MACC 2018: Getting a glimpse at the future of patrol boats

JULY 29, 2018 —The Multi-Agency Craft Conference (MACC) offers an annual glimpse into the future of the U.S. military and government agency patrol boat market, creating a valuable opportunity for marine suppliers

RAD-Power to support Karl Senner products in Canada

APRIL 5, 2018 — RAD-Power, Beaconsfield, Quebec Canada, has been named a new manufacturer’s representative for the Eastern and Central regions of Canada including the Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince

Gulf Island Shipyards delivers towboat to Marquette

OCTOBER 18, 2016—This past September, the Houma, LA, shipyard of Gulf Island Shipyards, a division of Gulf Island Fabrication, Inc., delivered the 10,000 hp M/V Chad Pregracke, the last of a series

Towboats: Let me take you down

Independent commodity trader Trafigura Group, through its subsidiary Impala, is investing $1 billion in creating the infrastructure for a new multimodal supply chain in Colombia that can transport crude, naphtha, break-bulk cargo, containers, and oversized cargo up and down the country’s main waterway, the Magdalena River.

Impala Colombia currently operates a terminal in the seaport of Barranquilla, where the Caribbean Sea meets the Magdalena River. Some 630 kilometers south of Barranquilla on the Magdalena River, Impala is investing some $450 million in developing a new state-of-the-art inland river port in Barrancabermeja. The inland river port will have an oil terminal with six tanks that can store 120,000 bbls each and a general cargo and container terminal. The port will serve as an intermodal connection between river transport and truck transport. Impala’s fleet of barges will ship product to and from major crude oil production sites as well as major cities such as Bogotá or Medellin.

In addition, Barrancabermeja will also serve as a seaport with bills of lading possible to connect directly with international ports such as Rotterdam or Shanghai.

Part of Impala’s investment includes a fleet of new towboats and barges. Impala’s growing Colombian fleet includes at least 15 new towboats and 68 liquid barges and 45 dry cargo barges. The tank barges are double hulled, with vapor recovery systems for environmental responsibility and safety and can carry up to 10,000 barrels of oil.

This past summer, Eastern Shipbuilding, Panama City, FL, launched the Impala Soledad and Impala Puerto Salgar, the first two in a series of four inland river towboats for IWL River Inc., an affiliate of Impala Terminals Colombia.

Designed by CT Marine, the towboats are are being built to ABS Class Inland River Service. Eastern Shipbuilding expects to finish delivering the boats in 2017.

Impala Soledad and Impala Puerto Salgar along with the other sister vessels in the series, the Impala Mompox and Impala Catagallo, will each be 134 feet long, 42 feet wide, with a depth of 9 feet and minimal operational draft of 6 feet.

Each towboat will be triple screwed, with three Caterpillar 3512C main diesel engines, certified to IMO Tier II. Each will produce 1,280 hp at 1,600 rev/min for a total of 3,840 hp. Karl Senner, Kenner, LA, supplied the three Reinjtes WAF665 reduction gears.

The towboat’s auxiliary power is supplied by two Caterpillar C6.6 125 kW, 220-volt, 3-phase main generators.

The Panama flag vessel will be classed ABS +A1, Towing Vessel, River Service, +AMS, ABCU.

CT Marine also designed the towboats to have a retractable pilothouse. When fully raised, the pilothouse will have a 37 foot 6 inch eyelevel above the waterline. Towboats designed with retractable pilot houses can pass under low fixed bridges along their route. The deckhouse is confined to a single level and only the pilothouse is extended atop a hydraulic ram. When raised, the pilothouse provides excellent visibility for the master to see over top his tow.

Another new towboat built with a retractable pilothouse was Florida Marine Transporters’ M/V Marty Cullinan. Built by Horizon Shipbuilding, Bayou La Batre, AL, the M/V Marty Cullinan has an ABS Load Line Certificate to operate in the waters between Chicago to Burns Harbor for fair weather voyages.

The 387 gt towboat is outfitted for service in areas with restricted overhead clearances and draft limitations. With the pilothouse fully retracted, the maximum air draft is 17 ft  8 in.

The 120 ft x 35 ft x 11 ft 6 in vessel is of all steel construction and powered by two Caterpillar 3512 engines, each rated at 2,011 hp at 1,600 rev/min with Twin Disc gears. The boat is outfitted with two 175 kV Tier 3 John Deer 6090 460 V gensets.

Sleeping accommodations and facilities are provided for eight persons and sound dampening systems have been implemented throughout the main deck house.

The towboat was built in 14 months. Project Manager Terry Freeman, who managed the construction of the vessel, said, “Our team exceeded all expectations with regard to the timely production and quality work on this build especially given the new design, ABS requirements and technical expertise required for the retractable pilot house.”

Jeff Brumfield, Senior Manager of Boat Construction and Engineering for FMT said, “We are thoroughly pleased with the boat, and when I talk to the Marty Cullinan crew they are quick to note that she is smooth and very quiet. The sound dampening package has exceeded our expectations.”

“We have worked hard to build one of the best boats on the river and we consider ourselves fortunate to have teamed with FMT and John J. Gilbert to do this,” said Travis Short, President of Horizon Shipbuilding. “Horizon has been building FMT boats for almost a decade and in that time we have been able to assemble a team of master craftsmen that produce a superior product. All the praise goes to those men and women in the yard, taking care to do the job right the first time while working safe, working hard and working together.”

Horizon has two more 120 ft FMT towboats, one standard and the other with a retractable pilothouse, in production with deliveries scheduled for this fall and the spring of 2017.

The M/V Lady Loren doesn’t have a retractable pilothouse, but does have a raised one that provides an eyelevel of 35 feet above the waterline. Back in 2008, LA Carriers built the pusher tug Lady Loren at Lockport Fabrication. At the launch, LA Carriers President Russell Plaisance explained that the boat was the result of five years of planning and a lifetime of maritime experience in the Gulf of Mexico. The 82 ft x 28 ft Lady Loren was the seventh boat in the LA Carriers fleet.

