Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

New Vessel and Tugboat Review


Diversified Industries landing-craft/car ferry designed by Columbia-Sentinel Engineers of Seattle and built by Diversified Marine for Avalon Freight Service. The Catalina Provider is 150 feet by 50 feet, with four lanes on deck. Photo by Kurt Redd courtesy of Diversified Marine.

The past year has seen a record number of large catamarans (more than 80 feet) constructed by established Pacific Northwest builders, plus two yards with extensive small-boat experience delivering mid-size cats in the 64- to 80-foot range. In addition, the unprecedented order for seven 135-foot by 38-foot all-aluminum twin hull 400-passenger ferries from San Francisco Bay's Water Emergency Transit Authority (WETA) will utilize the facilities of the region's three biggest yards into 2018. Vigor's Ballard plant (formerly Kvichak) and Nichols Brothers are again combining their efforts for four vessels as they did on a previous order for WETA 113-foot catamarans in 2007-10, also designed by Incat Crowther, Australia.


The hulls are being built in Ballard, and the propulsion system installed there. The twin MTU 12V4000 M64+ EPA Tier III engines are rated at 1,950 BHP at 1,830 RPM, coupled with ZF7600 reduction gears and five-bladed Michigan propellers. A Hug SCR exhaust after treatment system will make these vessels the cleanest diesel-powered ferries in the world. The connected twin hulls, with bare decks, are barged to Nichols where the superstructures are built and bolted-on over the open deck, then returned to Ballard for completion and sea trials. Service speed will be 27 knots. The second group of three ferries will be built at Dakota Creek. The cost per boat is $16 million.

Vigor's Ballard facility also launched a 48-foot by 18-foot aluminum foil-assisted research catamaran for the King County Environmental Laboratory to operate in local waters. This will be the thirteenth foil assisted catamaran the yard has built since 2000. The Kvichak foil design enhances seakeeping at top speeds, and reduces motions at lower speeds to increase comfort. The vessel is powered by Cummins Tier III engines, Hamilton water jets and Twin Disc gears. Other features include an A-frame with a capacity of 2,500 lbs and a 36-inch square moonpool on the aft deck.

A second research catamaran was built for the California Dept. of Water Resources. The 60-foot by 24-foot aluminum vessel was designed by Incat Crowther with Jensen Maritime Consultants acting as the customer's consultant and agent. It is powered by twin Cummins QSB 6.7 diesel engines rated for 419 HP at 3,000 rpm and fitted to Twin Disc MGX5065 marine gears. The pilothouse laboratory has a full complement of scientific water monitoring equipment along with overnight accommodations for five scientists. The vessel's primary application will be monitoring water quality in the San Francisco Bay Estuary, San Pablo Bay Estuary and the Pacific Ocean within five miles of shore.

All American

All American Marine, Inc. (AAM) of Bellingham, Washington continued to fill its order book and will move into a new 57,000 square foot building early in the new year. They are the exclusive US builder of Teknicraft aluminum catamarans by New Zealand naval architect Nic de Waal, and rolled out a total of five vessels in the past year that all feature his signature symmetrical bow and asymmetrical tunnel hull shape. Two identical 149-passenger, 72-foot by 28-foot ferries were delivered to the Gulf Islands National Seashore in Pensacola, Florida. They incorporate many eco-friendly components including two Tier 3 Scania DI 13-081M engines (444 BHP at 1,800rpm), giving a service speed of 12-15 knots on the Pensacola Bay ferry service.

Following the 2015 delivery of a 62-foot by 24-foot vessel to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville, Florida District, AAM was also awarded a contract for a 65-foot survey/dive support catamaran for the Corps' Philadelphia District with a delivery date of March 2017. Both vessels are foil-assisted with a deployable sonar strut and a control center for data collection. A smaller survey and research boat was built for the University of New Hampshire. The 48-foot Gulf Surveyor is powered by a pair of Cummins QSB 6.7 Tier 3 engines rated 250 HP @ 2,600 rpm and auxiliary power is supplied via a Cummins Onan 21.5 kW generator.

