo system is a modularized, portable natural gas liquefaction plant. This point-of-use production plant is a standardized product made up of four packaged skids: a power module, compressor module, process module and a conditioning module. The natural gas consumed powers the unit and is also used as the process refrigerant to eliminate complexity and maintenance.

SHIPYARDS CONTINUE TO BE BUSY
Meanwhile, U.S. shipyards continue to book orders for conventionally powered harbor tugs and Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) units. The continued orders for ATBs, in particular, are in response to transport refined products in the U.S.

Just last month, Gunderson Marine, Portland, OR, secured an order to build two 82,000 bbl, 430 foot-long oceangoing tank barges for Harley Marine Services, Inc., Seattle.  The tank barges will be part of an ATB unit.

Gunderson last built a barge for Harley Marine in 2009.  Construction on the barges will begin this year, with delivery of both vessels set for the second half of 2017. 

As of press time, Harley Marine Services was negotiating with a Gulf Coast shipyard for the construction of the ATB tugs that would be coupled to the tank barges being built by Gunderson.

Over the past nine months, Gunderson Marine has delivered two 578 ft ATB oceangoing barges for chemical and oil service for Kirby Offshore Marine.

For its tank barges, Kirby Offshore Marine took delivery of two 10,000 hp ATB tugs from Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Whidbey Island, WA. Speaking at Marine Log Tugs & Barges 2016, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders President & CEO Gavin Higgins said that ATBs enjoy several cost advantages over coastal tankers when it comes to moving refined products. Crew costs are far less, nine crew vs. 18 crew. Additionally, ATBs are more ship shape, offering speed advantages over towed tank barges.

The shipyard has also signed a contract with Kirby for two line haul tugs, as well as two 8,000 hp ATB tugs based on a design by naval architect Robert Hill of Ocean Tug & Barge Engineering. The companion tank barges are being built by Vigor.

FINCANTIERI BAY SHIPBUILDING
Fincantieri Marine Group’s Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS), Sturgeon Bay, WI, has delivered the Articulated Tug Barge unit (ATB) Barbara Carol Ann Moran and the 110,000-barrel ocean tank barge Louisiana to Moran Towing Corporation, New Canaan, CT.

The 5,300-HP, 121-foot ATB tug Barbara Carol Ann Moran is certified ABS Class +A-1 Towing Service, +AMS, and is equipped with state-of-the-art navigation and communications technology. The Louisiana is 468 ft x 78 ft.

The ATB unit will work the East Coast of the United States and the Gulf of Mexico.

This is the shipyard’s third delivery to Moran under a 2014 contract, with a tank barge delivered in May of 2015, and another ATB—the tug Leigh Ann Moran and tank barge Mississippi—delivered December 1, 2015.  

VANE BROTHERS SERIES AT ST. JOHNS
Vane Brothers, Baltimore, MD, continues to invest in new tonnage. It has a long running newbuild program at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD, where it is constructing a series of 3,000 hp ATB tugs and has now added the second of eight 4,200 horsepower tugboats from St. Johns Ship Building, Palatka, FL.

The new tug, Hudson, is the second of Vane’s Elizabeth Anne Class, under construction at St. Johns Ship Building. Lead vessel of the class, the Elizabeth Anne, was delivered in January, while the third in the series, the Baltimore, is set for completion this summer.

The new tug will be paired with the Double Skin 601, the first in a new series of 55,000 bbl barges and will be followed later this year by the Double Skin 602, both built by the Conrad Deepwater South Shipyard in Amelia, LA.

“Our ongoing fleet construction program ensures that we have state-of-the-art equipment available to service all of our customers’ needs with the utmost safety and efficiency,” says Vane Brothers President C. Duff Hughes.

Designed by Frank Basile, P.E., of Entech Designs, LLC, Vane Brothers’ Elizabeth Anne Class tugboats are close cousins to the Basile-designed Patapsco Class tugboats, 15 of which were produced between 2004 and 2009.