For Plaisance at the time, a key element of his business was diversification. “We do $10 million to $11 million [in gross revenue] per year including some business with the oil industry,” he said, “but we do a little of everything else as well. We barge pipe and we once even towed baseball dirt from Houston to Tampa Bay for spring training. This new boat has a contract to tow corn syrup from Memphis to Tampa Bay.”

Now eight years later, the corn syrup contract has dried up—the plant has been converted to other products. But LA Carriers’ diversity has kept the company healthy even during the current slump in the oil industry.

The Lady Loren, with both towing and pushing capabilities, is currently engaged moving a pair of hopper barges on a run between New Orleans and Tampa.

The Lady Loren is a triple-screw tug powered by three Cummins QSK19-M3 diesels rated at 660 hp each to give a total of 1,980 hp. The engines turn three 63 by 67-inch propellers in kort nozzles.

“The engines had 36,000 hours on them so I decided to rebuild the middle engine,” says Plaisance. “Without removing the engine, my crew, together with Cummins mechanics replaced the shaft bearings, pistons and rods, heads and injectors. When we looked at the wear on the parts that came out of the engine we realized that they could easily have given us another 4,000 hours with no risk of down time.”

As a result, he feels confident in leaving the rebuild of the two outside engines for another year by which time they will have a remarkable 40,000 hours each. Crediting Cummins quality, Plaisance also has a very proactive service and maintenance program on the engines. Oil is changed regularly, and injectors adjusted every 10,000 hours.

LA Carriers has changed some of the fleet in the eight years since the Lady Loren was first launched and they have several different engine makes among its seven boats. Plaisance is unreserved in his praise for the Cummins engines. “In future, if I have to replace an engine in one of my other tugs, it will be with Cummins,” he says.

Vigor delivers new San Francisco fireboat

SEPTEMBER 2, 2016 — Vigor’s Seattle, WA, shipyard recently delivered an 88′ x 25′ x 14′ state-of-the-art fireboat to the San Francisco Fire Department. Designed by Jensen Maritime, it is the first

Propulsion: Group Think

Vessel operators are still very much focused on reducing fuel consumption and lowering emissions. Collaboration early on in the design of a new vessel and its construction between the vessel owner, naval architects, shipbuilders, and propulsion manufacturers can payoff in optimizing the vessel’s hull, reducing costs of construction, and lowering operational costs during a vessel’s lifetime.

“We work with naval architects early in the design process to help optimize the propulsion system, looking to meet all design requirements while minimizing the size and horsepower of the system,” says Elizabeth Boyd, PE, President, Nautican Research & Development Ltd. Boyd says collaboration early in the design phase “can result in significant savings because if the horsepower can be reduced due to efficiency gains, it can lead to size reductions in not just the horsepower and propellers, but also everything that goes along with it—shafts, bearings, etc.—sometimes it can even mean meeting the requirements with a smaller boat.  We can quickly show performance and full system configuration for different sizes, allowing the naval architect to explore options very quickly.”

Nautican’s foundation was built on efficiency. More than 40 years ago, company founder Josip Gruzling pioneered the use of hydrofoils to increase the efficiency of tugs and barges. Today, Nautican engineers and manufactures hydrodynamic solutions, including patented Integrated Propulsion Units, High efficiency nozzles and propellers, high aspect ratio triple rudders, pre-swirl stators, and also hydralift skegs for barges. It says independent tests show that its propulsion system solutions increase power and maneuverability, while significantly reducing fuel use and maintenance needs.

One of the Nautican’s latest projects is fabricating the first two sets of 104-inch nozzle units for the 120 ft Kirby Offshore Marine line haul tugs under construction at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Whidbey Island, WA.

According to Boyd, initially nozzle development was done using both Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and physical testing in a cavitation tunnel and towing tank. “However,” she says, “our CFD efforts now are focused more on integration with the hull form. For these boats, CFD was not used as the design was already well developed and fairly straight-forward as far as placing the nozzles.” 

The designer of the ABS Class tugs is Jensen Maritime, Crowley Maritime Corp.’s Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering company.

Each of the two tugboats will be equipped with two Caterpillar 3516C main engines, rated at 2,447 hp at 1,600 rev/min. Reintjes reduction gears, supplied by Karl Senner, LLC, Kenner, LA, will turn two Nautican fixed-pitch propellers with fixed nozzles. Other equipment onboard the tugs will include two C7.1 Caterpillar generators for electrical service, one TESD-34 Markey tow winch, one CEW-60 Markey electric capstan and one Smith Berger Town Pin.

“Kirby owns many boats with Nautican systems, but most of these have been ATBs (Articulated Tug Barge units) to date,” says Boyd. “We worked recently with Nichols on a pair of Kirby 10,000 hp ATB tugs—this project went very well and these vessels are performing exceptionally well in service.”    

Nautican designed larger 120 inch nozzle units for another tug for Dunlap Towing. “Dunlap is a Nautican repeat customer,” says Boyd. The new tug, says Boyd is a new design, based on the Phyllis Dunlap, but “fully rethought and redesigned by Hockema Whalen.”

The 5,000 hp, twin-screw tug Phyllis Dunlap was built in 2001 by Hansen Boat Company, Everett, WA.

“Dunlap has been a great customer to work with—they are very involved in all aspects of the design and equipment selection and are very knowledgeable, providing some really useful feedback about performance over the years in their very demanding runs to Hawaii and Alaska.”