The latest and largest project was the M/V Espada for Harbor Breeze Cruises in San Diego. This is a repeat order for a second 83-foot by 29.5-foot hydrofoil-assisted design. However, capacity is increased from 150 to 250 passengers and this is a multi-purpose vessel providing Harbor tours, whale watch cruises, dinner cruises and charter ferry service to Catalina Island. The vessel is powered by twin Caterpillar (CAT) C32 ACERT Tier III engines with 1,450 BHP at 2,100 rpm. The efficient hull form significantly reduces operating costs with fuel consumption nearly constant from 17 knots to 27 knots. This is the third USCG-inspected Subchapter K vessel built by AAM under the new 5A space guidelines for structural fire protection.

Mavrik Marine

Mavrik Marine of La Conner, Washington has a very successful line of 32-foot aluminum fishing boats, and moved up to build its largest vessel to date – a 70-foot by 25-foot catamaran ferry – for Expeditions Maui of Hawaii. Naval architecture was by the established Australian design office One2Three, meeting DNV HSLC (R3) structure rules and USCG sub-chapter T for 149 passengers in near-shore and coastal operations. The vessel makes five round trips daily on the 10-mile crossing between Lahaina and Lanai.

Power is from two MAN V-12 D2862 LE422 low emission diesel engines each rated at 1019 hp at 2100 rpm with ZF 2050 reduction gears, and five-bladed VEEM Star LC Interceptor propellers, giving a cruising speed of 20 knots and a maximum of 25 knots. Northern Lights generators supply electric power and fuel capacity is 950 gallons. The vessel is fully air-conditioned via a chilled-water system with a combination of ceiling mounted cassette style air handlers and a cabinet. The comfortable lightweight seats on the upper and lower decks were supplied by Beurteaux.

Armstrong Marine

Armstrong Marine of Port Angeles has been building aluminum boats for sport fishing and commercial uses for more than 20 years. They were approached by the leading BC whale watching cruise company Prince of Whales to build a large luxury vessel after finding that all the qualified BC boat builders were already fully booked for new construction. The Port Angeles yard had a vacant space big enough to accommodate the 76-foot by 26.5-foot Salish Sea Dream, designed by Greg Marshall of Victoria BC.

To ensure superior visibility, the vessel features a full-width superstructure with continuous full-height windows and sets new standards as the biggest design in the Northwest, carrying up to 94 passengers. It is powered by four Volvo D13 700's turning four Marine Jet Power Ultra waterjets with a total of 2,800 HP at 2,300 RPM, certified to US EPA Tier 3 commercial marine and IMO II standards. The Salish Sea Dream was transported along Highway 101 to the Port of Port Angeles for final fitting out and launching. It operates all-day cruises between Vancouver and Victoria throughout the summer months.

Tugs from 80 to 136 Feet

In April, Kirby Offshore Marine accepted the second of two 136-foot by 44-foot by 23-foot, 10,000-HP ATB tugs built by the prolific Shipyard of Nichols Brothers Boatbuilders in Freeland on Whidbey Island, Washington. The M/V Tina Pyne and her sister ship, the M/V Nancy Peterkin delivered in November 2015, were designed by Guarino & Cox of Covington, Louisiana and are ABS class and SOLAS certified with UWILD, ACCU and CPS.

The tugs are fitted with two, sixteen cylinder, Tier III compliant, EMD 20-cylinder 710G7C diesel engines each rated at 5,000 hp and coupled to Reintjes WAF 5.864:1 reduction gears turning two Nautican propellers in kort nozzles with triple rudders.

These new tugs demonstrated impressive performance, registering 165 tons in bollard pull tests and having a free running speed of 16 knots. They are equipped for full-ocean service, coupled to 578-foot tank barges with a capacity of 185,000 barrels of oil products, built by Gunderson Marine of Portland, Oregon.

The coupling system is the Intercon Series 50, manufactured by the Intercontinental Engineering-Manufacturing Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri. (Nichols Brothers is already building a second pair of 120-foot by 35-foot by 19-foot ATB tugs for Kirby Offshore for delivery in May 2017 and November 2017.