Measuring 100 feet long and 34 feet wide, with a hull depth of 15 feet, the model bow Hudson is powered by two Caterpillar 3516 Tier 3 engines, each generating 2,100 horsepower at 1,600 rev/min. Two John Deere PowerTech 4045, 99 kW generators deliver service power to the boat, while a third John Deere 4045 teamed with an Allison transmission drives the chain-driven Intercon DD200 towing winch. The Elizabeth Anne also has Reintjes marine gears supplied by Karl Senner, LLC, Kenner, LA.

The Hudson features the latest in solid-state, Simrad electronics and handsomely appointed, mahogany upper and lower pilothouses, as well as spacious accommodations for up to seven crew members.

Meanwhile, the Double Skin 601 is configured and outfitted in a nearly identical fashion to the most recent 55,000 bbl Vane Brothers barges that were delivered in 2015 by Indiana-based Jeffboat Shipyard. Like them, the Double Skin 601 is equipped with an 8,600 BTU thermal fluid heating system, vapor control system and cargo tanks coated with International Interline 994 Epoxy Novolac. However, the Double Skin 601 has a raised forecastle bow design, which provides additional reserve buoyancy.

The DS-601 and its sister, the DS-602, are both fitted with two fixed boom pedestal cranes each, Model F1-65, with a 65-foot boom length supplied by Techcrane International, Covington, LA.

Primarily tasked with towing petroleum barges engaged in the North Atlantic coastwise trade, the Hudson has joined the Elizabeth Anne among more than 20 vessels that are part of Vane’s Delta Fleet, based in Philadelphia. The DS-601 is also a new Delta Fleet member.

NEW TUG FOR SEA VISTA
In early April, BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards, Mobile, AL, launched the first of two 12,000 hp ATB tugs for Sea-Vista ATB, LLC.

One of the interesting features of the tug M/V Sea Power is that it has two independently controlled and operated hydro-dynamic Van der Velden Barke rudders. Independent Proportional Steering will allow the rudders to be actuated either independently or synchronized. The rudders were supplied by Dutch company Van der Velden Marine Systems (VDVMS) in conjunction with its U.S. representative Ships Machinery International, Inc. (SMI).

Van der Velden says that tank tests showed that rudder design was extremely effective for this type of vessel. This ATB tug will have enhanced maneuverability and excellent course keeping stability. The efficiency provided by this high technology rudder solution will result in significant savings over the life of the vessel.

The 43m x 14m ATB tug, with a draft of 6.75m, is designed by Seattle-based Guido Perla and Associates, Inc. (GPA). The tug’s power is supplied by two 4,640 kW main engines and three 250 kW main generators, with a standby emergency generator of 150 kW. The vessel uses a pin connector system between the tug and the barge and fully complies with ABS Under 90 m Rules, Maltese Cross A1 AMS ACCU Towing Vessel, SOLAS, USCG Subchapter I.

“We are pleased that our client selected this state of the art rudder system for their new vessel,” said SMI Vice President Arthur Dewey, and “we are confident that their faith in Van der Velden rudders will be rewarded over the long haul.” Van der Velden reports that the Sea Power is the only vessel of its kind in the U.S. at present time.

The tug will have exceptional maneuverability, with two independently controlled and operated hydrodynamic Van der Velden Barke rudders. Independent Proportional Steering will allow the rudders to be actuated either independently or synchronized.

Van der Velden has done a lot of work to facilitate the installation of these rudders into a hull and worked closely with Guido Perla Associates Inc. and BAE Systems to assure a smooth transition from initial design to final installation.

GPAI Chairman Guido Perla commented, “Van der Velden provided excellent technical support and on time delivery of design documents that helped us develop the engineering and design for the installation of their steering system. Their coordination with our staff was prompt and to the point. We appreciated their support.”

Van der Velden says that the key driver behind the Barke rudder is its innovative and sophisticated progressive high lift design, offering unsurpassed maneuvering and course-keeping performance, as well as smooth operational comfort. The progressively operating flap linkage system is contained in a fully enclosed, grease-lubricated Barke housing. This results in minimum wear on the linkage components and eliminates the problems caused by contact with floating objects.  