Wärtsilä Transverse Thruster
Earlier this year, Wärtsilä expanded its transverse thruster series with the addition of the Wärtsilä WTT-40, with a 4,000 kW power level and a 3,400 mm diameter controllable pitch propeller. While Wärtsilä has designed and built customized transverse thrusters as powerful as 5,500 kW, the WTT-40 and others in the WTT range address customer needs for high power transverse thrusters for bow and stern applications.

Development work on the Wärtsilä WTT-40 began in 2015 with an eye on targeting cruise ships, large OSVs and offshore construction vessels. The high power level is particularly important for the harbor maneuvering and docking of large ships, and for dynamic positioning of offshore vessels working in heavy sea conditions.

Because of its maximum power of 4,000 kW, shipyards and cruise vessel designers have the option of using three WTT-40 thrusters instead of four smaller ones. This translates into a more efficient vessel design with less space required for the transverse thrusters. It also allows thrusters to be installed closer to the bow where they are more effective.

Wärtsilä’s extensive experience with propeller design and tunnel optimizations using CFD analysis, ensures an optimal solution when it comes to propulsion performance, efficiency, and the minimization of noise and vibration.

Another benefit of the Wärtsilä WTT-40 is its integrated hydraulics, which save machinery room space and installation and commissioning time at the shipyard.

Innovative ship propulsion systems made by RENK
Military vessels such as patrol boats, corvettes, and frigates looking for “silent running” might well be interested in the Renk Advanced Electric Drive AED. The new drive from the Augsburg, Germany, plant offers a number of special advantages for shipbuilders, says Renk. The propulsion system is a real alternative to the heavy, space consuming electric motors that are rotating at propeller speed.

Modern power electronics allow the use of high-speed motors in combination with an efficient gearbox. The Renk AED combines electric motor and gearbox on one joint frame. Built on soft elastic mounts and equipped with a highly elastic propulsion coupling an incomparably silent operation is possible. The water-jacket of the water-cooled electric motor as well as the double helical reduction gear add to extremely low noise operation.

A modularized lightweight
Thanks to the compact design as well as the low height the preassembled unit is quickly installed with minimum space requirements. Additionally there is a considerable weight advantage. The drive weights around 40% less than a conventional direct drive motor. By comparison, the Renk AED weighs only 23 tons instead of the 35 tons of a direct drive motor of the same power.

Suitable for fixed pitch propellers as well as controllable pitch propellers the drive speed can be flexibly adjusted to the respective propeller requirements. The propulsion systems is built modularly and can be delivered in four sizes from 1.4 to 6 MW. For uses where the requirements are between sizes RENK simply adjusts the capacity of the bigger engine. In this way the complete range of capacities can be covered individually and economically. The motors work with low or mid ranged voltage and are designed –depending on size- for propeller revolutions of 190-450 rev/min.

Investing in new production & testing facilities
Besides pouring millions of dollars into research and development, marine propulsion manufacturers are also investing in new production and testing facilities. Earlier this year, Renk opened one of the largest and most modern test facilities in Europe for gear units at its headquarters in Augsburg. Whether for the shipbuilding, automobile or industrial sector: The multifunctional test facility is especially suitable for the testing of prototypes or special equipment. Renk will not only test its own special gearboxes and propulsion systems, but also those of other propulsion systems or propulsion component manufacturers. The test facility allows for a power capacity of up to 12 MW at 10 revolutions per minute and can take a torque of up to 11 million Nm.

RollsJust this past June, Rolls-Royce Marine unveiled plans for a EURO 57 million plan to upgrade its azimuth thruster plant in Rauma, Finland, and consolidate its thruster assembly and testing to one site.

Rauma produces a wide range of mechanical azimuth thrusters for use on a wide range of applications including semi-submersible drilling rigs and drillships, tugs and offshore vessels. Rauma also produces thrusters for specialist vessels such as icebreakers and polar research ships.

Mikael Makinen, Rolls-Royce, President – Marine, says, “Our azimuth thrusters are one of our most important products, providing mission critical power and propulsion for some of the largest floating objects on the planet. To be able to make this significant investment in Rauma not only prepares us for future growth in this market, but is a vote of confidence in the capability and expertise of our people.””

Azimuthing thrusters rotate through 360 degrees, providing propulsion and maneuverability without the need for a rudder. The largest and most powerful thrusters from Rauma are the ARC type which power icebreakers including the Finnish vessel Fennica. They are among the largest products produced by Rolls-Royce and can each weigh up to 190 tonnes, providing 7.5Mw of power.

Two of the world’s largest floating structures are powered by another range of thrusters produced in Rauma, UUC underwater mountable thrusters:

The heavylift vessel Pioneering Spirit, owned by Allseas, which is used for decommissioning oil platforms, has13 UUC thrusters; and Shell’s Prelude, the world’s first floating LNG production facility, will feature three large UUC thrusters, for position keeping. The thrusters are installed in a novel arrangement that allows them to be removed and maintained within the ship.

The work to transform Rauma will begin immediately and is due for completion in 2020. The investment will include installation of a crane capable of lifting 200 tons, and at least six factory acceptance test rigs. Offices and IT systems will also be refurbished.

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.

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.

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 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, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pioneering New Technologies

Soon, noon-day reporting from fallible human beings will be a thing of the past. From cradle to grave, a whole new approach to ship efficiency has been made possible by recent advances in IT and data processing. Now, a step change in “always-on” ship connectivity will allow maritime assets to be monitored and managed remotely right round the clock.

As we reported in “Shipping’s Space Age Future” (ML April 2016, p. 37), perhaps the most ambitious project on the go in Europe is the Rolls-Royce-led Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWAI) in which other maritime firms including DNV GL, Inmarsat, Deltamarin and NAPA are also involved. Other participants include top academics from various Finnish universities.

At a project update meeting recently in Helsinki, Rolls-Royce President – Marine, Mikael Makinen declared: “Autonomous shipping is the future of the maritime industry. As disruptive as the smart phone, the smart ship will revolutionize the landscape of ship design and operations.”