ATB Tug for Harley

The 3,000-HP 95-foot by 38-foot Dale R Lindsey is Harley Marine Services' fourth ATB tug, built by Vigor Fab in Seattle to plans from Elliott Bay Design Group. It serves Southeast Alaska coupled to the 222-foot Petro Mariner, a 28,500-barrel oil barge built by Zidell Marine in Portland in 2015. The tug and barge are connected by an Articouple pin system set under a raised foredeck. Vigor has built several barges for Harley at the Swan Island Shipyard in Portland, the latest being an 83,000-bbl, 422-foot by 76-foot tank barge named Fight A.L.S. for service on the Gulf Coast.

This is the first ATB tug built by Vigor in Seattle, where the company was able to take advantage of other company facilities for pre-fabrication: the Vigor plant in Ballard on the ship canal for the aluminum superstructure, and the navigation bridge and tower with a 50-foot line of sight from Vigor's yard in Tacoma. The accommodations space features six staterooms for 11 crewmembers. Each room features flat-screen TVs and satellite radio.

Twin 1,500-HP at 1,600 rpm Caterpillar 3512C Tier 3 diesels provide propulsion for Dale R Lindsey turning a pair of four-blade, 96-inch stainless steel propellers through Reintjes reduction gears. Auxiliary power comes from two John Deere 99-kW generators. On the aft deck is a Markey TYS-32 towing winch and the tow pin assembly is from Smith Berger with Schuyler supplying the fendering. All three suppliers are based in the Puget Sound area.

Foss arctic Class Ocean Tug

The second of three state-of-the-art arctic Class tugs, the Denise Foss, was launched at the Foss Rainier, Oregon Shipyard and is undergoing final fitting at the dock. With an overall length of 130 feet and beam of 41 feet, the tug has been designed to withstand the rigors of arctic operations and is suited to work across the globe as Foss competes for opportunities in the oil and gas industry. The arctic Class tugs are built to SOLAS, ABS A1- D0 ice class with hulls reinforced to operate in the extreme conditions of the far north. The Michele Foss has operated in ice a meter thick and registered 106.9 tons in ABS certified bollard testing.

The vessel's Caterpillar C280-8 main engine complies with the highest federal environmental standards. Other equipment includes a Nautican propulsion system, two Reintjes WAF 3455 reduction gears with a reduction ratio of 5.524:1, supplied by Karl Senner, LLC of Kenner, Louisiana, and a Markey Machinery tow winch. Environmentally focused features include elimination of ballast tanks, holding tanks for black and gray water, hydraulics with biodegradable oil and Green Passport.

Hansen Tug

Dunlap Towing of LaConner, Washington, which recently celebrated 90 years of service in December 2015, took delivery in June of its second ASD tug, the 6,800 hp 101-foot by 42-foot M/V Gretchen Dunlap, built at Hansen Boat Company, in nearby Marysville. The Gretchen was designed by Hockema & Whalen Associates of Seattle, who previously designed the 101-foot James Dunlap in 1995 specifically for ship assist in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

The Gretchen Dunlap meets ABS Class rules with a notation for escort service, and incorporates many recent developments in ASD tug design, including 6 more feet of beam, an updated wheelhouse, and 2,872 more horsepower. Draft is the same at 19 feet, 9 inches. The full-width engine room houses twin CAT 3516C engines with an intermittent rating of 3,386 HP, each driving Rolls Royce 255 P30 FP Z- drives via carbon shafts. The 110-inch diameter propellers are four-blade stainless steel and produce 90 tons of bollard pull, compared to the older boat's 3,900 HP and 54 tons of pull from twin EMD 16-645's.

The tug is equipped with the latest Markey DEPCF-52 constant-tension electric hawser winch on the bow for escort service. The drum holds 500 feet of 10-inch line, with the control panel on the starboard side of the helm. The towing winch is an electric Markey TES-40 holding 2,600 feet of 2.25-inch wire and is controlled from a separate control station on the aft side of the wheelhouse.

Nichols Bros. Boatbuilders

Nichols Brothers Boatbuilders was contracted by the Government of American Samoa to build the Manu'Atele, a multi-purpose vessel to operate between the capital Pago Pago and the Manu'a Islands, with certification to travel to Tonga and Fiji. Nichols chose Elliott Bay Design Group to provide design and engineering services to meet ABS Rules, and for certification by SOLAS, MARPOL, and USCG 46 CFR Subchapter T, Passenger/Cargo. The maximum size to transit reef passes and maneuver in very small harbors was established to be 140 feet in length, 38 feet of beam, and 8.5 feet of loaded draft.