Another set of Barke high-lift rudders will be installed on a second ATB tug before this summer.

BARGE FOR PROVPORT
Conrad Shipyard, Amelia, LA, recently delivered a 300-foot long x 72-foot wide rake/box barge with a deck rating of over 6,000 pounds per square foot to ProvPort, Providence, RI, according to naval architect JMS Naval Architects, Mystic, CT. The crane barge design allows for the easy loading and unloading of cargo from ships to the dock or from ship to ship.

JMS Naval Architects, Mystic, CT, engineered and designed the crane barge for the State of Rhode Island that will be used for stevedoring operations at ProvPort Inc.

ProvPort is a nonprofit public-private partnership, formed in 1994, which owns and operates the municipal port of the City of Providence, RI. ProvPort is New England’s premier deep-water multimodal facility for international trade and domestic distribution and one of the busiest ports in America’s northeast.

JMS designed the barge to carry and operate the facility’s 440-ton Liebherr LHM 550 mobile harbor cranes. The barge is ABS classed A1 with notation “Deck Barge,” uninspected and unmanned. JMS also created the technical specification documents to utilize for the solicitation of shipyard bids and provided owner’s representative services during the construction of the barge at Conrad Industries.

The contract was funded by the State of Rhode Island’s Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) II grant program award managed by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. The grant was created by Congress in the 2010 Transportation Appropriations Act and allowed the purchase and installation of the barge and two high performance harbor cranes. The new stevedoring equipment will modernize and enhance the port’s ability to continue its existing bulk material operations while expanding its capabilities to accommodate container operations; thus alleviating demand on the Port of Boston—the only existing container port in New England. The new crane barge will be critical for the port which has relied on 30-year-old rented crane barges that have been prone to breakdowns and have been out service for prolonged periods. The crane barges are estimated to remove on average 1,000 trucks per week off the northeast corridor highway system—one of the most congested in the country.

NEW HARBOR TUGS FOR BAYDELTA, MCALLISTER
Jensen Maritime, Seattle, is designing tractor tugs for both U.S. East Coast and West operators. One is for Vessel Chartering LLC, a wholly owned dividsion of BayDelta Navigation. The new tug is powered by a pair of 3,385-horsepower Caterpillar 3516 EPA Tier 4 engines and is the third tugboat designed by Jensen Maritime with engines meeting EPA Tier 4 requirement.

The tug was designed without ballast tanks, eliminating the need for ballast water discharge and therefore ballast water treatment systems. To maintain proper trim, the vessel will transfer fuel, as necessary.

The tug is being built by JT Marine Inc. shipyard in Vancouver, WA, for delivery in second quarter 2017.

Jointly developed by Vessel Chartering and Jensen, the 110-ft x 40 ft tug has the ship assist and escort capabilities of smaller harbor tugs, while delivering the improved towing performance and increased range of larger ocean-going tugs.

The design offers the flexibility to support ship escorts, assists and towing, with the escort capability being enhanced to provide support for assisting the large, 18,000 TEU containerships expected to make an increasing number of West Coast port calls.

With an electrically powered, double drum tow winch aft by Rapp USA and an electrically powered hawser winch forward by Markey Machinery as deck machinery, the vessel will be capable of a 93-to-95 short-ton bollard pull. Both winches’ electrical power will remove any chance of a hydraulic oil spill on deck.

The tug is designed to carry up to 123,000 gallons of fuel, 4,300 gallons of fresh water, and up to 4,500 gallons of urea, which is used in the main engine exhaust Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) treatment system used to meet EPA Tier 4 emissions requirements.

On the East Coast, McAllister Towing, New York, NY, has contracted with Horizon Shipbuilding, Inc., Bayou La Batre, AL, to build it two new 100 ft x 40 ft new escort tugs.

The tugs will be powered by 3516E EPA Tier 4-compliant Caterpillar engines with Schottel SRP4000FP propulsion units producing 6,770 hp and 80 metric tons bollard pull.

