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

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

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.

DeJong & Lebet designing new Mississippi riverboat

Naval architects and marine engineers DeJong & Lebet, Inc., Jacksonville, FL, have been contracted by the New Orleans Steamboat Co., owners of the Natchez, to design a new 600-passenger riverboat for Mississippi River operation.

DeJong & Lebet’s Andy Lebet tells Marine Log that the new river steamer will be a traditional powered vessel, with Tier 3 engines, props and built to U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter K requirements. In keeping with the New Orleans Steamboat Co.’s aim of offering top-notch cuisine and excellent customer service, the riverboat will be outfitted with a full galley and dining rooms on three decks, with two dumb waiters and a passenger elevator.

Right now, New Orleans Steamboat Co., has requested pricing from shipyards on building the vessel. According to New Orleans Steamboat Co. spokesperson Adrienne Thomas, those bids are expected to be in in January. Thomas says the new vessel would be delivered in the second quarter of 2017.

Meanwhile, Lebet says his company has been busy, with work on three Circle Line Sightseeing ferries being built at Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding in Somerset, MA, and the design of a 400-passenger, Subchapter K vessel for Winston Knauss of Sir Winston Yachts. Lebet says that the new boat will be the 16th that DeJong & Lebet has worked on with Sir Winston Yachts. Many of the vessels are working in cities around the U.S.



Workboats and Patrol Boats: Small but Mighty

It’s no secret that the oil and gas sector is having a major impact on the industry with orders down at the larger shipyards and operators stacking their OSVs. Small boat builders, however, are thriving, remaining busy, and producing the hardest working vessels on the water, patrol boats and workboats.

Metal Shark, for example is in the midst of producing large work orders of patrol boats for a number of government agencies both in the U.S. and across the world. This year alone, Metal Shark, Jeanerette, LA, delivered multiple variants of its Endurance-class catamaran in the form of fireboats, multipurpose port security boats and Dive Support Vessels.

Back in March, the U.S. Navy awarded a $15,309,410 firm-fixed, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to Metal Shark to build 7-meter rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) in support of Foreign Military Sales (FMS) requirements. Options could increase the contract value to over $47 million.

The RHIBs will support a variety of missions including personnel/cargo transfer, search and rescue, open water patrol, vessel interdiction and boarding, and the insertion/extraction of forces. Metal Shark says the boats will be produced in a flexible baseline configuration that can quickly be adapted via minor post-delivery alterations and delivered to support specific FMS case requirements worldwide.

At the time of the contract announcement, Chris Allard, President, Metal Shark said, “Large orders such as this one benefit Metal Shark customers large and small by way of increased production efficiencies and economies of scale that keep our pricing competitive, our workforce stable, and our technology on the leading edge.”

Currently, Metal Shark is producing boats for the U.S. Coast Guard’s RB-S and ATON-M program; and the U.S. Navy’s FPB-M and HSMST program.

This past August, the U.S. Coast Guard awarded Metal Shark with a $17.45 million delivery contract for 48 Response Boat-Small II vessels. The 29-ft high-speed RB-S IIs can reach a top speed of 40 knots, and are designed and engineered to handle a wide range of coast guard missions near the shoreline. Among them: search and rescue; law enforcement; ports; waterways and coastal security; drug and migrant interdiction; and environmental protection and response.

New yard helps meet demand
Metal Shark’s yard in Franklin, LA—acquired last year— enabled the company to expand the size of its vessel offerings, with the new yard supporting the construction of vessels up to 250 ft in length.

Metal Shark 75 Endurance PSLA FireboatRecently, Metal Shark’s Franklin yard delivered a 75 ft welded aluminum multipurpose port security vessel to the Port of South Louisiana. Based on Metal Shark’s Endurance-class catamaran design, the vessel features technology to support fire rescue missions, Command and Control (C2) operations, and around-the-clock port security efforts at the largest tonnage port in the western hemisphere.

The Port of South Louisiana stretches 54 miles along the Mississippi River, and handled over 291 million short tons of cargo in 2014 alone. According to the port, 4,000 oceangoing vessels and 55,000 barges call at the Port of South Louisiana each year.

“Our 75 Endurance is the most advanced fireboat design on the market, incorporating crew friendly features and advanced systems throughout,” says Allard. The vessel is powered by twin Cat C-18 diesel engines generating cruising speeds of 25 knots.