To facilitate cargo movement the deck plan includes a stern ramp, an 1,840 square-foot cargo deck and a 15-ton capacity telescoping North Pacific deck crane for hoisting vehicles, pallets, and 10-foot by 8-foot containers. The central deck area meets the SOLAS requirement regarding lifeboats and the mustering station. All fuel valves, vents and hoses are located on the aft deckhouse bulkhead inside a large overflow-containment sump. Cabins and galley for eight crewmen are positioned at the aft end of the deckhouse on the main deck, with seating for 150 passengers in an air-conditioned salon forward.

The vessel is propelled by two 850-HP Caterpillar C32 ACERT Tier 3 engines, with Twin Disc MGX-5225 DC, 4.03:1 reduction gears and 60-inch-diamter, 4-bladed NIBRAL propellers manufactured by Sound Propellers. The generators are a pair of 99 kW Caterpillar C4.4 Tier 3/IMO II compliant. To ensure sufficient reliable hydraulic power to operate the crane and stern ramp at the dock, as well as the 150-HP bow thruster and Kobelt steering approaching port, all four engines have hydraulic PTOs.

Dakota Creek

The M/V Coastal Standard is the new addition to Coastal Transportation's fleet of six breakbulk cargo vessels that sail from Seattle year-round to small ports throughout Western Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. It is the first brand new US-built Jones-act reefer vessel for several generations, and the first new vessel to enter the Western Alaska trade in more than twenty years. The molded hull and advanced bulbous bow shape with a flat-bottom and a high block-coefficient was tank-tested in Denmark. The final version measured 242 feet long with a beam of 54 feet and a larger refrigerated cargo capacity of 120,000 cubic feet – 25 percent more than the company's older, longer ships.

The vessel's revolutionary and highly efficient design by NaviForm Consulting & Research, of Vancouver, British Columbia, included a 3,084 horsepower C280-8 Tier 2 Caterpillar engine turning a SCHOTTEL Controllable Pitch Propeller type SCP 77/4-XG that enables a fast service speed of 14 knots. Low-speed steering is improved by two Schottel azimuthing pump jets (also known as "omnithrusters") one forward and one amidships. The builder was Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, Washington.

The ship's main engine also produces electrical power via an 800-kW AEM shaft generator. Dockside, the ship uses two John Deere 370 kW generator sets for electrical service. The cargo handling system incorporates entirely enclosed holds, which are accessed through a waterproof door in the hull's port side. The sideport loading system by TTS of Bergen, Norway has been well tested in northern Europe on the Baltic Sea and Scandinavian coast but is new to North America. Palletized cargo is loaded and offloaded by forklifts onto an elevator that connects the upper and lower cargo areas as well as the main deck and moved horizontally to the dock by swing-arm platforms.

F/V Blue North

The FV Blue North, an innovative 191' long-liner also built at Dakota Creek at a cost of more than $36 million. It is designed by Skipsteknisk AS of Norway and is the first vessel in the U.S. with a central moonpool and an internal haul station that allows the crew to work in safety inside the boat. It is equipped with sophisticated processing equipment that will enable it to utilize 90 percent of each fish, according to Blue North Fisheries.

The vessel is propelled by a Siemens Bluedrive diesel-electric propulsion system using two Tier III Caterpillar C32 engines and one Cat C18 to turn twin ASD's, while also powering the processing plant, freezers, lighting, heating and marine electronics. The Bluedrive includes an exhaust-heat recovery system that runs desalinators, water and cabin heaters, and is regulated through a smart grid that maximizes energy efficiency with a savings of up to 30 percent. To reduce its environmental impact, all water and waste products are captured and treated.

Diversified Industries

Avalon Freight Service launched its new venture from San Pedro, California to Catalina Island last spring with a new landing-craft/car ferry designed by Columbia-Sentinel Engineers of Seattle and built by Diversified Marine in Portland, Oregon. The Catalina Provider is 150 feet by 50 feet, with four lanes on deck – enough capacity to supply all the needs of the island's 3,500 permanent residents and about one million visitors per year. It makes the 22-mile daily crossing five days a week.