Delegates heard that the sensor technology is now sufficiently sound and commercially available so that algorithms required for robust decision-making—the vessel’s virtual captain—are not far away. Now the arrays of sensors are to be tested over the coming months on board Finferries’ 65-meter-long double-ended ferry, Stella.

“Some of the distinct goals of this project are to make a difference in marine safety and energy efficiency,” Päivi Haikkola, Manager, R&D, Deltamarin Ltd., told Marine Log. “We want to mitigate human error.”

Finferries and dry bulk shipping company ESL Shipping Oy are the first ship operators to join the project, which aims to explore ways in which to combine existing communication technologies as effectively as possible for autonomous ship control. Inmarsat’s involvement is key.

The London-listed communications company recently began the roll-out of its new Fleet Xpress service, seen by many as truly a light-bulb moment. Preparing the ground for rapid advances in smart ship operation and crew welfare, the new service now provides always-on high-speed broadband communication between maritime and offshore assets at sea, and shore-based managers. It is the first time that such a service has been available from a single operator.

Fleet Xpress will also facilitate cloud-based applications from third parties with smart systems to raise ship operating efficiency and improve the life-quality of seafarers. For the first time, big data can be used to improve asset management and maintenance.

IT advances have also facilitated a new approach to ship design. Model basins and testing tanks still have their place, of course, but thousands of relatively high-speed computational iterations can measure the relative benefits of small design changes in a way that has not been possible before.

Take the Finnish company Foreship, for example. Its capabilities in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and the super-efficient hull forms which it has developed have propelled the company into a position as one of the top ship design consultants to global cruise lines, advising both on newbuilding plans, conversions and retrofits.

In a couple of months, the first of two 4,700 dwt “EcoCoaster” cargo ships is due for delivery to Finland’s Meriaura Group from the Royal Bodewes yard in the Netherlands. Foreship carried out extensive hull optimization work and, as a result, these vessels will burn only about half of the fuel compared to an existing vessel of similar size and class.

Foreship worked with both the owner and Aker Arctic Technology on the ships which will be able to run on biofuel or marine gasoil. Meriaura plans to have at least half of its fleet – currently about 20 ships – based on EcoCoaster designs by 2020. Since ordering the 4,700 dwt units, work has been carried out on larger designs.

Also hailing from Finland is progressive ship design firm Deltamarin. Now a subsidiary of Singapore-listed AVIC International Maritime Holdings Limited and ultimate Chinese ownership, the company’s range of super-efficient bulk carriers spanning a size range from 28,000 dwt to 210,000 dwt has caught the attention of long-established dry bulk owners including heavyweights such as Algoma, Canada Steamship, Cosco, Louis Dreyfus Armateurs and Oldendorff.

Of course the catalyst for taking a fresh look at the hull forms which had not changed for decades was the spike in bunker prices. But although the oil price collapse means today’s fuels cost only a fraction of prices two or three years ago, the search for improved economy has developed a momentum of its own, and nowhere is this more obvious than amongst leading propulsion companies, many of which are to be found in Europe.

While big low-speed diesel manufacturers like MAN Diesel & Turbo and Wärtsilä have made huge strides in raising the fuel efficiency of large engines, it is among some of the smaller niche machinery providers where true design innovation is to be found. Electrical power, energy storage and the growing popularity of azimuth thrusters are fiercely fought-after markets. ABB, Rolls-Royce, Steerprop, and Wärtsilä all feature in a market popular with operators of cruise ships, workboats, offshore support vessels and dynamically positioned offshore units of various types.

ABB, for example, recently won a European Marine Engineering Award for its Azipod D electric propulsion system with a power range from 1.6MW to 7MW. Launched last year, the latest Azipod was designed to allow its use on a wider range of ship types. It incorporates various innovative features including a new hybrid cooling system which contributes to a requirement for 25% less installed power and similar fuel savings.

The first cruise ship with Azipod D will be the 16,800 gt Scenic Eclipse being built by Uljanik shipyard in Croatia. The Scenic Eclipse (pictured above) is being built to Polar Class 6 and will operate in the summer waters of the Polar regions when it is delivered in 2018. The 228-passenger ship will have two 3MW Azipods installed.

Meanwhile, ABB recently announced a deal to supply a new electrical power system based on its Onboard DC Grid system for a hybrid car ferry in Norway. Initially the vessel, for Torghatten Trafikkselskap will operate as a hybrid with two battery packs contributing to peak demand. However, the 60-car, 250-passenger vessel can be easily modified to become fully electric in due course by adding 16 battery packs and a shore connection.

For the cruise ship and offshore vessel markets, Wärtsilä recently unveiled the Wärtsilä WTT-40 transverse thruster, which features a 4,000 kW power level and a 3,400 mm diameter controllable pitch propeller. The thruster complies with the U.S. EPA’s latest VGP2013 regulations. It also features integrated hydraulics to save machinery room space and installation and commissioning time in the shipyard.

Meanwhile, last year Steerprop Ltd. landed orders for a total of ten SP25D units to serve as main propulsion for three inland towboats being built for SCF Marine at C&C Marine & Repair, Belle Chasse, LA. The propulsors will be delivered this summer to the shipyard by Karl Senner, LLC., Kenner, LA, the North American distributor for Steerprop. These will be the largest and highest horsepower inland towboats equipped with Z-drives built in North America to date, according to Chris Senner of Karl Senner, LLC.  He adds, “It is imperative to consider the harsh conditions of the inland waterways and select a unit suited for the environment, which is why we propose the equivalent of an ice-class rated unit.”

A new generation of much more fuel and operationally efficient newbuilds, however, does nothing for the tens of thousands of existing vessels built before the new wave of design innovation began. But there are a range of initiatives in progress focused on enhancing existing ship efficiency.