To meet firefighting needs, the 75 Endurance can channel 6,000 total gallons per minute through an oversized water main where electronic valves divert water to three radio frequency-controlled monitors. Additionally, the vessel includes four hydrant connections and a 400-gallon foam reservoir.

Its state-of-the-art Command and Control suite enables multi-agency coordination during emergency response events, and a positive pressure Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high-yield Explosive (CBRNE) ventilation system that can provide crew protection during disaster responses.

Metal Shark has also delivered a number of FMS boats to government agencies worldwide, including 32 Defiant patrol boats to Uruguay, 38 Defiant patrol boats to Bangladesh, and 38 Defiant patrol boats to Senegal.

The boat builder’s Defiant class is among its most popular models, and at this month’s International Workboat Show, Metal Shark will showcase its new 45 ft Defiant variant, which fills the gap between Metal Shark’s 38 ft and 55 ft Defiant class offerings. Metal Shark is currently producing multiple 45 Defiant vessels for Vietnam. The vessels are part of a larger FMS contract for Vietnam.

Earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that the U.S. would provide $18 million to Vietnam to help the country acquire patrol boats specifically built by Metal Shark. At a press conference held during his trip to Vietnam, Carter said both countries are “committed to deepening our defense relationship, and laying the groundwork for the next 20 years of our partnership.” He further added that by working together, the two countries will “continue to strengthen the region’s security architecture so all our countries and others all around the region can continue to rise and prosper.”

To say that Metal Shark is a little busy would be a gross understatement. The secret to its success is its willingness to be flexible and attentive with its customers. “Being able to simultaneously accommodate multiple markets is a significant factor in our success,” explains Allard. “There are some yards that focus on fireboats, others on pilot boats, or patrol boats. We’re active— and enjoying success—in all of those markets. More important than our product range, however, is having the ability to anticipate our customers’ needs by closely observing market trends, by maintaining relationships with existing customers, and by responding to their feedback. When a new client walks through the door we greet them with ready-made solutions, and we’re willing to work with them to modify our offerings if their needs require it.  Our designs are constantly evolving, so having a large in–house design team is crucial, because it allows us to move far more quickly than yards relying solely on outside firms.”

Marine Group Boat Works stays busy
For California’s Marine Group Boat Works, the key to flourishing during a rough market environment is the willingness to diversify its business. “Our vision was to bring custom boatbuilding back to California,” says Todd Roberts, President, Marine Group Boat Works. Roberts says the company’s extensive history with boats has given it a “360-degree perspective” on how it approaches a project, and because it offers both newbuild and repair services, it is with the customer from “cradle to grave.”

The family-owned shipbuilding and repair company has three yards, two in Chula Vista and National City, San Diego, CA, and one in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.

Marine Group’s yard “is running at 95 to 100 percent capacity,” according to Roberts, with a full order log for its workboats and dive boats in the works, and delivery expected over the next five years.

That full order book is the result of a major U.S. Navy contract the yard won earlier this year for the construction of 27 new vessels worth over $45 million. The contracts were for five steel tugboats; six large steel workboats; 16 aluminum 60 ft diveboats. “Multi-year, multi-vessel contracts are what our economy needs,” says Roberts.

According to Roberts, the first two of the smaller workboats for the Navy are near completion and will be delivered early 2016.

Kvichak constructing fourth RB-M C for NYPD
In spring 2016, the New York City Police Department Harbor Unit will take delivery of the fourth in a series of 44.5 ft Response Boat Medium-C patrol vessels being built for the agency by Seattle-based Kvichak Marine Industries. Kvichak, now a Vigor Company following the two companies merger earlier this year, delivered the first three RB-M Cs in April 2010, August 2012 and April 2013, respectively.

Originally, the Response Boat Medium class was designed by Camarc Design, UK for the U.S. Coast Guard’s new RB-M fleet. The RB-M class—which replaced the Coast Guard’s 41ft utility boats—featured a total of 174 boats built and delivered by the RB-M team, comprised of Kvichak and Wisconsin-based shipbuilder Marinette Marine. The final vessel in the 174-RB-M series, the RB-M 45774, was delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard this past March.

Designed with speed in mind, the RB-M features an all aluminum construction; a deep V hull for balance and stability— helping improve and increase response time; and can travel at a speed up to 42.5 knots, and operate a 250 nautical mile range at 30 knots.

