By John Simpson, Editor, Aluminum Now and Michael Skillingberg, VP, Technology, The Aluminum Association, Inc. Aluminum has been used in the marine industry for more than 100 years because of its light weight and ease of fabrication combined with good corrosion and fatigue resistance. However, for much of the past 30 years, fiberglass has been the material of choice of North American boatbuilders, particularly for higher-volume production lines. Competitively priced compared with boats made from most other materials, fiberglass boats can also be made from standardized molds that reduce their construction time and labor. Aluminum alloys, which are specified for marine use, offer many benefits, though, too. Their high level of performance along with recent advances in aluminum cutting and welding is helping to reduce fiberglass' boats cost advantage, and the metal's utility for a wide range of boatbuilding applications is poised for reappraisal. Changing Image of Aluminum Boats "Aluminum boat technology is relatively new," says Steve Daigle, president of Daigle Welding & Marine Ltd., in Campbell River, British Columbia, noting that welded aluminum boats first came on the market en masse as recently as the late 1960s. Prior to that, riveting was the standard technique for joining aluminum sheets on boat hulls-a technique still used for many smaller boats that use thinner-gauge aluminum.
Conrad Industries, Inc. is expanding its products and services to include aluminum marine fabrication, repair and conversion for both commercial and government customers. The expansion is part of a $5.5 million investment in one of the company's existing facilities in Amelia, La. Kenneth G. "Jerry" Myers, Jr., Conrad's President and CEO said, "We are extremely excited to announce our entrance into the aluminum marine fabrication, repair and conversion business via our subsidiary
In June 2002, the fast expanding Austal USA yard, in Mobile, AL, introduced an apprenticeship program to its recruitment efforts. Since then, this program has introduced three classes to its shipbuilding curriculum, which is recognized by the U.S. Labor Board, and has successfully entered into its second year of operation. Shortly after Austal USA opened its new aluminum shipbuilding facility in February 2001, they joined forces with the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and Bishop State
In October, the Office of Naval Research hosted a Friction Stir Science & Technology Review in York, Pa. to discuss advancements in Friction Stir technologies. Among the attendees was Dr. Jeffrey Schultz Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Blacksburg’s high-tech engineering firm Schultz-Creehan, who reported the progress on his company’s development of Friction Stir Fabrication Technology.
Moose Boats, an aluminum boat manufacturer, has been awarded a contract from US Department of the Interior – US Park Police, for a M1-44 Patrol Boat. This is a 44-ft all aluminum catamaran powered by twin 600hp Cummins diesel engines coupled with twin Hamilton 322 water-jets. This vessel is designed to attain a top speed of 40 knots, cruise at approximately 30 knots and will be used for security patrol of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Noreq AS has acquired the Icelandic company Bergen Group Idntækni, which it will rename Alu1. Idntækni is a technology-based company with a work force of highly qualified engineers. The company is specialized within the aluminum industry, and is known for its consultative work as well as its own products. Idntækni has been in operation for nearly 25 years, and was formerly owned by Bergen Group Technology.
According to a report in the Bellingham Herald, Aluminum Chambered Boats Inc. (ACB) will build 62 boats for the U.S. Marine Corps, a contract worth a reported $20 million. The 62 boats are in addition to the four craft the company has already sold to the Marines. Once those boats successfully completed testing and trials, the Marines closed the deal on the bigger contract. The 24-ft. boats are built with a series of sealed aluminum chambers
Designed by policemen for policemen, the Interceptor line of 43 ft. high speed RIBs are capable of speeds up to 70 mph, and are engineered to be the strongest, safest, most seaworthy police boats ever built, says the manufacturer, Rex Alloy Rigid Inflatables. According to the company, the integration of state-of-the-art marine materials produces a boat that is virtually unsinkable, exceptionally buoyant and incredibly stable in all sea conditions
Afai Southern’s aluminum fast ferry “HAIYAO” for Haitong Shipping Co. launched successfully “HAIYAO” is the second one of the 35m series vessels co-designed and built by Afai Southern. The first vessel “HAIJU” started its operation before the “ May Day” of this year, verified that the technical performance of this type of vessel is advanced, and the economical effect is good. The shipowner is said to be very satisfied.
