Tuesday, November 24, 2015

BC Ferries Receives Vessel from Seaspan

By Mark Edward Nero

BC Ferries, the contract service provider responsible for ferry service along coastal British Columbia, has officially taken ownership of a new cable ferry, the Baynes Sound Connector. The vessel’s title was transferred from Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards in mid-November.

According to BC Ferries, the new cable ferry met or exceeded all contract specifications, during rigorous acceptance trials and testing conducted by Seaspan, including speed and lower fuel consumption compared to the Quinitsa, the vessel currently in service on the route.

“We are very pleased with the new cable ferry’s performance,” BC Ferries’ President and CEO Mike Corrigan said. “In operational trials, the vessel exceeded its maximum design speed of 8.5 knots fully loaded, achieving a speed of 8.7 knots, with crossing times consistent with the Quinitsa.”

“All speeds have been achieved on the designed one engine operation, and the second engine is there for complete redundancy,” Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Engineering, explained. “The horsepower of one engine is approximately 490, compared to the Quinitsa, which has four engines at 475 horsepower each.”

The trials indicated significantly lower fuel consumption than the current vessel, he added.

BC Ferries says it will now conduct crew training and familiarization over the next eight weeks as the company prepares for full operational service. The Baynes Sound Connector is expected to be in full operational service in early February 2016. BC Ferries says passengers will continue to be served by the Quinitsa until the Baynes Sound Connector goes into service.

SAFE Boats Awarded Interceptor Vessel Contract

By Mark Edward Nero

Bremerton, Washington-based high performance aluminum boat builder SAFE Boats International has been selected by the Colombian Navy/Coast Guard to build its new Type-F Riverine Interceptor Vessel.

Under the contract, SAFE Boats will provide the Colombian Navy/Coast Guard with a state-of-the-art, shallow draft, aluminum high speed intercept vessel designed to provide tactical mobility and support in opposed riverine and littoral environments.

The vessel will perform missions of offensive patrolling, combat drug trafficking, piracy, arms and explosives smuggling and conduct vessel-to-vessel boarding operations to insure the security of commercial shipping lines within Colombia.

The SAFE Boats design has twin Yamaha outboard engines, a tropical climate retractable canopy, forward and aft machine gun mount foundations and a 10 person seating capacity, including shock mitigating seats by SHOXS for five crew members.

The Type-F Riverine Interceptor is air deployable by fixed wing, rotary wing and commercial mover. It’s built with a maximum speed of 37-plus knots and 200-nautical mile range, and has capabilities in austere shallow water environments.

“The Colombian Coast Guard currently has over 20 SAFE Boats in service,” revealed John Hotz, SAFE’s director of sales for Latin America and the Caribbean. “We have worked very close with the Colombian military to understand just how aggressive and remote their missions can be and to develop a boat that will significantly enhance their patrol and interdiction capabilities on the large rivers of Colombia.”

Moose Boats Delivers Police Catamaran

By Mark Edward Nero

Moose Boats, a vessel designer and manufacturer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, has delivered a M2-35 catamaran patrol boat to the Placer County Sheriff's Office in Carnelian Bay, Calif.

The new Marine 6, a 35-foot all-aluminum catamaran vessel with a beam of 13 feet and draft of 34 feet, will replace the Placer County Sheriff's former Marine 6, a 28 foot aluminum monohull vessel which has been in service since 1988.

Propulsion of the new vessel is provided by twin Yamaha 350-horsepower four stroke outboard engines that give the vessel a top speed of 42 knots at 6,200 feet above sea level on Lake Tahoe and 45 knots at sea level.

Also, the cabin interior is outfitted to facilitate emergency medical services and has an enclosed head, a small galley and a work surface.

Other dimensions and equipment include a range of 240 nautical miles; fuel capacity of 240 gallons; and a cruising speed of 30 knots.

The Placer County Sheriff says it utilized California Division of Boating and Waterways funding to assist in the purchase of the vessel, which will have wide ranging duties, including year-round patrol on Lake Tahoe.

“The Marine 6 crew’s primary responsibilities include enforcement of state and federal maritime law and California penal and vehicle codes,” the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “Commonly, you will find the crew conducting boating under the influence investigations, vessel collision investigations and less often, death investigations.”

The crew can also be called to assist with search and rescue operations, locate missing or overdue boaters, provide medical aid and transport, and assist vessels in distress: sinking, mechanical failure, etc., according to the Sheriff’s Office.

POLB Modifying Storage Fee Policy

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Long Beach revealed Nov. 20 that in order to increase the speed of cargo moving out of its terminals, it is considering reducing the amount of time import containers can be stored for free on the docks.

Since 2005, the length of time containers can stay on the dock – known as “free time” – has been four days. Beyond that, terminals are charged storage fees. Port officials are proposing changing free time to six shifts – the equivalent of as few as three days – in order to encourage terminals to more consistently operate at night and move imports off the docks faster.

With larger vessels calling on the port regularly, there are more containers at terminals, which inhibits the ability of workers to deliver containers quickly and efficiently.

“Truckers have told us their containers are not always accessible because of fewer evening shifts, and terminal operators want to clear space in their yards while giving their customers enough time to get their cargo,” Port of Long Beach Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Noel Hacegaba explained.

The port says that in the coming weeks, staff will work with all stakeholders to develop a final plan that will be proposed to the Board of Harbor Commissioners for consideration.

“When containers stack up in terminals, it leads to extra handling that makes the process slower for longshore workers, the shippers that depend on them, truckers who move the goods, and ultimately the consumer,” Port of Long Beach CEO Jon Slangerup said. “This approach will keep the system more fluid and help avoid congestion.”