The National Park Service has awarded a contract to Modutech Marine
Inc. of Tacoma, Washington for the construction of a new crewboat for Channel Islands National Park in southern California. Sea Ranger II will be equipped to transport park personnel, supplies, and construction materials to the five park islands, as well as to carry researchers on overnight diving trips.
Accommodations will include a full galley, sleeping space for up to nine people, full head with shower, and diving support equipment, including a portable dive compressor.
The new boat will join an existing fleet of three boats, providing a vital link between the mainland-based park headquarters in Ventura and the park's islands, located between 17 and 45 nautical miles away. The boat will be constructed of foam core fiberglass and will be built to specifications developed by Paul A. Gow, Naval Architect of PK Marine, Moorpark, Calif. Modutech will use an existing hull mold from which they have built several highly successful boats. The park service worked closely with Paul 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 proven hull as the basic platform.
The boat will be operated from either an enclosed pilothouse or from a fully equipped flying bridge. Propulsion will be 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 that $1.5 million in 60 projects in 1999 that provided clean energy and alternative fuels in 20 national parks. The Sea Ranger II will operate on bio-diesel, an organic-based fuel made from used cooking oil, which is non-toxic to the marine environment. All hydraulic systems will be charged with "Greenplus" hydraulic fluid, a bio-based hydraulic fluid.
Construction of the hull will start in early November with delivery of the completed boat to southern California scheduled for fall of 2001. Park personnel assisted by Paul Gow will conduct construction inspection and coordination throughout the building program.