The tugs will be the 31st and 32nd tractors and the first Tier IV tugs in McAllister’s fleet.

They will be ABS classed Maltese Cross A-1 Towing, Escort Service, FiFi 1 and Maltese Cross AMS.

The hull has been designed by Jensen Maritime for enhanced ship docking abilities in addition to direct and indirect escorting and the tugs have been designed and simulator tested to assist new Post-Panamax and Ultra-Large Vessels.

Towing machinery will include a Markey asymmetric render-recover winch on the bow and a Markey tow winch with a spool capacity of 2,500 ft of 2¼ in wire on the stern.

MARCON BROKER FOR NEW DESIGN TUG
Purple Water Ltd. has appointed Marcon International, Inc., Coupeville, WA, as exclusive broker to handle the shipyard licensing for construction of an innovative new tug in the Americas.

Called the Giano tug, the compact double-ended tug has a high displacement tunnel hull form, two large structural keels and a straight-line controllable pitch thruster configuration designed and built solely for ship handing.

With intuitive in-line handling controls, the tug can produce 55 tonnes (70 tonnes) of bollard thrust and pull in all directions at full power with true 360 degree maneuverability, while maintaining a 0 degree list – plus a side-stepping speed of 7 knots – from full ahead to full speed sideways in 10 seconds.

The tug works equally well from the bow or stern and is fitted with 75 tonne escort winches fore and aft.

The design is claimed to has the highest stability numbers of any escort tug afloat, not only in its own 24 m compact class, but also compared with the 32 m escort terminal class.

Two separate engine rooms, a separate generator room and a double hull with integral “W” heavy duty fendering and patented underwater fenders provide a high level of safety, and allow the tug the unique capacity to side thrust and push at full power without listing, while assisting vessels in confined spaces

The Gianotug design is patented over 40 countries.

After four years of research and development, the first tug of this class, is now available in Italy for shipowners and shipyards interested in licensing and building the design to inspect and experience a “hands-on” demonstration of the tug’s capabilities.

Built by Chinese shipbuilder Guangdong Bonny Fair Heavy Industry, the 25.75 m x 13.02 m x 5.20 m depth / 5.30 m Giano is powered by twin 1,678 kW CAT 3512C-HD diesels developing a total power of 4,562 HP at 1,800 RPM.

A Schottel SRP-3000 azimuthing drive with a controllable pitch prop is mounted in a straight line at each end, with the tunnel hull specifically designed to eliminate propeller interference.

Topside access and ultra-short shaft lines allow for main engine removal in a few hours.

The U.K. flagged Giano is classed LR +100A1, Escort Tug, FiFi-1 (2,400 cu.m/h) with water spray, Unrestricted – MCA WB Area 1 (up to 150 miles from safe haven). While this first vessel has a 55 tonnes bollard pull, the unified design allows for both 55 tonnes and 70 tonnes bollard pull versions to be built.

As Easy as Building ATBs

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders recently completed sea trials on the second of 10,000 hp oceangoing tugs for Kirby Offshore Marine, the coastal tug and barge arm of Kirby Corporation, Houston, TX. The 136 ft x 44 ft tug, Tina Pyne, will be connected to the 185,000 bbl ocean tank barge 185-02 built by Gunderson Marine, Portland, OR.

Kirby’s newbuild plan also includes two 155,000 bbl/6,000 hp Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) units under construction at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI, as well as two 120 ft x 35 ft, 4,894 hp tugs being built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders. Each tug will be powered by two Caterpillar 3516C engines, each rated at 2,447 hp at 1,600 rev/min, with Reintjes reduction gears turning two Nautican fixed-pitched propellers with fixed nozzles. The Reintjes gears were supplied by Karl Senner, LLC, Kenner, LA. The tugs will also have two C7.1 Caterpillar generators for electrical service. Selected deck machinery includes one TESD-34 Markey tow winch, one CEW-60 Markey electric capstan, and one Smith Berger Tow Pin.