Becker Mewis DuctGermany’s Becker Marine Systems is a leading light in energy-efficient retrofits and appendages. The company recently signed a deal with Abu Dhabi’s Adnatco to fit some 20 vessels with Becker Mewis Ducts (pictured at right). Rudder modifications and Becker Twisted Fins are also generating a steady pipeline of sales.

Walter Bauer, Sales Director, concedes that sales volume has reduced. But he says that this is partly a result of the dire state of the bulk carrier market. Tanker business, he says, is holding up well.

But what to do with almost-obsolete panamax container ships? Owing to beam constraints, they are generally long and relatively thin, and were mostly built in an era of cheap fuel and fast sailing speeds. They are not particularly efficient from a box-carrying point of view, but are in dire straits today, competing with larger ships and lower slot costs. There are more than 800 such vessels in the world fleet today and well over half are less than 10 years old. They are likely to prove increasingly unpopular with charterers.

Cargo access specialist MacGregor is one of several companies which offers capacity increasing conversions for container ships. By slicing a vessel in half lengthways, a newly constructed midship section can be inserted and stack heights raised by lifting the navigation bridge.

In a similar project, the capacity of the 4,860 TEU MSC Geneva, owned by Reederei NSB, was increased to 6,300 TEU. The five-month widening project, undertaken in close cooperation with Hamburg’s Technology GmbH, was completed at Huaran Dadong Dockyard in China. Through its subsidiary NSB Marine Solutions, Reederei NSB is now offering to assist in similar projects for third parties.


Propulsion: Powering up your choices

The International Workboat Show in New Orleans, LA, offers the marine industry an ideal time to not only assess the current state of the industry, but also an opportunity to view some of the newest technologies, products, and services. With stricter emissions regulations coming into play in 2016 and operators strongly focused on efficiency and the bottom line, this year’s show saw a number of new power and propulsion technologies unveiled. GE Marine, for example, extended its EPA Tier 4 engine series to include 16- and 12-cylinder V-models, an 8-cylinder inline model, and a 6-cylinder inline model that is currently planned for development.

GE says the engine series meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Tier 4 emission standards without the use of urea after-treatment, while maintaining fuel efficiency and service intervals. In addition, the engines have a faster response time to load steps, and a Maximum Continuous Rating (MCR) that is 12 percent higher than their Tier 3 compliant predecessors. 

Coastal tug and barge operator Reinauer Transportation purchased two 12V250MDC Tier 4 diesel engines for its new Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) unit under construction at Senesco Marine in Kingstown, RI. One of the engines was displayed at GE’s booth at the Workboat Show.

“We chose the new GE Marine engines because we like their robust design and component configuration,” says Christian Reinauer. “The engine closely matches the footprint of our current vessel design. This limits the amount of re-engineering while meeting Tier 4 emissions requirements without the complications of urea after-treatment.”

GE’s Marine Product Manager Rob Van Solingen says the engines offer several advantages as compared with engines that use an SCR-based emission control system.

He says that the GE Tier 4 engines are less complex, allowing ship designers to develop engine rooms that make the most efficient use of space. This reduction in complexity also translates into improved labor efficiency at shipyards.

The engines also offer space and weight savings, since there is no large SCR reactor system in the exhaust piping of each engine nor any urea tank, dosing equipment, monitoring/control systems, and related piping, and air supply system required.

“Depending on size and urea quantities, space and weight savings of the engine and complete SCR system with all components and urea tanks can save up to 75% on each when compared to the GE T4 diesel engine,” says Van Solingen.

In addition, says Van Solingen, “The EGR system is designed to not require any special maintenance between the normal scheduled overhaul intervals for our engines.”

Other U.S.-based customers Harvey Gulf International Marine and Oceaneering have also ordered 12V250MDC Tier 4 engines to meet stricter EPA emissions standards. Two 12V250MDC Tier 4 diesel engines will power Harvey Gulf’s new Robert Allen designed Multi-Purpose Field Support Vessel, currently under construction at Eastern Shipbuilding Group in Panama City, FL.

Meanwhile, Oceaneering has ordered five 12V250MDC Tier 4 diesel engines for its new Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (IMR) vessel MSV Ocean Evolution under construction at BAE Systems in Mobile, AL.

Also on display at the WorkBoat Show was a new inline six-cylinder diesel engine range for workboats, ferries, fishing trawlers, and pilot boats based on the MAN D2672 diesel engine from MAN Engines. Offered in a range of outputs from 323 kW to 588 kW (440 to 800 hp), the basic six-cylinder engine has been proven in a wide range of on- and off-road machinery since it was first introduced in 2007. Its robustness and reliability in workboats has also been demonstrated in extensive field trials over several thousand hours of use in ferries, pilot boats and high-speed catamarans.

The modern common rail injection system used in the D2676, with fuel pressures up to 1,800 bar, ensures high mean pressures and optimized combustion. This increases on-board comfort due to reduced vibration and noise emissions. The inclusion of a Miller or Atkinson camshaft has helped to achieve an average 10% reduction in fuel consumption compared to the engine’s predecessors.

As part of this improvement in fuel consumption, all engines also comply with the current strict EPA emissions.

The new MAN D2676 marine diesel engines replace the predecessor models D2866 and D2876.

The new D2676 engines also offer the wide torque plateau that is characteristic for MAN marine engines. The 323 kW (440 hp) power unit provides 1,950 Nm of torque between 1,200 and 1,600 rpm for heavy operations, while the 588 kW (800 hp) high-performance model manages to generate 2,700 Nm between 1,200 and 2,100 rpm for light operations. This ensures maximum torque over a broad engine speed range at the lowest specific fuel consumption.

Scania has been making inroads in the marine propulsion sector because of its compact, proven engine platforms. Some recent installations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico include the high-speed crewboat Fourchon Runner, which is powered by quadruple Scania 16L engines for a total of 2,400 hp.

