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New Seacor FSV redefines comfort on the go

May 2, 2017 12:50 PM
Liam J McCall cruises the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and Atchafalaya River near Morgan City, La.

Liam J McCall cruises the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and Atchafalaya River near Morgan City, La.

Seacor Marine’s sparkling new fast supply vessel, Liam J McCall, cut through the gloom of a dismal morning on the rising Atchafalaya River near Morgan City, La. When Capt. Rick Oliver thrust the five throttles forward, the deep-V bow of the vessel quickly and powerfully rose through the muddied and foliage-littered water.

When Seacor Marine and McCall Boat Rentals merged in 1996, Norman McCall and his son, Joe, came in the bargain. The McCalls had built a highly reputable fleet of fast crew boats plying the Gulf Coast oil fields. Bolstered by the international profile of Seacor and the escalation of deepwater drilling in the gulf, the pair spearheaded the development of crew boats into fast supply vessels. Other companies followed suit, but with amazing consistency, Seacor has continually launched innovations that have boosted FSV capability and performance.

The 194-foot Liam J McCall, part of the Express Plus-Plus class from Seacor, represents the latest evolution of that development. Designed by Incat Crowther’s Lafayette, La., office and built by Gulf Craft in Franklin, La., the vessel is noted for passenger comfort, speed, deck cargo capacity and emergency evacuation capability.

“Seacor’s seventh-generation FSV designs are focused on maximum speed while maintaining crew and passenger comfort,” said Joe McCall, senior project manager for Seacor. 

Liam J McCall’s 36-knot light speed is provided by five Cummins QSK60 engines rated at 2,680 horsepower each (13,400 hp total) at 1,900 rpm, Twin Disc MGX-61500SC marine gears with 2.56:1 reduction ratios, and HamiltonJet HT810 waterjets. The five engines and three 200-hp Thrustmaster bow tunnel thrusters provide a great deal of redundancy and stationkeeping precision.

Scotty Tibbs, chief financial officer for boatbuilder Gulf Craft, relaxes in one of the FSV’s plush passenger seats.

Liam J McCall’s speed and redundancy are comparable to its predecessors in the 205-foot Express Plus class. Passenger comfort represents the major difference: The extension of the superstructure out to the shear of the vessel increased the lounge capacity. Originally intended to carry 126 passengers, Liam J McCall is now outfitted to seat 58 in first-class comfort.

The new approach to FSV seating, combined with the vessel’s speed and cargo capacity, was conceived as a means to compete with helicopter transport.

“Passenger seating is mounted on a rail system, allowing the cabin arrangement to be quickly customized to the unique requirements of the charterer,” said Robert Clemons, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Seacor Marine Holdings Inc. “The seats are designed to maximize comfort so that the passengers arrive at their destination well rested. The seats feature an adjustable foot rest (and) adjustable recline, and are wider than the industry standard.”

The seating, supplied by Sterling’s Upholstery & Fabrication of New Iberia, La., includes seatback pockets, seat belts and beverage holders, features not usually associated with a crew boat.

“With galley stations, big-screen TVs, mood lighting and first-class seating, we want the passengers to have a comfortable and relaxing ride on every trip,” McCall said.

 

The forward bridge console features the latest electronics.

 

Five HamiltonJet HT810 waterjets propel the boat at up to 36 knots.

     
 

A stern view shows off Liam J McCall’s power output.

 

Propulsion is provided by five Cummins QSK60 engines, delivering a combined 13,400 horsepower.

 

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