San Francisco orders fireboat; navies keep patrol sector busy
Fire Pilots Patrol.1
Courtesy Portland Fire & Rescue
Oregon Iron Works delivered Kwansum and Skukum ats to Portland Fire & Rescue in 2015. The names honor the native Chinuk Wawa language.

While demand for newbuilds to service the U.S. oil patch hit the pause button in 2015, security never sleeps. That was reflected in a continuing string of orders at U.S. shipyards from domestic and international customers seeking new patrol boats.

On the fireboat front, Vigor Fab was tapped to build a new vessel for San Francisco and MetalCraft Marine delivered an advanced boat for FDNY, the world’s most famous fire department. Activity remained strong for pilot boats, with Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding and Kvichak Marine Industries among the notable U.S. producers.

The biggest splash in the sector comes out of California and involves Seattle’s Vigor Fab, which has been awarded a contract to build an 88-foot vessel for the San Francisco Fire Department.
Designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants, the fireboat will have a top speed of 11.5 knots and accommodate three crewmembers and four firefighters. Propulsion will be provided by two Cummins QSK19-M Tier 3 engines producing a maximum of 750 hp each at 1,800 rpm.
The vessel will have CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives) detection capability, as well as self-contained breathing apparatus and local air supply ports. It was designed in accordance with NFPA 1925, the National Fire Protection Association’s standard detailing requirements for the construction of new marine firefighting vessels.

The boat will have two firefighting modes, normal and super-pumper. The firefighting system will feature six Stang monitors supplied with water and foam from three 6,000-gpm pumps.
Delivery is scheduled for fall 2015.

Vigor Fab is building a new fireboat for the city of San Francisco. The 88-foot vessel, shown here in a rendering, is designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants. 

Courtesy Vigor Industrial

Foss Maritime also remains active in fireboat newbuilds in California, continuing work on two 108-foot vessels for the Port of Long Beach.
The first vessel, Fireboat 20, is scheduled for delivery before the end of 2015. It has a Voith Schneider cycloidal propulsion system, a 41,000-gpm firefighting system and seven Caterpillar engines. It is designed to be a command center with a full CBRNE system.
A second fireboat for POLB will be delivered in late 2016.

Up the coast, Oregon Iron Works delivered a pair of 54-foot fireboats to the city of Portland. Kwansum and Skukum ats are powered by twin MTU 8V-2000-M84 engines, each rated at 1,085 hp at 2,450 rpm. The MTUs are coupled to ZF 665TS reduction gears and Rolls-Royce FF450S waterjets. Top speed is about 40 knots.

For firefighting, each MTU also drives a 3,500-gpm fire pump. The boats have two monitors on the bow and one atop the cabin, as well as numerous hose connections forward and aft.

Concept design and performance specs were put together by Jensen Maritime Consultants, with the final hull form produced by Chesapeake, Va.-based Donald L. Blount and Associates. Pacific Power Group of Ridgefield, Wash., designed and engineered the propulsion package.

The Fire Department of New York enhanced its marine response capability with the addition of William M. Feehan from MetalCraft Marine.

Courtesy MetalCraft Marine

In New York, MetalCraft delivered William M. Feehan, a customized Firestorm 70, to the Fire Department of New York. Instead of the four Caterpillar C-18 mains that the series typically features, the 66-foot Feehan has three to “decrease beam (from 22 to 18 feet), improve steerage and fit the existing Marine Travelift,” according to the FDNY. The C-18s drive Hamilton HJ 403 waterjets, providing a top speed of 41 knots.
A dedicated 510-hp Caterpillar C-9 drives the main Darley 3,000-gpm fire pump; the center C-18 drives a second pump. A remotely operated Stang 5,000-gpm monitor is mounted atop the cabin and is supported by four Elkhart Brass Spit-Fires capable of handling 2,000 gpm apiece.

From the Gulf, Technology Associates Inc. of New Orleans delivered a fast-response firefighting vessel to the U.S. Army’s Military Surface Deployment Distribution Command (SDDC) 596th Transportation Brigade.
The vessel, Port Chicago, is 75 feet overall, with a 20-foot beam and 10-foot draft. It is equipped with two Caterpillar C-32 engines producing a total of 3,200 hp and turning two Hamilton waterjets.
The firefighting system features 1,200-hp engines powering two fire pumps. The vessel is designed to provide fire protection for the Military Ocean Terminal in Concord, Calif.
Seattle’s Kvichak Marine recently delivered two all-aluminum, 36-foot crew/pilot boats to West Coast Launch of Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Lelu and Kitson join five other vessels in the company’s fleet. 

