By Chris Philips
The electric ferry Buena Vista, built by Portland, Oregon’s Diversified Marine, draws two feet of water and relies on a cable from shore to power her electric motors. Photo by Kurt Redd courtesy of Diversified Marine.
West Coast shipyards were moderately busy in 2011, and although the world economy is still shaky, an interesting group of new tugboats, ferries and barges were built last year, and similar vessels are on the ways for 2012.
One of the most unique vessels delivered last year was a cable-guided electric ferry, designed by Seattle’s Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), built to carry passengers and vehicles across Oregon’s Willamette River at Buena Vista, South of Salem. The new ferry, funded partly through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, replaces a diesel-powered version that had been in service for more than 50 years. Buena Vista was built by Diversified Marine, in Portland Oregon, and was delivered in May, ahead of schedule, to Marion County, the ferry’s owner and operator.
The 99-foot by 38-foot steel ferry has a capacity of six vehicles and 49 passengers. Because shallow river conditions required that the hull be only four feet deep, the boat only draws two feet of water, so the propellers are mounted on the sides of the vessel, rather than underneath, for protection.
The ferry is powered by electricity provided from the shore on a cable that runs across the river. That electricity powers motors providing 80 HP of output to the propellers mounted on each side of the boat.
Having delivered the Buena Vista, Diversified is now putting the finishing touches on an 80-foot by 36-foot, 5,360-HP azimuthing stern drive tug, designed by Capilano Maritime Design Ltd. of North Vancouver. To be christened Sommer S, the new tug is due for delivery to Shaver Transportation early this year. At press time, Diversified has started construction on another tug, this one a 120-foot by 35-foot boat designed by Seattle’s Jensen Maritime Consultants for Harley Marine Services, to be delivered later this year.
British Columbia’s Capilano Maritime also designed another significant ferry delivered last year. The new boat, christened the M/V Ken Eichner-2, was built by Alaska Ship & Drydock, Inc, in Ketchikan, Alaska and delivered to the State of Alaska in April.
The new 117-foot by 48-foot boat will serve as a link between the Greater Ketchikan International Airport and the City of Ketchikan, working alongside the M/V Oral Freeman, delivered by the same yard in 2002. The Ken Eichner-2 accommodates 149 passengers, and the vehicle deck has room for 23 cars or two large semi-trailers and eight cars.
A pair of 850-HP Cummins KTA 38 MO Tier 2 engines powers the double-ended boat, driving one conventional propeller at each end and providing a service speed of eight knots.
An off-centerline starboard-side deckhouse allows for easier loading and unloading of large trucks, and is balanced by 15 long tons of fresh water ballast.
The Ken Eichner-2 is the fourth vessel built by Alaska Ship & Drydock, which has been selected as the construction manager and general contractor for a new Alaska-class ferry for the Alaska Marine Highway System. The Ketchikan company has been selected to manage the $120 million Alaska-class ferry project, which will likely bring 129 full-time, year-round jobs to the yard, along with another 79 supplier and contractor jobs to the local community.
In a joint venture with Freeland Washington’s Nichols Bros. Boatbuilders, two ferries were delivered by Vigor Shipyards (formerly Todd Pacific Shipyards) last year to complete a three-boat order from the State of Washington. The 274-foot by 64-foot M/V Salish, the second boat of the Kwa-di Tabil class (or “little boat” in Quileute), began service in July, while the third and final 64-car boat, the M/V Kennewick was delivered later in the year, but three months ahead of schedule, and begins service this month. The first boat, M/V Chetzemoka, began service in November 2010, the first replacement for a series of 80-year-old vessels, which were removed from service in late 2007 due to extensive hull corrosion.
The design of the new boats was based on the Island Home, a ferry operating in Massachusetts between Woods Hole and Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, designed by Seattle’s Elliott Bay Design Group.
The Salish and Kennewick share the same design as the Chetzemoka, incorporating two EMD 12-710G7C-T2 marine diesels, each producing 3,000 HP at 900 rpm, driving conventional shafts and propellers, one at each end. While the first boat received controllable-pitch wheels, the two subsequent boats have fixed pitch propellers.
