Thursday, January 28, 2016

Jensen to Design Cruise Ships

By Mark Edward Nero

Jensen Maritime, Crowley Maritime’s Seattle-based architecture and marine engineering company, has been selected to provide detailed design and production engineering services for two 100 passenger, US-flagged, coastal cruise ships, Crowley said Jan. 26.

The vessels are for Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, an expedition travel company that works in partnership with National Geographic.

The twin-screw diesel ships are to be built at the Washington State shipyard of Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, and have planned delivery dates of second quarter 2017 and 2018.

Once complete, the $94.8 million vessel duo is scheduled to operate tours between Baja, Costa Rica and Panama during the winter months and southeast Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Canada during the summer months.

For the project, Jensen says it will utilize 3D modeling capabilities to allow Lindblad the unique opportunity to confirm the vessel’s layout, maintenance envelopes and operational access prior to construction.

The group will combine the details of the structural, electrical, mechanical and HVAC systems of the vessel into a comprehensive, full-size 3D, computer model, resulting in a virtual vessel that can be inspected early in the design process for safety, maintainability and constructability.

“With our 3D capabilities, the customer will have virtually walked every deck and inspected every system long before stepping onto the vessel and long before each system is installed,” Jensen Vice President Johan Sperling said.

Key features of the new 238-foot ships include 50 cabins, a fitness room, spa and an outdoor walkway around the sun deck.

Also included in the design is state-of-the-art expedition technology, including a remotely operated vehicle, video microscope, hydrophone and bow-cam, full warm and cold-water diving gear and underwater cameras.

Washington’s Oldest Ferry Decommissioned

By Mark Edward Nero

The oldest ferry in Washington, the M/V Evergreen State, which was built in 1954, is set to sail into history. The vessel has been decommissioned and is being put up for sale, the state Dept. of Transportation has said.

The 87-car ferry, which has World War II surplus drive motors, has served as a workhorse for tens of thousands of passengers and vehicles in Washington for more than six decades.

The Evergreen State was the largest ferry on the West Coast when it was built to serve the Seattle/Bainbridge route. However, it spent the majority of its storied career in the San Juan Islands, where it was involved in several rescues at sea. Its crew also saved the life of an overturned kayaker near Fauntleroy in January 2003.

The recent addition of two modern, larger and faster Olympic-class vessels to the fleet means the Evergreen State is no longer the best solution for moving people and goods across our state’s waters, said Washington State Ferries Chief of Staff Elizabeth Kosa.

“Difficulty locating replacement parts and maintaining a vintage vessel are also factors that make it time for the E-State to retire,” she said.

The 62-year-old ferry was originally slated for decommissioning in spring 2015, but was called back into service over the summer while other vessels were out of service for maintenance or repairs. With two additional 144-car Olympic-class ferries currently under construction, Evergreen State is expected to soon be offered up for sale. Potential buyers will be able to bid for the vessel once it’s posted for sale through the state surplus process.

More information is available at

Willard Marine Delivers Rescue Boat

By Mark Edward Nero

Anaheim-based Willard Marine said Jan. 26 that it has delivered a SOLAS 670 rescue boat to the U.S. Army to serve aboard the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge McFarland in Philadelphia.
The 22-foot SOLAS rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB) is outfitted with a Volvo Penta D3 220-hp inboard engine paired with a Hamilton Jet HJ2274 waterjet and performs at speeds of up to 26.5 knots and accommodates nine passengers, according to Willard Marine.

Also, a Cranston Eagle single-point lifting frame is incorporated into the rescue boat for a more dynamic launch and recovery system. Safety features include a self-righting frame and a 40-ounce, UV-resistant polyurethane collar with a reinforced rub strake.

The USACE dredge McFarland maintains the navigation channel of the Delaware River and Delaware Bay, and is made available for federal dredge navigation projects on the US East and Gulf coasts.

For over 10 years, Willard Marine has built SOLAS 670 vessels for agencies across the United States, including the Military Sealift Command, Maersk, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Navy.

“In an emergency at sea, people need a rescue boat they can count on,” Willard Marine President and CEO Ulrich Gottschling said. “That’s why military agencies and large maritime operations consistently choose Willard Marine, the only American manufacturer of SOLAS fast rescue boats.”

Willard Marine, the sole American manufacturer of SOLAS rescue boats, has developed watercraft for the US military, Department of Homeland Security, foreign governments, law enforcement agencies, search-and-rescue organizations and private companies since 1957.

New Committee for the Port of Seattle

By Mark Edward Nero

On Jan. 26, the Port of Seattle Commission voted to establish its Energy and Sustainability Policy Committee, a group that would develop and propose new environmental initiatives across the organization.

The motion was based on the recent Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, where 195 countries reached a landmark climate accord that will commit nearly every country to lower planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

“By creating this committee, we are able to concentrate efforts more strategically to promote green energy uses and reduce greenhouse gasses across all our lines of business,” Commission President John Creighton said.

The Port of Seattle, which also manages the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, has already taken many actions to reduce GHG, including adoption of the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, which has a goal to reduce GHG emissions by 20 percent per ton of cargo moved through the Seaport by 2020.

“Having championed this initiative, I look forward to working with our regional stakeholders to promote environmentally responsible growth at the airport and seaport,” port Commissioner Fred Felleman said in a statement.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Foss Consolidating Customer Service Centers

By Mark Edward Nero

Foss Maritime said Jan. 25 that it is opening a consolidated customer service center in Oregon in April, and that all customer service representatives on the West Coast will be relocated to the new central location.

Foss currently utilizes four services centers – two in California and one each in Oregon and Washington – to serve its regional, national and international customers in ports along the Pacific seaboard, Hawaii and Alaska, as well as across the globe.

