Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

New Containment Boom Deployment Vessel


A new oil spill containment boom deployment vessel, developed by Seattle's Snow & Company, offers several different configurations to suit a variety of applications. Photo courtesy of Snow & Co.

Snow & Company has worked with various environmental businesses to develop a line of containment boom deployment vessels. The company's goal has been to develop job-specific vessels that are fuel efficient, ergonomic, and built tough for demanding work conditions.

The result is a 20-foot by 8-foot vessel with several options, including an outboard model and an inboard diesel model with a jet pump. The inboard jet model is equipped with an EPA tier 3 FNM four-cylinder 135 HP diesel engine, ZF 45 reversing gears, and an Almarin 185 jet. The diesel vessel is rigged to "run dry", so start up can happen before launching.

No lightweight aluminum boat, the "boomer" is constructed with heavy and frequent framing throughout, almost entirely of 0.25 inch, 5086 aluminum plate. The boat is ready for the abuse it is guaranteed to see on the most demanding jobs.

The beamy vessel has a relatively flat bottom (5 degrees dead rise mid to aft) for shallow draft constraints and better stability when crewmembers are working over one side. A 4-inch heavy wall HDPE (high density polyethylene) pipe collar with 2-inch polyethylene foam cushions behind it protects the entire perimeter. This bumper is a very durable and slippery means to aid in driving alongside vessels, pilings, and walls. Preferable to standard rubber bumpers, the HDPE bumper won't "catch" or "stick" to obstacles. The collar can be removed and replaced in about 40 minutes for thorough cleaning if the boat happens to be used in spill response.

There are large rubber-flapped freeing ports in the stern, with watertight decks and bulwarks, the boat can be completely flooded and still have the ability to drive and maneuver (although with limited performance) while water quickly drains out of the stern. The rails are very low to the water for ease of reaching into the water to handle tow and anchor points to booms. For towing, a heavy wall 4-inch aluminum pipe post with various arrangements can be provided. A "flip down" 2-inch stainless steel pipe push knee can be lowered into the water for pushing booms, or pulled up on deck when traveling or driving over booms.

Four picking points are attached to the boat, and a harness is included, ready to clip in for quick launching and retrieval with a crane or davits. An aluminum-framed cradle is available for mounting to the deck of a vessel or dock.

Amidships is a wraparound console for protection of the operators, with options for a hard top and a four-window, two-door house. Heat and air conditioning can be provided for the extreme environments. The hardtop and deckhouse models have a natural location for deck floods, searchlights, navigation lights, and any miscellaneous antennas that may be needed for particular applications. Pipe racks for lights can be provided for the open console model.

Another option is a heavy weather model, with bulwarks on the bow rail; although this diminishes the ability for crew to reach into the water from the bow it has added protection in rough seas.

The new boom boats are available for short- and long-term charter, and available fully equipped to client's needs.


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