The commercial spin off of the class, the RB-M C features the same high-speed flexibility and agility, but with additional customizable features. For example, the NYPD RB-M C features a heated deck, and the RB-M C delivered to Los Angeles County in 2013 has a roof mounted RS-700 Gamma/Neutron Radiation Detection System.

The NYPD RB-M C will be powered by Tier 2-compliant Detroit Diesel 60 series engines. Its propulsion will be supplied by Rolls Royce Kamewa FF375S waterjets. The vessel will also come equipped with a Furuno Navnet system, SeaFLIR Voyager III system and Kohler 9kW genset for AC power. Its climate controlled pilot-house, cabin and heated windows offer the crew protection from the elements.

Kvichak’s ability to produce high quality aluminum patrol and workboat vessels was one of the reasons Vigor hoped to merge with the small boat builder. At the time of the merger, Vigor CEO and owner Frank Foti said, “The Kvichak team builds the best aluminum workboats in the country, arguably the world. Infusing those fabrication genetics into our broader operations is what industrial evolution is all about.”

Silver Ships delivers rescue boat to Southampton
East of New York City, the coastal town of Southampton, Long Island, will be safer thanks to the newest member in the NY/Southampton Bay Constables fleet. Alabama-based Silver Ships, Inc., recently delivered the 21-foot center console all-aluminum patrol/rescue boat to the operator. The Freedom 21 vessel will be used for patrol, rescue, homeland security, and law enforcement purposes around the town of Southampton—the town is surrounded by a number of inland waterways, as well as Shinnecock Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean.

“The Freedom 21 Law Enforcement Vessel is sure to be a tremendous long-term asset for the Southampton Bay Constables and will be available [for] year round operation,” said Silver Ships’ Malcolm Wisch. Designed by naval architect Lou Codega, PE, Smithfield, VA, the vessel features an all-aluminum hull and superstructure making it both durable and rugged. Freedom 21 was engineered specifically for one-man operation. It features an upholstered leaning post with gun and storage lockers, as well as an ergonomically-designed helm area with seat bench/storage box on the forward side of the console.

Silver Ships will follow up the delivery of Freedom 21 with another vessel for Southampton Bay Constables, Freedom 25, which is currently under construction. Freedom 25 will feature a full pilothouse that is climate controlled, and will have CBRNE capabilities.

Gladding-Hearn delivers new generation of boats
Colombia is making a come back. Tourism is on the rise for the South American country as its violent history fades and the country’s lands and vibrant culture take center stage. One way Colombia is making its lands safer is by putting patrol boats in its waters—the country borders the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the northeast. To help meet that goal, in 2014 the Colombian Department of the Navy called upon Massachusetts-based Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, to build and deliver six Chesapeake Class pilot boats.The final vessel in the series was delivered to the Colombian Navy earlier this year.

Designed by C. Raymond Hunt & Associates, the 56 ft boats, which are being used for coastal and offshore patrol operations and port security, feature an all-aluminum deep-V hull and are powered by twin MAN R6-800CRM diesel engines each delivering 800 Bhp at 2,300 rev/min, and capable of reaching a top speed of 27 knots.

C. Raymond Hunt & Associates also provided the design for a new generation of pilot boats recently delivered by Gladding-Hearn to the Tampa Bay Pilot Association—the Chesapeake Class MKII. The vessels, a spinoff of the Chesapeake Class, feature improved performance thanks in part to the addition of Volvo Penta’s IPS 2 pod system.

“This new generation of Chesapeake launches, named Chesapeake Class MKII, is equipped with the IPS 2 pods, which provide what pilots have been asking for: higher speeds, lower fuel consumption, and more comfort,” says Peter Duclos, President of Gladding-Hearn.

The new generation boats are powered by twin Volvo Penta D11, six-cylinder, EPA Tier 3 diesel engines, each producing 503 Bhp at 2,250 rev/min. Volva Penta’s integrated EPS electronic steering and control system, along with the three-axis joystick increases the pilot boat’s overall maneuverability when docking alongside another vessel.

The inclusion of a Humphree Interceptor automatic trim-optimization system gives the pilots higher speeds and improved comfort, while burning 25 percent less fuel than similar Chesapeake Class launches, says Duclos.

