Thursday, April 16, 2015

Kvichak Wins $32 Million Ferries Contract

By Mark Edward Nero

Kvichak Marine Industries, a Seattle-based subsidiary of Vigor Industrial, has been awarded a shipbuilding contract by the Water Emergency Transportation Authority of San Francisco for the design and construction of two all-aluminum 400 passenger-only ferries.

The vessel replacement project is part of WETA’s ongoing fleet renewal process, the organization’s executive director, Nina Rannells, said. The new vessels will replace two vessels in the Transportation Authority’s 12-vessel fleet that are approaching the end of their expected life.

The 135-foot by 38-foot, all-aluminum catamarans, which are designed by Australian company Incat Crowther, will have a draft of 6.75 feet and will feature MTU 12V4000 M64+ EPA Tier III engines rated 1,950 BHP at 1830 RPM, coupled with ZF7600 reduction gears. An exhaust after treatment system will also be included. Service speed will be 27 knots.

Kvichak has awarded Nichols Brothers Boat Builders the subcontract to provide the bolt-on superstructure for the project. From 2007 to 2010, the two companies collaborated on the delivery of four 118-foot, environmentally friendly ferries currently in service for WETA in the San Francisco Bay area.

The latest catamarans are to be the 700th and 701st vessels built by Kvichak. They’re anticipated to be in service by the summer of 2017.

According to the Transportation Authority, the contract is worth $32 million and is being funded through a combination of Federal Transit Administration grant funds, bridge tolls, grant funds, and a transportation sales tax.