Naiad Inflatables recently delivered the Karankawa, a twin-screw pilot vessel for the Matagorda Bay Pilots of Texas.  The pilot boat has two Scania DI13 77M main engines, with Twin Disc MGX-5114A gears and ZF controls. It employs shaft propulsion with driveline components from H&H and Michigan Wheel propellers. The pilot boat has a top speed is 33 knots.

At the Workboat Show, Scania showcased its Tier 3 platform, including its 16-liter V8 and 13 liter inline engines.

Scania engines are all based on Scania’s new modular engine platform—well proven in the company’s truck and bus engines. Scania V8 engines are engineered to produce high power, while maintaining a size that is compatible for auxiliary equipment. The V design reduces the overall length of the engine and ancillaries can be effectively accommodated inside the footprint of the engine.

The output ratings for Scania’s newest Tier 3 version of the 16-liter marine propulsion engine range from 550 to 900 hp, with outputs between 550 to 1,000 hp available for use in international and exempt markets.

For auxiliary applications, the range for EPA Tier 3 is 468 kW – 553 kW, and the current range will continue to be offered between 430 kW – 596 kW for international and exempt markets. Scania also expects to see an increase in the output ratings of V8 engines used for keel-cooled applications.

The output ratings for Scania’s newest Tier 3 version of the 13-liter inline marine propulsion engine range from 250 – 675 hp, with outputs up to 750 hp available for use in international and exempt markets. For auxiliary applications the range for EPA Tier 3 is 269 kW – 426 kW.

Scania’s centrifugal oil cleaner effectively removes small particles from the lubrication oil, while reducing the size of the replaceable filter cartridge. The Scania saver ring, placed at the top of each cylinder liner, reduces carbon deposits on the edge of the piston crown and reduces cylinder liner wear.

In spite of higher performance and tighter emission levels, Scania has been able to increase maintenance and oil change intervals by 25% (now 500 hours) in comparison to its predecessor.

During a presentation for the trade press at the Workboat Show, Caterpillar highlighted the development of its Twin Fin Propulsion Systems. The initial Twin Fin Propulsion System was retrofitted on the seismic vessel Polarcus Naila at Shipdock in Amsterdam in March 2014.

“In the seismic business, seismic assets or the vessel is a huge workhorse,” says Peter Zickerman, Polarcus Executive Vice President. “About 85 percent of its lifetime, the vessel is under constant tow in various weather conditions. It is imperative that the reliability of the vessel and its propulsion system are top notch.”

The Twin Fin is designed for vessels that operate on a diesel-electric propulsion system. With thrusters, vessels can have more cargo capacity. With conventional propellers, operators benefit from added reliability and safety. Twin Fin offers the advantages of both. It offers higher thrust performance, reduced fuel consumption, and a better emissions profile.

According to Mattias Hansson, naval architect and sales manager at Caterpillar Propulsion, development of the Twin Fin Propulsion Systems started with the company’s partners in the third quarter of 2012 and a patent application was filed in the first half of 2013. Hansson points out that the Twin Fin Propulsion System also incorporates some green aspects, including, a water-lubricated stern tube, instead of an oil-lubricated system.

For the retrofit, the twin fins were prefabricated in about 15 days and readied for the Polarcus when she arrived at the shipyard.

“This new system provides an excellent course keeping stability for the ship—important for a scientific ship like this,” says Henning Kuhlmann, Managing Director, Becker Marine Systems. Becker Marine Systems supplied highly efficient flat rudders for the installation of the Twin Fins.

The payback period for the system is about three years based on fuel consumption savings, efficiency gains, improves environmental footprint, and improves reliability when operating in remote areas.

In the coastal market, Caterpillar is supplying two harbor tugs being built for Harley Marine Services, Seattle, WA, at Diversified Marine, Inc., Portland, OR.

Each of the Harley Marine tugs will be outfitted with Cat 3516 main engines—each rated at 2,575 hp at 1,600 rev/min—and two MTA 524-T azimuthing thrusters. The thrusters will have 95.5 in. diameter fixed-pitch propellers.

Cat Propulsion’s Emil Cerdier says the MTA-T thrusters deliver “excellence of economy and performance to the tug market.” The tugs will be delivered by Diversified Marine in 2017.

While Z-drives are fairly commonplace in the tug market, they are a relatively new phenomena in the inland towboat market. While some were installed as early as the 1980s, Z-drives got a major boost in 2006, when Bill Stegbauer and Ed Shearer began exploring the use of alternative propulsion, including Z-drives in inland towboats. Stegbauer, then President of Southern Towing Co., eventually opted for a design that would use Z–drives in a series of 3,200 hp towboats.

There are now about two dozen towboats operating with Z-drives and more are under construction. One of the latest series of three 6,300 hp towboats designed by The Shearer Group that are being built at C&C Marine and Repair, Belle Chasse, LA, for SCF Marine Inc. As you might guess, Ed Shearer is the President of The Shearer Group.

The towboats will each have three Cummins QSK60-M diesel engines coupled to three Steerprop SP-25D z-drives. Cummins Mid-South is supplying the engines, while Karl Senner, LLC, Kenner, LA, is supplying the Z-drives.

The Z-drives were selected only after a through analysis. “We worked closely with the both the owner and the naval architect, but at the end of the day, the decision was up to the owner, SCF,” says Karl Senner.  “Tim Power and Myron McDonough were very diligent in the selection process, and we very much appreciate the in-depth approach and attention to detail.  We pride ourselves in offering robust products and superior support, factors that are critical while operating in the demanding environment of the inland waterways.  Steerprop units are designed for the longest time between overhauls on the market.  We have also been supporting inland operators since our company’s inception in 1967.  We are very excited about our relationship with SCF and we know it will continue for a long time to come.”