The boats each have a capacity of 750 passengers and 64 vehicles and a service speed of 15 knots. The hull sections, built by Vigor, were floated out and towed to Nichols, which fabricated and attached the aluminum superstructures, and returned the vessels to Vigor’s Everett shipyard for fitting out and then on to Washington State Ferries’ Eagle Harbor Maintenance Facility.
On completion of the three-boat contract, Vigor announced a $115 million contract with the State of Washington to build a new 144-car ferry as the prime contractor, with Nichols Bros. acting as a subcontractor, providing the superstructure. Other contractors will include Seattle’s Eltech Electric and Tacoma’s Jesse Engineering. The new boat will be delivered in mid-2014.
In June, Foss Shipyard in Rainier, Oregon, delivered the 76-foot by 32-foot shallow-draft tug Capt. Frank Moody to Alaska petroleum distribution company Delta Western. The tug, which draws only 3.5 feet, will be used for the company’s fuel service deliveries to the river and coastal communities of Western Alaska waters. Like recent shallow-draft tugs delivered by Diversified and Oregon’s Fred Wahl Marine Construction, Capt. Frank Moody has a steel hull and aluminum house to reduce weight. The new tug is powered by three Caterpillar C18 engines, each rated at 479 hp, driving conventional propellers in tunnels.
The new boat, designed by BMT Fleet Technology and Foss’ technical services team, is primarily intended to push fuel barges throughout Alaska’s river and coastal regions, but the boat is also fitted with a Markey TES-20 electric towing winch to perform conventional stern towing tasks.
M/V Capt. Frank Moody has accommodations for eight, featuring state-of-the-art navigation, communications, and safety equipment.
Tacoma’s JM Martinac Shipbuilding Corp delivered three new tugs to the US Navy in 2010, and launched three more in 2011, but only one of those has been delivered: the YT-805 Seminole, which was delivered to the US Navy in Yokosuka, Japan via heavylift ship from Tacoma, Washington.
The other two newbuilds, YT-806 Puyallup and YT-807 Menominee, will be delivered in early 2012, by which time the yard will have completed the six-boat contract.
The Robert Allan-designed Z-Tech 4500 ASD tugs are being built for Pacific Tugboat Services of Long Beach, California, who are acting as the prime contractor for the delivery of the vessels to the Navy.
Like the first three tugs, the Seminole is configured to offer ship assist services to surface ships as well as submarines, and is equipped with underwater fendering as well as a forward-mounted JonRie ship-handling hawser winch.
Power for the boat is provided by a pair of Caterpillar 3512 diesel engines providing 1,810 HP each at 1,600 rpm, driving Schottel azimuthing stern drives with Kort nozzles. This configuration provides 42 tons of bollard pull ahead, 45 tons astern and a running speed of more than 12 knots.
The tugs are intended for deployment to ship assist/escort Naval vessels in the Pacific Northwest and Yokosuka, Japan.
Another tug to enter service in 2011 was the 120-foot by 35-foot Arctic Titan, launched by Western Towboat in November. The new vessel is the 6th Titan-class boat, designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants, and will be put to work towing barges from Alaska Railbelt Marine terminals in Seattle to Whittier, Alaska. The new boat is powered by the latest Caterpillar 3516 Marine Tier 3 engines, offering higher fuel efficiencies and lower emissions. The engines provide a combined 5,000 horsepower to Schottel azimuthing stern drives.
The carefully fitted boat offers 13 berths, a fully equipped galley and custom varnished woodwork.
High Speed Craft
Just down the Lake Washington Ship Canal from Western Towboat is Seattle’s Kvichak Marine Industries, builders of high-speed aluminum monohulls and catamarans for private and government use. The busy yard recently constructed and delivered a 25-foot push boat to Seattle City Light for operation with the service barge at the utility’s Diablo Dam in the North Cascades.
The in-house design is constructed of marine grade aluminum alloy plate and extrusions. Two vertical push knees at the bow are padded by 6-inch D-section rubber, and a 1,500-lb davit with manual winch is mounted on the stern.
The push boat is powered by twin John Deere 330-HP turbocharged diesel engines with stainless steel props in enclosed nozzles, offering a speed of 8 knots while pushing the barge, and a bollard pull of 10,280 lbs.
