Author: Richard O. Aichele

Tug boat woes run parallel to U.S. container slump

The difficult situation for the North American tug industry today — beginning with the financial plunge in 2008 and continuing into 2009 — runs parallel to the worldwide decline in container shipping. "Initially we were seeing a drop in cargo.…

Extension of AIS requirement would affect thousands of vessels

The U.S. Coast Guard has proposed adding thousands of commercial vessels to the vessel Automatic Identification System (AIS) and the Requirements for Notices of Arrival and Departure (NOAD). It's part of a continuing program to enhance waterway security, oversight and…

Coast Guard tightens rules on handling of laker cargo residues

It’s a long-established operating practice for dry bulkers in the Great Lakes to sweep or wash overboard any dry cargo residues (DCR) remaining on vessel decks and conveyor belt tunnels after loading or unloading. This has been an ongoing issue…

FERRIES: As costs rise, long-term operating efficiencies are key

Coastal Inspiration, one of BC Ferries' new Coastal Class vessels, went into service in June. (Courtesy BC Ferries) The triple challenges of higher fuel prices, more stringent environmental regulations and the rising cost of new vessels are forcing ferry operators…

Four crew on crane barge injured

Four crewmen were seriously injured on the deck of a derrick-crane barge when a large wave struck their vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. The Coast Guard said the accident happened March 24 on the 300-foot-long barge IOS 800, 65…

Guido Perla to design new Washington car ferries

Washington State Ferries intends to build four of these 144-vehicle, 1,500-passenger ferries. The first of them is expected to go into service by early 2011. The double-ended boats will be 362 feet long and have a beam of 83 feet.…

Attention to the details trims fuel consumption

  Crowley installed new Rolls-Royce 132-inch five-blade propellers on Sentry, one of a class of 20-year-old tugs. Lower cavitation, combined with fuel monitoring, resulted in a fuel savings of 4 percent. A vessel operator’s fuel cost burden is proportional to…

Coast Guard twice comes to the rescue of a casino boat

An 85-foot casino boat became disabled twice over a two-week period in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida, each time requiring a Coast Guard response. In the first incident March 8, SunCruz IX lost all power and went adrift in heavy…

EPA’s new diesel-emissions rules set Tier 4 standards for 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced new, far-reaching marine diesel-emission standards. The new rules, issued in March, finalize a three-part program applying to marine diesel engines below 30 liters per-cylinder displacement. The new rules: • establish the first national…

Low-drag catamaran prototype unveiled in California

Proteus exhibits its unusual profile as it skims across San Francisco Bay. The hulls of the catamaran conform to the surface rather than pushing through the waves. The resulting reduction in drag reduces fuel consumption and increases the vessel’s range.…

Drill-ship technologies create ultra-deep solutions

Discoverer Spirit, a drill ship operated by Transocean Inc., established the record for deepest offshore well, when in 2005 it  drilled to a depth of 34,189 feet below the water’s surface in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. (Photo courtesy Transocean…