Steerprop SP25D Z-drives are designed for operating in harsh environments.  These specific drive units were selected and configured similar to that of ice-class applications.  Ice class design is Steerprop’s forte, having designed and supplied Z-drives on board three of the world’s largest mechanical Z-drive ice breakers build to date. 

These will be the first inland towboats in the U.S equipped with Steerprop Z-drives.  “The inland waterways have been a major focus of our business since 1967 for Reintjes gearboxes,” says Senner. “We pride ourselves in knowing what it takes to support the high demands of our inland customers, from sizing the appropriate equipment, to stocking spare parts, and providing quick service turnarounds. We are a family-owned and -operated company, flexible to respond to customer needs quickly and effectively.” 

“We are in discussions with multiple other inland projects, but not at liberty to discuss them at this point in time.”

Z-drives have begun to catch on with inland transportation operators because of the safety, operational efficiencies and fuel savings they offer. As operators of harbor tugs have long been aware, the Z-drive can deliver full thrust in any direction almost instantly, where as the conventional rudder set aft of the propeller and even the flanking rudders set ahead of the rudder as is the practice on many inland river towboats, will sacrifice time and power by the inefficient nature of the conventional drive and rudder system.

Due to the greatly improved maneuverability with Z-drives, tows do not need to slow down in turns and bends in the river. Trip times are reduced and require a lot less fuel. A study conducted by The Shearer Group, Inc. last year showed an average of 28% fuel savings and 11% trip time savings during a set of controlled experiments with unit tows when using Z-Drives instead of conventional shafts and rudders.

SCF Marine, Inc., St. Louis, MO, is part of SEACOR’s Inland River Services group. SCF Marine operates a fleet of hopper barges along the U.S. Inland River Waterways and South America, transporting agricultural, industrial, and project cargoes.

Thrustmaster of Texas, Inc., Houston, TX, says towboats with Z-drives are not significantly more expensive than conventional towboats. The initial cost of the Z-Drives is significantly offset by reduced construction costs and installation man-hours. Shipyards have reported that the cost of building Z-drive boats is actually less than building conventional boats.

One of the latest applications of Z-drive propulsion is in a fleeting boat by Carline Companies. Carline recently added the 68 by 34-foot towboat USS Cairo for barge fleeting on the lower Mississippi.

Designed by Christian Townsend of CT Marine and built by Raymond & Associates, the USS Cairo is fitted with two six-cylinder Tier 3 compliant Cummins QSK19 main engines turning Thrustmaster TH750MZ Z-drives with 57-inch propellers.

According to Thrustmaster of Texas, a Z-drive replaces the propeller, shaft, stern tube, marine gear, rudder and steering gear all with a single unit.  Z-drive azimuthing thrusters provide maximum thrust in any direction, independent of vessel speed, offering superior pinpoint maneuverability under all conditions. Rudders are completely eliminated. Rudder drag no longer exists. All of this can be done with a lot less power. A 1,500 hp Z-drive boat can replace a 2,000 hp conventional towboat and a 3,000 hp Z-drive boat can replace a 4,000 hp conventional towboat.

Pacific Maritime: A vital maritime cluster

 “In the more than seven years that Shell has held leases in the Chukchi, it has only recently been allowed to complete a single well. What we have here is a case in which a company’s commercial efforts could not overcome a burdensome and often contradictory regulatory environment,” says Murkowski. “The Interior Department has made no effort to extend lease terms, as recommended by the National Petroleum Council. Instead, Interior placed significant limits on this season’s activities, which resulted in a drilling rig sitting idle, and is widely expected to issue additional regulations in the coming weeks that will make it even harder to drill. Add this all up, and it is clear that the federal regulatory environment—uncertain, ever-changing, and continuing to deteriorate—was a significant factor in Shell’s decision.”

Murkowski made the point that just because the U.S. has created a difficult environment for offshore drilling in the Arctic, it doesn’t mean other countries have. “Development in the Arctic is going to happen—if not here, then in Russia and Canada, and by non-Arctic nations,” says Murkowski. “I personally believe that America should lead the way. The Arctic is crucial to our entire nation’s future, and we can no longer rely solely on private companies to bring investments in science and infrastructure to the region. As the Arctic continues to open, we urgently need to accelerate our national security investments in icebreakers, ports, and other necessities.”

Some Congressional opponents of Arctic drilling applauded Shell’s move. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) called offshore Arctic drilling “unacceptable” and irresponsible. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) went so far as to introduce the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015, which would prohibit new or renewed oil and gas leasing in the Arctic Ocean Planning Areas of the Outer Continental Shelf.

But this should probably be viewed more like a pause as opposed to a full stop. A more favorable regulatory environment for Arctic offshore drilling could develop if a Republican is in the White House in 2017 backed by a Republican-controlled Congress. Additionally, cheap oil and gas should also increase consumption and eventually lead to higher prices and make Arctic drilling more economically attractive.

 Shipyards, naval architects team on projects

Portland, OR, headquartered Vigor Industrial, the largest shipyard group in the Pacific Northwest with 12 facilities in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon, had bolstered its capabilities in anticipation of an increased workload. It added an 80,000-ton lifting capacity dry dock to enhance its ship repair and maintenance capabilities and merged with Kvichak Marine Industries, Seattle, WA, to add capabilities in new aluminum vessel construction. Vigor had supported Shell’s earlier efforts in Alaska, including the activation of the drilling barge Kulluk, and more recently repaired the damaged icebreaker Fennica.

Vigor is part of a vibrant Washington State maritime cluster that includes logistics and shipping, fishing and seafood, and shipbuilding and repair. According to a recent economic impact study, generated 148,000 direct and indirect jobs and directly creates $15.2 billion in gross business income and has a total impact of $30 billion on the state’s economy.