Gladding 70ft NYPDpatrolboat3Prior to its delivery of the Tampa Bay Pilot boats, Gladding-Hearn delivered the second in a series of 70 ft Tactical Response Vessels to New York City’s Harbor Patrol Unit. The vessels, says the yard, are designed and built to respond to terrorist activities on New York City’s waterways. The all-aluminum vessel’s superstructure includes a 360 degree wheelhouse, further enhanced by the fly-bridge which has ballistic-resistant windows and panels. The vessels also feature two decontamination showers; an American Safe Room Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) filtration system to help pressurize the vessel’s accommodation spaces; and a 1,500 gallons/min remote control water cannon mounted on the pilot house roof.

Powered by twin 12-cylinder MTU-12V2000M94 diesel engines, the vessel can reach a top speed of over 41 knots, and at 30 knots a range of about 225 miles. The MTU engines turn a pair of Hamilton HM571 waterjets through ZF3050 gearboxes. Meanwhile, a 30 kW Northern Lights/Alaska Diesel generator provides service power.

Additionally, Gladding-Hearn completed the delivery of a five-boat contract for the NYPD. The 61 ft high-speed dive boats were specifically engineered for the NYPD’s harbor unit dive team.

Willard unveils new Sea Force
California-based Willard Marine, Inc. has debuted its new Sea Force 777. The 7.7 m long military-grade, fiberglass, rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) can be used for a number of blue water missions including rescue, patrol and visit/board/search and seizure.

WILLARD SEAFORCE777The RHIB is designed with a deep-V hull to maximize stability. Sea Force 777 will feature a UV-coated, 40-ounce polyurethane WING inflatable collar, with a 7-panel bow cover and rub-strakes to reduce damage during boarding and weight shifting.

The Sea Force 777 is a larger version of Willard’s military-grade RHIBs. The vessel is customizable, and can be made in aluminum; additionally, Willard says it can accommodate a variety of seating configurations, law enforcement equipment, electrical packages, weather protection, and navigation devices.

On the heels of the new Sea Force debut, Willard Marine won a contract from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to build a modified version of its Sea Force 730 RHIB. The 20 ft RHIB will be operated by the Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center.

The vessel will perform fisheries and marine mammal research, including collecting samples, remote sensing survey, and marine mammal population surveys throughout the Pacific region. Vessel delivery is scheduled for Summer 2016.

Willard Marine was also tapped to construct three 28-ft aluminum Hydrographic Survey Launch Ships (HSLs) for NOAA. The HSLs are based on former SeaArk Marine’s commercial boat design—Willard Marine is the exclusive builder of SeaArk Marine designed commercial vessels—and the HSLs will add flexibility and autonomous capability to NOAA’s fleet.

The HSLs will be used on waters off the U.S. coast to conduct oceanographic surveys with hull-mounted and towed sonar units. Power will be provided by a Cummins QSC8.3 engine capable of generating 510 hp with a ZF Marine 305-2 transmission.

Two of the vessels will be built for NOAA’s 208 ft Thomas Jefferson; and the other boat will be built for the 231 ft NOAA ship Rainier. The two ships are used to conduct hydrographic surveys to update NOAA’s suite of nautical charts.

The HSLs will be delivered to NOAA during the Fall of 2016.

Moose Boats delivers M2-32 Cat
Moose Boats’ M2-35 catamaran design is often a popular choice for agencies looking to add speed to their fleet. One such operator is the Placer County Sheriff’s office, Lake Tahoe, CA, which will soon take delivery of an M2-35 patrol catamaran. The M2-35 vessels are powered by twin Yamaha F350 outboards enabling the vessel to reach speeds up to 45 knots.

Earlier this year, Moose Boats completed and delivered two M2-35 outboard catamarans to the Port Authority of NY/NJ. Those two vessels would be used in patrol and rescue missions.

Beyond the M2-35, Moose Boats is expanding its monohull line up, making further developments to its M3-30. According to Moose Boats General Manager Stephen Dirkes, the design features a slightly narrower cabin that allows crew to walk around the cabin for easy access to the bow. The hull’s length was also reduced to under 30 ft, making it a perfect fit for one-man operation. The M3-30 has undergone rigorous testing by law enforcements in both coasts, where it topped speeds of over 45 knots.