But according to a Foss news release, the company’s existing Portland office will be renovated and modernized to incorporate the best available customer service technologies, including a state-of-the-art telephony system, heightened cyber security, and enhanced dispatching and vessel tracking capabilities.

According to Foss Director of Customer Service, Chris Wolf, consolidating customer service in Foss’ Columbia Snake River location is expected to allow the company to enhance both its service and its responsiveness.

“Bringing all of our customer service representatives into a single hub will allow us to gain efficiencies and streamline our business processes, explained Scott Merritt, the Vice President of Harbor Services at Foss. “The newly updated Portland center will help us support our customers and crews in any location and any time zone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Merritt further explained that, as the first to be called in the Emergency Response Network, customer services representatives will now have enhanced tools to respond immediately to distress calls and calls for aid, and alert crews and customers to changing conditions and possible challenges.

All customer service representatives are expected to receive extra training to ensure they are proficient in the operations of each region Foss serves.

“Customer services representatives will spend time in each region, getting to know the crews and the vessels, and getting a feel for the geography and the unique characteristics of each port,” Wolf said.

Monday, January 25, 2016

NASSCO Delivers 2nd LNG Containership

By Mark Edward Nero

On Jan. 22, San Diego-based General Dynamics NASSCO delivered the world’s second containership to be operated by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the Perla Del Caribe, for TOTE Maritime.

The ship was delivered two months ahead of schedule and is the sister ship of the world’s first LNG-powered containership, the Isla Bella, also built for TOTE by NASSCO.

As part of a two-ship contract signed in December 2012 with TOTE, the 764-foot long Marlin Class containerships will be among the largest dry cargo ships powered by LNG, making them among the cleanest cargo-carrying ships in the world.

The green ship technology dramatically decreases emissions and increases fuel efficiency when compared to conventionally-powered ships, the equivalent of removing nearly 16,000 automobiles from the road.

“The Perla Del Caribe and the Isla Bella exemplify world-leading, innovative technologies being used to build ocean-going ships that are cost-effective, friendly to the environment and offer a competitive edge,” General Dynamics NASSCO Vice President and General Manager Kevin Graney said.

The Isla Bella was delivered to TOTE in October 2015, and has been operating between Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

NASSCO specializes in the design and construction of auxiliary and support ships for the US Navy and oil tankers and dry cargo carriers for commercial markets. It is also a major provider of repair services for the Navy, with capabilities in San Diego, California; Norfolk, Virginia; Bremerton, Washington; and Mayport, Florida.

Although its primary focus is government new construction, NASSCO also engages in commercial shipbuilding. Since 2005, NASSCO has delivered twelve commercial ships and currently has seven commercial ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2017.

Its San Diego location is the only major shipyard on the West Coast conducting new construction and repair.

Oakland Forming Post-Terminal Closure Plan

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Oakland will maintain cargo volumes and improve performance as one of its marine terminals closes, Executive Director Chris Lytle said during his annual State of the Port speech on Jan. 21.

Lytle’s comments were in response to Ports America, the largest stevedore and terminal operating company in the United States, revealing Jan. 19 that it is closing its Outer Harbor terminal at the Port of Oakland at the end of March.

Lytle said ships and cargo now managed at the terminal will be redirected to neighboring Oakland terminals.

“We will do all in our power to prevent disruption to the movement of cargo,” Lytle told an audience of 230 during the speech. “We’ve identified a new home for 90 percent of the cargo that must be relocated.”

Lytle’s address came before a lunchtime audience that included Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero, Oakland City Council President Lynette McElhaney, and varied maritime and supply chain representatives.

Among the steps to be implemented once the Outer Harbor terminal closes, Lytle said, are:
  • Extended terminal gate hours including Saturdays and some weeknights;
  • More labor to process cargo transactions; and
  • A Central Valley depot to help agricultural exporters pick up and drop off containers.

Lytle also said he’ll ask the port’s Board of Commissioners for approval to help finance transition costs. The funding could be used to provide performance incentives during the initial period of cargo migration.

According to Lytle, Oakland marine terminals have excess capacity, and closing a terminal and redistributing cargo would lead to more efficient use of port property.

The port will explore future uses for Outer Harbor Terminal that may not include container operations.

“There are too many acres devoted to container operations,” Lytle explained. “We now have a chance to reset.”

Also during his speech, Lytle addressed rail improvements, saying that the port is expected to complete construction of its new rail yard in the second quarter of 2016, which would add 44,000 feet of new track.

Also, he said, construction should begin mid-year on a 370,000-square-foot logistics facility.

BC Ferry Coming Back Into Service

By Mark Edward Nero

The 50-year-old ferry Queen of Burnaby will be back on the Comox-Powell River route beginning Jan. 27, according to transport service provider BC Ferries, following repairs to the propeller hub.
The vessel was removed from service on Jan. 6 due to the mechanical issues.

With the Queen of Burnaby back in service, the ferry Island Sky will return to the Earls Cove-Saltery Bay route and North Island Princess will return to the Powell River-Texada Island route, according to BC Ferries, with regular schedules for all three routes back in effect Jan 27.

“Although the schedule changes and disruption in service were not ideal, we are pleased the ship could get back to regular service in just a few weeks,” BC Ferries’ Vice President of Customer Services Corrine Storey said in a statement.

Queen of Burnaby is now 50-plus years old and is expected to be retired later in 2016. A new $84 million vessel, Salish Orca, is currently under construction and should replace Queen of Burnaby by the end of this year, according to BC Ferries.

BC Ferries, under contract to the Province of British Columbia, is the service provider responsible for the delivery of safe, efficient and dependable ferry service along coastal BC.

In recent years, the company has invested $30 million to upgrade and rebuild the berths at Little River and Powell River, and over $2 million in upgrades at Saltery Bay and Earls Cove terminals.