The new push boat’s draft is 3-feet, 5-inches and the boat can carry a crew of three.
The yard also recently delivered a final five Military Preposition Force (MPF) utility boats to the United States Navy, completing their final contract order. Kvichak has delivered a total of 33 of the MPFs to the Navy since February 2006, and the vessels are in operation worldwide.
The 40-foot by 14-foot landing craft are propelled by twin Cummins QSM11 engines rated for 660 HP at 2,300 rpm, driving Hamilton 364 water jets through ZF 325 marine gears, and offering a loaded flank speed of 38 knots and a lightened flank speed of 42 knots.
The boats have a house-aft configuration, with a powered bow door and high-level engine suctions for beach deployment.
Another vessel delivered last year was the distinctively painted, 74-passenger AquaLink II for Long Beach Transit (LBT) in Long Beach, California. Designed by Incat Crowther, of Australia, this is the second vessel built by Kvichak for Long Beach Transit, the first of which was delivered in 2001. Both vessels are operated by Catalina Express and are used to shuttle visitors and commuters between the Long Beach downtown/waterfront area to Alamitos Bay Landing.
The new 65-foot by 24-foot fully-enclosed aluminum catamaran is powered by twin Cummins QSM 11 diesel engines, each rated for 610 HP at 2,300 rpm, offering a service speed of 25 knots with a crew of two.
Another high-speed aluminum boatbuilder, this one in Sedro Wooley, Washington, recently delivered a 28-foot by 10-foot river patrol boat to an international client to use in riverine patrol applications. Workskiff builds sturdy, welded aluminum utility boats in sizes ranging from 17 feet to more than 40 feet, and recently acquired the patents, plans and trademarks from the former Aluminum Chambered Boats. Workskiff is one of the primary providers of oil spill response boats to the US Navy, and is currently building a series of 25-foot RIBs for the Illinois department of natural resources, and an Aluminum Chambered Boat design for Tongass National forest.
Workskiff’s recently delivered River Patrol Vessel (RPV) is based on the company’s 28-foot to 38-foot cabin/patrol series. Designed specifically to meet the requirements of shallow-water maritime law enforcement and security agencies, the new patrol boat draws between 20 and 24-inches of draft. Twin Yanmar 315-HP diesel engines coupled to New Zealand-built Saro surface drives allow the boat to operate in areas with thick waterborne vegetation, while offering speeds of up to 34 knots.
The new boat is fitted with gun mounts and ballistics protection for safety, lifting eyes and a beaching plate for utility and air conditioning and a marine toilet for the comfort of the crew.
All of the company’s boats are constructed of heavy-duty 5086 aluminum plate.
When new tugs are built, new barges often follow, and 2011 was no exception. In April, Portland, Oregon-based US Barge delivered an EBDG-designed combination deck and tank barge, Cauneq, to NorthStar Gas LLC, an Alaskan Petroleum Distributor. The 162-foot by 44-foot barge is capable of carrying up to 200,000 gallons of fuel plus deck freight in waters tributary to the Bearing Sea, Chukchi Sea and Arctic Ocean. The main deck offers more than 3,000 square feet of space and can accommodate a minimum of 7 standard 20-foot ISO containers. With a hull depth of only 6 feet, the barge can operate in waters as shallow as 3 feet. The barge went to work in May, making deliveries to the Yukon, Kuskokwim and Western Alaska Costal Regions.
In October, Portland, Oregon’s Gunderson Marine christened the KS 10, a 258-foot by 45-foot, 3,000-cubic yard split-hull hopper barge built for The Dutra Group in San Rafael, California.
Seattle’s Harley Marine Services had two barges delivered this year – one built by Zidell Marine, in Portland, Oregon and one built down the river at US Barge, also in Portland. The first of the two, Dale Frank Jr., delivered by Zidell in October, is a 289-foot by 78-foot double hull petroleum barge, capable of carrying 52,000 barrels. The Betsy Arntz, a 241-foot by 64-foot barge capable of carrying 24,500 barrels of intermediate fuel oil and 7,000 barrels of marine diesel, was delivered by US Barge in November.