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
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
Canada Metal (Pacific) Ltd. delivers sustainable and efficient products for demanding commercial marine applications. Its wide range of Martyr magnesium and aluminum anodes contain no traces of toxic cadmium, a distinction that earned CMP a place on the upcoming Europort show's Green Route. This honor is given to products and services that demonstrably reduce the environmental impact of marine vessels. As the only company on the market to offer cadmium-free cathodic protection for salt
US Department of Defense has issued the following Navy contracts for construction of high speed maneuverable surface targets (HSMSTs). The contracts are awarded to Silver Ships Inc., Theodore, Ala. and Gravois Aluminum Boats LLC, doing business as Metal Shark Aluminum Boats LLC, Jeanerette, La., who are each being awarded separate firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contracts for the construction of high speed maneuverable surface targets (HSMSTs).
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.
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.
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
Incat Crowther announced the opening of an office in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, created to meet the growing demand for Incat Crowther’s products and services in South America while placing Incat Crowther at the center of the South American Offshore Oilfield industry.
Louisiana-based aluminum boat manufacturer Metal Shark Aluminum Boats LLC has been awarded a contract to produce up to 350 specialized vessels for the United States Navy. The fixed-price contract is for the construction of the Navy’s High Speed Maneuverable Surface Target (HSMST) vessels
Phoenix Products Company, Inc. launched the EcoMod Series. The EcoMod LED floodlight offers 150 and 300W models with light outputs of 12,500 and 25,000 lumens, respectively. Available optical packages range from wide flood to narrow spot optics to accommodate any application
Classification society ClassNK and Rio Tinto Iron Ore (part of the Rio Tinto Group, one of the world’s largest metal and mining companies), announced that they have signed a collaborative agreement focused on the safe carriage of iron ore.
Westlawn Institute of Technology, the not-for-profit educational affiliate of the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), welcomed RADM Gordon G. Piché USCG (Ret.) as Dean of Naval Architecture. Piché was also elected to Westlawn’s Board of Directors
As with most island nations, New Zealand is heavily dependent on ferries. By this time next year, there will be a new ferry added to the Auckland-based Fullers Group fleet. Currently being constructed at Q-West Boat Builders Ltd. on the Wanganui River
Nicholas Brothers Boat Builders has been awarded a new vessel contract to build a 115’x47.5’ 23-Car, 100 passenger ferry for Wahkiakum County. The ferry will operate between existing ferry terminals to Puget Island in Cathlamet, Washington and Westport, Oregon.
Aleris announced it now offers 5083–H128, the newly developed aluminum alloy temper for marine applications that meets the new standards for marine plate as specified in ASTM's B928-13 standard. ASTM is an internationally recognized standards organization that develops and publishes
Members of Coast Guard Station Tybee Island held a ceremony at the station Tuesday to recognize the arrival of their newest response boat. Along with the Station Tybee Island crew, members from Coast Guard Sector Charleston, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the mayor of Savannah, Ga
Incat Crowther launched Maehaad, a 453 passenger 32m Catamaran Ferry constructed by Dolphin Chumphon Marine in Thailand. Maehaad is the sixth vessel designed by Incat Crowther for Lomprayah High Speed Ferries, and follows on from the 29m catamaran ferries Thongslah and Koh Prab
Bowhead Transport, LLC has recently awarded Nichols Brothers Boat Builders a contract to construct a new 150 by 50’ Landing Craft. The landing craft will operate in Arctic coastal villages of the North Slope Borough of Alaska and between the Pacific and Arctic oceans.
Asian shipbuilder Strategic Marine launched the Shanna, the first of two 45-meter ro-pax catamarans to the National Ferries Company of Oman. The vessel is the first of its kind built by Strategic at its Vietnam shipyard, underscoring the operation's multi-markets shipbuilding capability
Morgan City, Louisiana-based Conrad announce positive third quarter 2013 results, and is to pay a special cash dividend of $2.00 per share. For the quarter ended September 30, 2013, Conrad had net income of $6.5 million and earnings per diluted share of $1.09 compared to net income of $4
Phoenix Products Company, Inc. announced the SturdiLED Series. The mid-level LED floodlight offers an AC or DC driver with multiple output options ranging from 1,600-2,900 lumens. The two optical packages, 28° and 45°, accommodate a variety of applications including davits
Kvichak Marine Industries, Inc. was recently awarded a contract by Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) to build an all-aluminum 66’ Shallow Draft Tender to be used for multiple fisheries in and around Norton Sound, Ak.