Dubai-based Shipbuilder Grandweld Shipyards has signed a contract to design, build and deliver 33.5-meter Fast Aluminum Crew boat for LIWA Marine Services LLC, Abu Dhabi. The contract was signed on April 9, 2013. The 33.5-meter crew boat will be designed by Grandweld Shipyards and will be powered by three high-speed diesel engines driving three fixed pitch propellers to reach speeds in excess of 25 knots. The vessel can seat 60 passengers, and will have 80 square meters of deck cargo area
US shipbuilder & repairer Conrad Industries, announces its first quarter 2013 results and backlog. For the quarter ended March 31, 2013, Conrad achieved net income of $5.9 million and earnings per diluted share of $0.99 compared to net income of $3
Leevac Shipyards Jennings LLC, of Jennings, LA, a subsidiary of Leevac Shipyards, LLC signed contracts with Hornbeck Offshore Services, LLC, an affiliate of Hornbeck Offshore Services, Inc. (NYSE:HOS) of Covington, La., for the construction of two STX Marine SV 310 Multi-Purpose Supply
TY Offshore, LLC launched the FMT 3256, the eighth of eighteen 297’6” x 54’ x 12’, 30,000 barrel tank barges for FMT Industries, LLC, one of the several companies within the Florida Marine Group. FMT Industries recently exercised its option for four additional barges from
Incat Crowther launched Swissco Cheetah, the first of a pair of 36-meter crewboats built by Cheoy Lee Shipyards of Hong Kong. Capable of carrying 50 tons of deck cargo, the 70-passenger vessel was delivered by Cheoy Lee’s Zhuhai shipyard to Singapore-based operator, Swissco Offshore.
Beware of counterfeit U.S. Coast Guard-approved portable fire extinguishers. The U.S. Coast Guard announced that it was made aware of counterfeit extinguishers said to be manufactured by Amerex Corporation and Buckeye Fish Equipment. “Both companies are major producers of genuine
Robert E. Derecktor, Inc., is pleased to announce its selection to build a new 19.2-meter catamaran research and classroom vessel for The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk (CT). The Maritime Aquarium has been providing student and public research voyages in the protected waters of Long Island
Hereford-based Offshore Turbine Services reported savings from choosing composite over aluminum craft in the offshore wind market. As the company takes delivery of its fourth CTruk 20T multi-purpose cat, Commander P, and eagerly awaits Commodore P, the fifth, this May
San Francisco Bay area-based Moose Boats recently delivered a new M1-46 Catamaran Dive Boat to Los Angeles Police Department. At 46 feet in length, the M1-46 is the largest vessel of the Moose Boats fleet to date. The M1-46 all aluminum catamaran, with a maximum speed of 38 knots
David Liles was appointed U.S. sales director for the new division, bringing more than 30 years of marina experience in the timber dock market. Structurmarine recently announced its newest product line, Timber Dock Systems, geared to marina and harbor owners and operators.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) announced that eight Great Lakes Seaway System ports are receiving the prestigious Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award for registering increases in international cargo tonnage shipped through their ports during the 2012 navigation season
GAC Hong Kong’s multiple eco-friendly efforts were awarded First Prize in the GAC Group Chairman’s Award for Environmental Excellence for 2012. Since 2009, the company has been recycling paper, aluminum, plastic, toner cartridges, electronic equipment and more
Afai Southern Shipyard awarded contracts to build 4 coastal fast rescue vessels for a Chinese Government agency. The contracts were signed between Afai and the Salvage Bureau of Ministry of Transport in the South China port city of Guangzhou.
The Northeast Marine Pilots took delivery of a new Chesapeake-class launch from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. The vessel joins the pilots’ four-boat fleet, operating from Newport, Rhode Island. With a deep-V hull designed by C
GE Marine said it will provide Austal USA, Mobile, Ala., with four LM2500 marine aeroderivative gas turbines to power the United States Navy’s 14th and 16th Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). GE is providing 20 LM2500 gas turbines for the Austal USA LCS program
Kvichak Marine Industries, Inc. recently delivered fifteen 30’ Rapid Response Skimmers to the U.S. Navy. With the addition of these skimmers the Navy will be operating over 85 Kvichak-built skimmers worldwide as the Navy’s tier one response asset.