Kirby Offshore Marine is the largest U.S. operator of coastal tank barges that provide regional distribution of refined petroleum products, black oil and crude oil. Kirby grew its coastal marine transportation business through the acquisition of K-Sea Transportation Partners L.P. back in 2011 in a transaction valued at about $604 million. At that time, Kirby acquired 58 tank barges (only 54 were double hull) with a capacity of 3.8 million barrels and 63 tugs.

Already the operator of the largest inland tank barges and towboats, Kirby Corporation will grow further with the purchase of Seacor Holdings Inc.’s inland tank barge fleet for about $88 million in cash.

Under the terms of the deal struck last month, Kirby will acquire 27 inland 30,000 bbl tank barges and 13 inland towboats, plus one 30,000 bbl tank barge and one towboat currently under construction. As part of the agreement, Kirby will transfer to Seacor the ownership of one Florida-based ship-docking tugboat.

Kirby Inland Marine currently has 898 active inland tank barges and 243 towboats, with a total carrying capacity of 17.9 million barrels. The primary cargoes transported by this fleet are chemicals, petrochemical feedstocks, gasoline additives, refined petroleum products, liquid fertilizer, black oil and pressurized products.

Kirby President and CEO David Grzebinski, says “Operating primarily in the refined products trade, these assets will be complementary to our existing fleet and will allow us to continue to enhance customer service.”

TRIPLE-SCREW BOATS FOR MID-RIVER
Over the years, Rodriguez Shipbuilding, Inc.’s triple-screw towboats have won a following operating in the shallow waters where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. These Lugger-type vessels are designed with a distinctive aft-cabin.

Mid-River Terminals of Osceola, AR, recently took delivery of a new design towboat from Rodriguez Shipbuilding, Coden, AL. With a conventional forward-house pusher configuration, the new 70 ft x 30 ft MV/ Dianna Lynn uses the same propulsion as the Lugger tugs. This is composed of three in-line six-cylinder Cummins QSK 19 engines, each delivering 660 hp. Each engine turns a 66-inch stainless steel propeller through ZF gears with 6:1 reduction ratio. The combination gives the 1,980 hp towboat an eight-foot operating draft. 

Fitted with large windows, the wheelhouse has a full 360-degree view and is set atop two accommodation decks and a half deck that also serves for bridge electronics support. This gives the towboat a 31-foot high eye-level, with full tanks, for working high barges.

Steering and flanking rudders are controlled by wheelhouse levers with mechanical shafts through the houses and connected to the hydraulic actuator valves in the upper engine room.

A set of push knees and deck winches with cheek blocks facilitates barge work. A pair of 55 kW gensets meets the boat’s electrical requirements.

Zero discharge tanks, built integral to the hull, provide storage for treated sewage and all drains. A separate tank handles waste oil.

The M/V Dianna Lynn is the fourth boat in the Mid-River Terminal fleet, all of which are Cummins powered. Owner Rick Ellis said, “We wanted the three engines for redundancy so that even if we loose an engine we still have over 1,200 horsepower.”

The new boat will be primarily involved in fleeting and harbor work, “Rodriguez did a great job and it is a great handling boat,” Ellis added.

BOUCHARD, MORAN EXPANDING FLEETS
As we highlighted last month, Bouchard Transportation’s multi-million-dollar newbuild program is winding down. The Melville, NY, owner is completing the construction of two new 6,000 hp, 310 ft x 38 ft Intercon tugs at VT Halter Marine, Pascagoula, MS. The tugs Morton S. Bouchard Jr. and Fredrick E. Bouchard will be connected to the B. No. 210 and B. No. 220. The two tank barges were the first double hull tank barges built by Bouchard,. Both were built as wire barges, but following their conversion and stretch at Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., both will be Intercon, flat deck double hulls capable of carrying 110,000 bbl of oil.

Moran Towing, New Canaan, CT, expects to take delivery shortly of a 5,300 hp/110,000 bbl ATB unit from Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding. The Sturgeon Bay, WI, has another 8,000hp/155,000 bbl ATB unit under construction for Plains All American Pipeline, with an option for a second unit, and signed a hotly contested order for another 8,000 hp/185,000 for another earlier last month. That contract includes an option for another.