West Coast Launch of British Columbia expanded its fleet to seven with the Kvichak-built Lelu and Kitson.

Courtesy Kvichak Marine

The newbuilds are powered by twin Volvo D11 diesels rated for 510 hp with ZF 305 gears. The engines are coupled to Hamilton 322 waterjets, providing a speed of 35 knots.

Kvichak also recently delivered two 36-footers to Tymac Launch Service, also of British Columbia. The vessels are designed for transporting 12 or fewer passengers.
The boats have two John Deere 6090SFM85 425-hp diesels and ZF 305-3 gears. The engines drive Hamilton 322 waterjets.

New contracts for Kvichak include two 62-foot pilot boats for the Port of Duqm Company SAOC, Sultanate of Oman. The vessels also will be used for search and rescue and assisting with oil spill recovery.

The aluminum boats will be powered by two Cummins QSK-19 engines rated for 800 hp at 2,100 rpm each. Twin ZF 2000A transmissions will drive five-blade fixed propellers, providing an operating speed of about 20 knots.

Delivery is expected in spring 2016.

Gladding-Hearn is typically very active in the pilot boat market and the past year was no different, with the Somerset, Mass., company reaching a milestone: The 400th boat in its 60-year history was delivered to the Cape Fear Pilots Association of Southport, N.C., in June.

The design of Metal Shark’s new boat for the Canaveral Pilots Association utilizes the weight of a bow-mounted John Deere 650-hp diesel.

Courtesy Metal Shark Aluminum Boats

This is Cape Fear’s second St. John’s-class pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn, an updated version of the first delivered in 2001. The aluminum newbuild measures 52 feet overall, with a 17-foot beam and a 4.8-foot draft. It is powered by twin Caterpillar C-18 diesels, each producing 479 hp at 1,800 rpm. Top speed is 23 knots.
The Tampa Bay Pilots Association took delivery of a second Chesapeake-class newbuild from Gladding-Hearn. The latest improvements in the class incorporate the performance benefits of Volvo Penta’s IPS 2 pod system, providing more speed, better fuel efficiency and more comfort.
The pilot boat measures 52.7 feet overall, with a 16.8-foot beam and a 4.5-foot draft. It is powered by twin Volvo Penta D11-503, six-cylinder Tier 3 diesels, each producing 503 hp at 2,250 rpm. Each engine is connected to an IPS propulsion pod, which is fitted with dual forward-facing, counter-rotating propellers. Top speed is 27 knots.

Stepping outside the U.S. market, the Massachusetts yard also delivered two Chesapeake-class pilot/patrol boats to the Colombian navy.
The hulls measure 56.6 feet overall, with a 17.8-foot beam and 3-foot draft. The boats have twin MAN R6-800CRM engines, each delivering 800 hp at 2,300 rpm. The engines turn Ultra Jet UJ-452 waterjets through ZF 360 gears. Top speed is 27 knots.
In July, Naiad Inflatables of Newport launched a 49-foot pilot boat for the Matagorda Bay Pilots Association in Texas. Karankawa has twin Scania DI13 77M main engines, Twin Disc MGX-5114A gears and ZF controls. It employs shaft propulsion with driveline components from H&H and Michigan Wheel propellers. Top speed is 33 knots.

Naiad Inflatables’ Karankawa, a 49-foot newbuild for the Matagorda Bay Pilots Association, has twin Scania engines and a top speed of 33 knots. 

Courtesy Naiad Inflatables

North of the U.S. border, Nova Scotia’s ABCO Industries delivered a 36-foot aluminum pilot boat to the St. Maarten Ports Authority in the Caribbean. It features a hard chine planing hull and twin Marine Jet Power 305 HT waterjets driven by Cummins QSL9 engines, each developing 405 hp at 2,100 rpm. The boat has a cruising speed of 25 knots and a top speed of more than 30 knots.

The vessel is also fitted with a 9-kW Onan genset and a 300-gpm fire pump and monitor.
Metal Shark Aluminum Boats of Franklin, La., delivered a 45-foot launch to the Canaveral Pilots Association in Florida. The design utilizes the weight of a single bow-mounted diesel engine and an extremely sharp forward entry to slice levelly through waves. The boat is powered by a John Deere 6135 SFM 650-hp engine and cruises at 18 knots.  

