The National Park Service has taken delivery of its newest boat, Sea Ranger II, built by Modutech Marine
Inc. of Tacoma, Wash. The boat is equipped to transport park personnel, supplies and construction materials to the five offshore islands that make up Channel Islands National Park, as well as to carry researchers on overnight driving trips. Accommodations include a full galley, sleeping space for up to 10 people, full head with shower, and diving support equipment, including a portable dive compressor.
The Sea Ranger II joins an existing fleet of three boats, providing a vital link between the mainland-based park headquarters in Ventura, Calif., and the park's islands, located between 17 and 45 nautical miles away. The boat is built of foam core fiberglass and was built to specifications developed by Paul A. Gow, Naval Architect of PK Marine, located in Moorpark, Calif. The builder used an exiting hull mold from which they have built several boats already. The park service worked closely with Gow over several months to develop specifications which would ensure that the boat has the capabilities required, while giving the builder sufficient flexibility to use a prove hull as the basic platform.
The boat can be operated from either an enclosed pilothouse or from a fully equipped flying bridge. Propulsion is provided by two fuel-efficient, electronically controlled Caterpillar 3406E diesel engines, funded in part by a grant from the Green Energy Parks program. This program, a partnership between the National Park Service and the Department of Energy, invested more than $1.5 million in 60 projects in 1999 that provided clean energy and alternative fuel
s in 20 national parks. The Sea Ranger II will operated on bio-diesel, an organic based fuel made from used cooking oil, which is non-toxic to the marine environment. Sea trials were completed in Tacoma on October 3, and the vessel departed for Ventura that evening.