Back in March, Vigor “christened” its dry dock Vigourous with work on the cruise ship Norwegian Star and followed that up with repairs to the USNS John Glenn and USNS Montford Point. Now Vigor will turn its attention to completing the third Olympic Class 144-car ferry for Washington State Ferries and look forward to building the fourth in the series, which recently received $122 million in funding by the state legislature. There’s plenty of more coverage on the ferry market in this issue, including Seattle-based Elliott Bay Design Group’s support of ferry projects for the New York City Department of Transportation and Texas Department of Transportation.

Pacific Oct2nicholsSpecial launch system
Designed by Seattle-based naval architectural firm Guido Perla Associates, Inc., the144-car ferry is a joint construction effort between Vigor and neighboring Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Whidbey Island, WA. Nichols Brothers Boat Builders has been contracted to build the superstructure for the first three Olympic Class ferries. Nichols Brothers Boat Builders has used a new track and dolly system developed by Engineered Heavy Service (EHS), Everett, WA, for transferring the ferry superstructures it on to a barge for transport to assembly with the hull at Vigor Fab in Seattle.

That same transfer system is pictured on this month’s cover, to launch the ATB tug Nancy Peterkin, the first of two 136 ft x 44 ft x 19 ft sister ATB tugs being built for Kirby Offshore Marine.

This past May, Gunderson Marine, Portland, OR, had launched the Kirby 185-01, a oil & chemical tank barge.

The Nancy Peterkin’s sister ATB tug, the Tina Pyne, is set for launch this December.

The EHS launch system moved the ATB from the shipyard to the launch ramp. General Construction provided two floating cranes to assist in the final lifting of the vessel, shuttling it to deeper water.

The vessel was towed to Everett, for lightship, stability testing and fuel transfer. Following this the tug will be towed to Nichols Brothers outfitting pier in Langley, WA, located across the Puget Sound from Everett, WA, for final outfitting, dock and sea trials before its final delivery.

Used for vessels greater than 1,000 tons, the new launch system significantly increases the displacement and draft of the vessels that Nichols Brothers can haul and launch in the future. Currently the shipbuilder is engineering to install ridged buoyancy tanks to the side of the launch frame, eliminating the need for the floating cranes in the future.

Nichols Brothers followed up the launch with the signing of a construction security agreement with Kirby Offshore Marine to build two new 120 ft x 35 ft x 19 ft-3 in tugs. Each tug will be powered by two Caterpillar 3516C, 2,447 bhp at 1,600 rev/min main engines with Reintjes reduction gears turning two NautiCAN fixed pitched propellers with fixed nozzles. Karl Senner, Inc., Kenner, LA, supplied the reduction gears for the vessel. These vessels 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.

Keels will be laid for both vessels this fall with delivery of the first vessel scheduled for May 2017 and the second vessel is scheduled for delivery in November 2017.

Jensen Maritime Consultants, Seattle, the naval architectural and engineering arm of Crowley Maritime, will provide the ABS Class and functional design for the tugboats. These tugboats will carry an ABS loadline, compliant with USCG, as required at delivery.

Nichols Brothers is currently working on the second ATB Tug for Kirby Offshore Marine.

Nichols Brothers spokesperson Lacey Greene says the shipyard has just begun construction of the American Samoa 140 ft Multi-Purpose Cargo/Passenger Ferry, and next year will begin construction on the superstructure and final assembly of the WETA 400-passenger high speed catamarans.

“The vessel construction boom in the Pacific Northwest has impacted the economy in so many different ways,” says Greene. “Specific to our location our community is flourishing. Nichols Brothers is the largest private employer on Whidbey Island in Washington State and employs 300 men and women. We foresee the economic boom expanding even further; the tug market is strong in all aspects, from ATB tugs, tractor Tugs, to line tugs. We also see the passenger vessel industry sector thriving, and we predict additional passenger only high-speed ferries coming down the pipeline as well as leisure vessels.”

 Jensen Maritime is also providing construction management services for the Crowley product tankers under construction at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard. It’s also been busy working on developing LNG bunker barge concepts and recently received approval from ABS for a 452 ft-long ATB version.

Engineering consultant Art Anderson Associates, Bremerton, WA, has been increasing its staff and supporting the development of passenger-only ferry service in Puget Sound. Art Anderson’s Patrick R. Vasicek, PE, LEED AP, will be on hand at the Marine Log FERRIES 2015 Conference & Expo in Seattle to discuss, “An Exportable Life Cycle Assessment Tool for Determining Sustainable Visibility of Passenger-Only Ferry Routes and Systems.”

Ballast water treatment solution
Seattle-based naval architectural and engineering consultancy Glosten reports that Marine Systems Inc. (MSI) has delivered a pair of Ballast Treatment System Deck Modules, designed for tank barge and ship operations.

MSI turned to Glosten to develop the design in response to requests from vessel operators and the first of a kind modular ballast water treatment units combine expertise from Glosten, MSI and Alfa Laval, which provided PureBallast 3.1 treatment systems, Filtrex high efficiency filters, and expertise from hundreds of ballast water management system installations.

The resulting modules, built at the Foss Seattle Shipyard, complete with lighting, ventilation, and integrated controls, were shipped ready for “plug-and-play.”

Each Ballast Module packs a treatment capacity of 1,000 m3/hr within a 20-foot shipping container footprint and is ABS and U.S. Coast Guard approved for hazardous area installations.

Using the module reduces the technical demands on busy shipyards. Rather than juggling independent components and vendors, shipyards can instead focus on fabricating a few well-defined interfaces and foundation system. Each purchased module comes pre-approved by USCG and ABS, is fully tested prior to shipment, and includes integration support from MSI and Glosten engineers.

“The demands of the vessel operator drove this design,” says Kevin Reynolds, Principal at Glosten. “Doing this as a manufactured product ensures that we get it right, every time.”