The new barge will have a capacity of 185,000-barrels with dimensions of 578 feet by 78 feet. The tug will be an 8.000-HP unit equipped with Tier 4 engines—believed to be GE Marine—to meet the latest EPA emission standards.

When complete, the ATB will operate on the U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

“We are pleased to have this opportunity,” said Francesco Valente, FMG President and CEO. “This new contract marks an additional expansion of our product portfolio, confirms our ability to win business with new customers in a very competitive market and further consolidates our presence and reach in the U.S. market.”

“This award increases our pipeline of new construction to 10 vessels and provides additional stability to our business,” said FBS Vice-President and General Manager, Todd Thayse. “We are grateful for the confidence that our customers continue to place in our reputation for quality and the strong shipbuilding skills of our workforce.”

Conrad Shipyards, Morgan City, LA, meanwhile, is building the 80,000 bbl ATB unit for John W. Stone, as well as two ATB tugs for Harley Marine Services, Seattle, WA. Conrad Orange Shipyard in Orange, TX, recently delivered the 35,000 bbl Double Skin 315 to Vane Brothers Company. That barge was towed to New York by the Elizabeth Anne, the first in a series of eight 4,200 hp tugs being built by St. Johns Ship Building, Palatka, FL.

Designed by Frank Basile, P.E. of Entech Designs, LLC, the Elizabeth Anne Class tugboat is a close cousin to Vane’s Basile-designed Patapsco Class tugboats, 15 of which were produced between 2004 and 2009. Measuring 100 feet long and 34 feet wide, with a hull depth of 15 feet, the model-bow Elizabeth Anne utilizes two Caterpillar 3516 Tier 3 engines, each generating 2,100 hhp at 1,600 rev/min. Two John Deere PowerTech 4045, 99 kW generators deliver service power to the boat, while a third John Deere 4045 teamed with an Allison transmission drives the chain-driven INTERCON DD200 towing winch.

VectraROBERT ALLAN’S LATEST
Over the years, world renowned naval architectural and marine engineering firm Robert Allan Ltd. Has successfully teamed with shipyards around the world to bring new innovative tug designs to the market. Its latest is the VectRA 3000 Class Tug, a high performance VSP Tractor tug designed by Robert Allan Ltd in close collaboration with Turkish ship builder Sanmar and Voith Turbo Propulsion. The tug is designed for maximum efficiency in the performance of towing, harbor ship-handling and escorting of large ships. Performance has been verified with extensive model tests at the commencement of the design cycle. The unique propulsion arrangement features high-speed diesel engines connected to the Voith units via reduction gearboxes with integral clutches. With a bollard pull of 70 tonnes, the VectRA 3000 form can generate escort steering forces in excess of 100 tonnes. Additionally, the design has fire-fighting and oil recovery capabilities and is fully MLC compliant.

The VectRA 3000 has been designed exclusively for Sanmar to offer as one of its highly successful stable of progressive tugboats for the world market.

The first vessel in the series, the M/T Ares, built for Italian tugowner Tripmare SpA, was successfully launched at Sanmar’s new Altinova advanced shipbuilding facility this past February.

The tug has an overall length of 30.25 m, beam of 13m, depth of 5.1m, and design draft of 6.1m.

The vessels are built and classed to the following ABS notation: ✠ A1 Towing Vessel, Escort Vessel, ✠ AMS, Unrestricted Service, UWILD, HAB (WB), ABCU Fire-Fighting Vessel Class 1 Oil Spill Recovery – Capability Class 2 (>60° C) (OSR – C2).

Rather uniquely for a VSP installation, the propulsion drivetrain comprises two Cat 3516C high-speed diesel engines, each rated 2,525 kW at 1,800 rev/min, and driving Voith 32R5EC/265-2 cycloidal propellers. The engines are connected to the Voith drives through a pair of Reintjes WAF 863 gearboxes and Vulkan composite shafts, rather than using the more traditional turbo coupling. This combination is smaller, lighter and less costly than the traditional medium speed drive system. The electrical plant consists of two identical diesel gensets, each with a rated output of 86 ekW.