Brunswick delivers workhorse to Wildlife Commission
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission recently took delivery of the first-of-its-kind 30 ft Sentry aluminum boat from Brunswick Commercial and Government Products (BCGP).

The new Sentry model is part of BCGP’s aluminum boat line up and complements the already existing Sentry line up which includes 32 ft, 36 ft, 40 ft and 45 ft variants.

The line up is the result of a Master Supply Agreement between BCGP and Canada-based MetalCraft Marine.

“This new [Sentry] platform was designed to accommodate many features needed in the maritime security industry,” said BCGP’s Jeremy Davis. “Whether the mission is port security, game conservation or the safety of recreational boaters, this vessel can easily be customized to fit the needs of law enforcement agencies around the world.”

The Sentry class is designed with port security and patrol missions in mind. It features a forward cuddy cabin, computer workstation and lockable weapon storage.

North River Boats produces Valor for Fire and Rescue missions
Up in Roseburg, OR, North River Boats recently delivered a new 38 ft fireboat to North Kitsap Fire and Rescue. Based on North River’s Valor design, the vessel is capable of generating top speeds of up to 35 knots and maintains a cruising speed of 25 knots.

The vessel, says North River, comes fitted with a Kem Equipment, Kodiak 6.0L fire engine, coupled to a Hale 60FBM Fire Pump System that delivers up to 2000 GPM from the two monitors.

On the vessel’s bow is a Task Force Tips (TFT) remote operated monitor that provides crew with firefighting suppression—the adjustable nozzle enables the operator to quickly go from fan to full stream.

Additionally, Simrad displays and the Simrad digital radar, GPS, Wireless Intercom/Headset System; an Icom M604 VHF radio and a FLIR M 625L thermal imaging camera are featured on the vessel.

Gladding-Hearn delivers new generation pilot launch

The 28 knot vessel is the association’s second Chesapeake Class launch and the first in a new generation of the popular, mid-size pilot boats.

The Somerset, MA, shipyard introduced the Chesapeake Class pilot boat in 2003.Since then, 15 have been delivered to pilot associations throughout the U.S.

The latest improvements incorporate the performance benefits of Volvo Penta’s IPS2 inboard propulsion system.

“The IPS2 system was created to improve the performance and the arrangement of planning hulls like our pilot boats,” said Peter Duclos, the shipyard’s president. “This new generation of Chesapeake launches, named Chesapeake Class MKII, is equipped with the IPS2 pods, which provide what pilots have been asking for: higher speeds, lower fuel consumption, and more comfort.”

With a deep-V hull designed by C. Raymond Hunt & Associates, the all-aluminum pilot boat measures 52.7 ft overall, with a 16.8-ft beam and a 4.5-ft draft.

It is powered by twin Volvo Penta D11, six cylinder, EPA Tier 3 diesel engines, each producing 503 bhp at 2,250 rpm. Each engine is connected to a Volvo Penta IPS propulsion pod, which is fitted with dual forward-facing, counter-rotating propellers and integrated exhaust system, and Volvo Penta’s integrated EPS electronic steering and control system.

The EPS control system and three-axis joystick increases the boat’s overall maneuverability alongside a ship and when docking, says Mr. Duclos.

The financial incentive for the Tampa Bay pilots to optimize fuel economy, vessel handling and comfort led the shipyard to install a Humphree Interceptor automatic trim- optimization system.

“The combination of the Volvo Penta IPS system and the Humphree interceptors gives the pilots higher speeds and improved comfort, while burning 25 percent less fuel than similar Chesapeake Class launches,” says Mr. Duclos.

Electrical requirements are met by a 9 kW Northern Lights generator.

Key design changes to the Chesapeake Class MKII include positioning the wheelhouse aft of amidships to improve comfort and provide for a larger foredeck.

With the pods close-coupled to the engines, the engine room is located well aft of the wheelhouse with easy access to machinery through a deck hatch.

This new generation of pilot boats is also designed to accept a gyro-stabilization system, designed to reduce vessel roll.

The wheelhouse, with forward-leaning windows, is outfitted with five Stidd seats and a settee and cooled by two 16,000 Btu air-conditioning units.

The forecastle, with a 12,000 Btu AC unit, has one berth and an enclosed head.Outside of the wheelhouse are wide side-decks and boarding platforms, port and starboard, on the foredeck.

At the transom is a winch-operated, rotating davit over a recessed platform for pilot rescues operations.