Gladding-Hearn kept busy in the patrol boat sector as well, delivering two 70-foot tactical response vessels for the New York Police Department’s Harbor Patrol Unit.     
The boats measure 68.8 feet on deck, with a 19-foot beam and 3.8-foot draft.

The wheelhouse offers 360-degree visibility. The command center, aft of the helm station, includes video monitors, enclosed decontamination showers and seating for the five crewmembers.
The superstructure has ballistic-resistant windows and panels on the sides, front, back and roof. On the fly bridge, accessible from the main deck, is an American Safe Room nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) filtration system to pressurize the vessel’s interior spaces. A 1,500-gpm remote-control water cannon is mounted on the pilothouse roof. 

In the patrol market, Gladding-Hearn delivered a pair of 70-foot response boats to the New York Police Department. Security features include ballistic-resistant windows and a nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) filtration system.

Courtesy Gladding-Hearn

Both vessels are powered by twin 12-cylinder MTU-12V2000M94 diesels, each producing 1,920 hp at 2,450 rpm, giving the boats a top speed of over 41 knots. The engines turn a pair of Hamilton HM571 waterjets. There are twin Humphree interceptor units, each fitted with an automatic trim and list control system. A 30-kW Northern Lights/Alaska Diesel generator provides service power.

Willard Marine of Anaheim, Calif., is providing SOLAS fast-rescue boats in two new sizes for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. An inboard-powered 19-foot SOLAS rescue boat with waterjet propulsion will be built for the NOAA research ship Nancy Foster, and a 17-foot outboard will be built for NOAA’s Hi’ialakai in Hawaii. 

For the U.S. Navy, Willard is supplying a new generation of 36-foot rigid-hull inflatables: eight open center console boats and two LPD-17 variants. Both versions will be equipped with twin Cummins QSB 6.7-liter, 380-hp engines and Hamilton HJ292 waterjets.

SAFE Boats International of Bremerton, Wash., is building five 85-foot patrol boats for the Navy. The Mark VI series is intended to expand the area for Navy patrol craft farther offshore.

Powered by twin diesels and waterjets, each boat will have a range in excess of 600 nautical miles and be able to burn both marine-grade diesel and JP-5 fuel. The main cabin is reconfigurable to accommodate remotely operated vehicles, a medical triage area, or provide additional shock-mitigated seating.

Metal Shark is also getting in on the Navy action, receiving a contract to build 22-foot RIBs. The boats will support a range of missions including personnel/cargo transfer, search and rescue, open water patrol, vessel interdiction and boarding, and insertion/extraction of forces.

The $15.3 million award includes options that, if exercised, would bring the total contract value to $47.4 million.

Looking abroad: SAFE Boats recently delivered two 65-foot, 40-knot patrol boats to the Tunisian navy. Two more are being built.

Courtesy SAFE Boats

In more sector news from the Gulf, C&G Boat Works of Mobile, Ala., has been contracted to build two 116-foot training vessels for the Navy. 

The YP-R is the new generation of watercraft used by the U.S. Naval Academy to train officers. The vessels are 116 feet long and 28 feet wide and can accommodate up to 40 officers and cadets.

Marinette Marine of Marinette, Wis., and Kvichak are teaming up to build a standardized response boat-medium for the U.S. Coast Guard. The new boats will replace the Coast Guard’s aging fleet of 41-footers.

Patrol orders from overseas also helped keep American yards busy during the past year. 

SAFE Boats recently delivered two of four full-cabin inboard boats ordered by the Tunisian navy. The 65-footers feature dual MTU 10V2000 diesel engines that drive twin Hamilton HM521 waterjets. The boats are capable of speeds exceeding 40 knots.

Swiftships of Morgan City, La., was awarded a contract to build six 114-foot patrol boats for the Egyptian navy. The boats will be constructed at Egyptian Ship Building and Repairs Co. in Alexandria, Egypt. 

Willard Marine is building two 31-foot aluminum riverine boats for the Nepalese army, each powered by Yanmar engines and Hamilton waterjets. The vessels will be used for search, rescue and recovery operations in Nepal’s riverine and flood environments.

Categories: American Ship Review, Maritime News