The barge-type hull has a depth of 8 feet amidships and is divided into eight ballast tanks, plus a potable water tank to carry 90,000 gallons of drinking water to the island. The 24-foot by 35-foot bow ramp weighs 55,000 lbs to enable it to deliver emergency supplies and fire engines onto any beach on the Island, without adverse environmental impact.

The ramp is operated by two DP 55 hydraulic winches, each with a 55,000-lb. capacity. The raised 24-foot by 40-foot wheelhouse includes an accommodation block with spacious galley, dayroom and bunks for four.

The three Tier 3 670-HP Caterpillar C18 DITA's meeting EPA Tier 3 requirements are connected to Twin Disc MGX-5170 gears giving a reduction of 5.03:1 to the four-bladed props in tunnels.

Electrical power is supplied by a pair of 99-kW John Deere gensets. On trials the Catalina Provider motored easily at 10 knots without cargo. Fully loaded, the vessel can operate at 8 to 9 knots.

Rozema Boat Works

Rozema Boat Works of Mt Vernon, Washington delivered a second 65-foot by 23-foot ocean-class oil spill response vessel to the Western Canada Marine Response Corp. (WCMRC). The Hecate Sentinel is powered by twin 1,600-hp Caterpillar diesel engines, giving it a top speed of 26 knots with 3,000 gallons of fuel storage for increased range and endurance. It is equipped with a pair of Twin Disc QuickShift MGX-6620 RV transmissions operated by the EC300 Power Commander control system, giving the boat instantaneous shift response and low speed range when skimming at 1.5 knots.

The vessel carries two Lamor brush skimmers that can recover more than 30 tons of oil per hour with a storage capacity of 30 tons – more than 200 barrels and 250 gallons of dispersant. A reel holds 1,500 feet of 42-inch Kepner ocean boom. Other response equipment includes an Aerostat Ariel observation balloon and a gyro-stabilized FLIR infra-red camera. There is overnight accommodation for five crewmembers who can operate continuously for multiple days in open water before requiring re-supply. The cost was $4.5 million (US).Four sister vessels are based in Santa Barbara to cover the offshore production platforms.

Vigor Kvichak

Vigor's aluminum specialist in Ballard delivered two 62.3-foot by 19.7-foot all-weather Pilot Boats for the Port of Duqm Company SAOC, Sultanate of Oman. Design is by Camarc Design Ltd., UK, and the boats offer good performance and safety in the high winds and stormy seas experienced in the region during typhoon season. They also function as Search and Rescue and oil-spill recovery vessels for the new port and drydock.

The boats are powered by twin Cummins QSK-19 engines rated for 800 hp at 2,100 rpm each, and twin ZF 2000A transmissions driving NiBrAl 5-bladed fixed propellers providing an operating speed of around 20 knots. There is seating for two crew and eight pilots.

New Titans

Hansen Tug 6,800 hp 101-foot by 42-foot M/V Gretchen Dunlap. Pacific Maritime Magazine file photo.

The 120-foot Titan-class line-haul ASD tug design was developed over a number of years by Jensen Maritime and Western Towboat, and proven in a decade of service towing barges to Alaska year round. Western, which has built 19 of its own tugs, has now launched its seventh Titan at its base in Seattle on the ship canal. The new Bering Titan reflects Western's policy of continuous refinement: the engine room has been upgraded to the latest Caterpillar C175 engine rated 2,682-hp at 1,600 rpm, turning Centa carbon fiber shafts connected to Schottel z-drives with four-blade, 104-inch-diameter stainless-steel propellers. The bollard pull is estimated to be around 80 tons.

The successful Titan design has recently been adopted by other companies, and three Hyak versions with GE engines are operating in the colors of Crowley and Foss. Harley 's first Titan was powered by Caterpillar engines and ice-strengthened for service in Alaska. The second, the Earl W. Redd, will be delivered early in 2017 by Diversified Marine in Portland and is the first tug in the US to run Caterpillar's Tier 4 version of the 3516E engines with a 10 percent horsepower increase to 2,682 hp at 1,600 rpm, fitted with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) after-treatment system using a urea-based solution to reduce the oxides of nitrogen (Nox).


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