By Larry Pearson
Aries Marine, a Lafayette, La. based offshore vessel company has taken delivery of its fourth 220-ft. class supply boat designed for deep water platform work. The company has 10 supply boats and 14 lift boats in its fleet.
At 54 ft. wide, the new Abigail Claire is 10 ft. wider than any of its predecessors and is the first in the Aries Marine fleet
rated at DP-2. Vessel depth is 19 ft. and loaded draft is 16 ft.
The vessel was built by Thoma-Sea Shipbuilders at their Lockport, La. shipyard and designed by Entech & Associates of Houma, La. Thoma-Sea also has an option to build an additional 220-ft. class vessel for Aries. This option has been exercised and the vessel will be complete early next year with additional vessel construction for Aries likely.
The Abigail Claire has a deadweight tonnage of 2,400 and can carry 2,700 long tons of cargo on a rear deck that has 6,407 sq. ft. of clear space. Below deck carrying capacities are equally robust with capacity for 200,000 gallons of fuel oil, 175,000 gallons of drill water and 6,000 barrels of liquid mud in six 1,000-barrel tanks. The supply boat also carries 45,000 gallons of potable water. Fuel oil, drill water and liquid mud can be transferred at 750, 875 and 1,000 GPM respectively. Dry bulk can be transferred at 1,000 cu. Ft. per hour via a Leroi 80 PSI compressor. The mud pumps are Mission Magnum 5 X4X 15.
Along the keel centerline are five dry bulk tanks with total capacity of 6,000 cubic feet. Main propulsion power for the Abigail Claire is a pair of Aquamaster Z-drives driven by a pair of Caterpillar 3516B engines rated at 4,000 hp. A vessel this size requires plenty of electrical power and the Abigail Claire has a pair of Caterpillar 3408 engines each driving a 370 kW generator. The generators can be automatically paralleled.
A Caterpillar 3304B emergency genset produces 105 kW of electricity. To meet its DP-2 classification, the vessel has two Rolls Royce bow thrusters. The DP-2 system is by Marine Technology, Mandeville, La., as is the autopilot. Most of the pilothouse electronics are by Furuno with a pair of radars, a GPS, Fathometer, portable VHF radios and an Area 3 GMDSS communications system. Satcom is via C& C.
The Abigail Claire is designed to carry work crews to offshore projects with 26 berths.
Classifications include ABS Maltese Cross A-1Oceans, ABS DP-2, IMO SOLAS and Coast Guard certified and U.S. Flagged. Life saving equipment includes four 20 person inflatable life rafts. Speed of the vessel is 12 knots. The vessel went to work at the end of August for Aries Marine.
Thoma-Sea Shipbuilders is a perfect example of a boat yard riding the new wave of offshore boat building. They also are building a 215-ft. by 44-ft. supply boat for Gulf Offshore Logistics, Lockport, La. To be complete in March 2006, the Olivia Rae is a DP-1 rated vessel that can carry 3,300 barrels of liquid mud and has a 145-ft. by 38-ft. rear deck.
Thoma-Sea Shipbuilders is located on Bayou Lafourche, at the yard formerly operated by Halter Lockport.