Crew accommodations are all located on the main deck level for optimal crew comfort. There are 4 single crew cabins plus 1 double crew cabin, each with an en-suite bathroom. A comfortable lounge/mess area and galley facilities are also in the deckhouse, with galley stores and laundry room located below the main deck forward.

All towing, ship handling, and escort work is performed using a double drum escort winch and escort rated staple fitted on the aft deck. One drum can store 710 meters of steel wire line, while the other stores 150 meters of synthetic towline. For increased operational flexibility radial type tow hooks are installed on the main deck forward and aft.

As in a traditional tractor configuration, the stern is the working end of the tug, and as such features heavy-duty cylindrical fendering with a course of ‘W’ fenders below. Hollow ‘D’ fenders protect the sheer lines and tie neatly into the ‘W’ fenders at the bow.

The wheelhouse is designed for excellent 360-degree visibility and includes overhead windows. The split type console is biased aft to ensure unobstructed visibility of the working deck (including the winch, staple, bulwarks and fenders) during operations.

CARGILL’s PUSHBOATS FOR THE AMAZON
In Brazil, the construction of a fleet of Robert Allan Ltd.-designed pushboats and barges for Cargill Transportation is nearing completion. To be used for transporting grain products on the Amazon River system, the fleet includes two shallow-draft RApide 2800-Z2 class pushboats built at INACE in Fortaleza, Brazil and 20 hopper barges built at Rio Maguari in Belem, Brazil.

Each of the two new RApide 2800-Z2 Class pushboats are 28m x 10.5m, with a minimum operating draft of 2.2m and normal operating draft of 2.5m. The two sister vessels, the Cargill Cachara and Cargill Tucunare, are designed to push barge convoys on the Amazon River system.

During the early phases of design, extensive CFD simulations were undertaken to optimize the pushboat’s hull shape to minimize total convoy resistance.

This work was completed in conjunction with extensive logistics modeling of the transportation system to optimize the selection of vessels for the desired route and to analyze operational drafts and cargo throughput at various river levels.

The pushboats were designed to ABS and Brazilian NORMAM-02 requirements and are outfitted to the highest standards.

The wheelhouse is designed for maximum all-round visibility with a split forward control station providing maximum visibility to the foredeck working area of the tug as well as to the convoy of barges ahead. Accommodation for up to 13 people is provided onboard and a large galley and mess is provided on the main deck.

The deckhouse extends aft over the main propulsion components, which comprise a pair of Caterpillar 3512B diesel engines, driving Schottel SRP 550 Z-drive units. The drives are fitted in tunnels designed to optimize flow while reducing draft. Two identical Caterpillar diesel gensets are provided in the vessel’s auxiliary machinery space located below the main deck.

The corresponding 61m x 15m box and rake barges were designed by Robert Allan Ltd. to ABS River Rule requirements. Additional extensive FEA analysis of the structure was performed in order to optimize the design for minimum steel weight while ensuring long service life during river operations. Sliding aluminum hatch covers have been supplied to ensure the cargo stays dry at all times.

Navy funds FY 2016 LCS construction

APRIL 1, 2016 — The Navy has issued modifications to its block buy contracts with Lockheed Martin Corp., Baltimore, MD, and Austal USA, Mobile, AL, to fund construction of one FY 2016 

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding delivers ATB

DECEMBER 1, 2015 — Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS), Sturgeon Bay, WI, has delivered the Articulated Tug Barge Unit (ATB), tug Leigh Ann Moran and tank barge Mississippi, to Moran Towing Corporation. It

Tidewater orders PSV’s at Bay Shipbuilding

Fincantieri Marine Group’s Bay Shipbuilding Company, Sturgeon Bay, Wis., is to build two 92.4 m x 19 m Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) for Tidewater Marine LLC, a subsidiary of Tidewater Inc., New