Bollinger Shipyards last month re-delivered the 254-ft. supply boat, Elsa Leigh, to Aries Marine Corp
., of Lafayette, La., which is the new name for the former Seacor Clipper following extensive renovation at Bollinger's Morgan City shipyard. The new name is in honor of Elsa Leigh, the four year-old daughter of Courtney B. Ramsay, vice-president of Aries Marine.
"This is the kind of project we love," said Donald "Boysie" Bollinger, chairman and CEO of Bollinger. "Repair, conversion and retrofitting boats has been a vital part of our business since my father founded the company in 1946 and jobs like this always present new challenges."
Much of the work involved mechanical systems in the hull and replacement of about 30 percent of the boat's steel. The vessel was brought up to ABS DPS 1, FiFi1 and GMDSS Area 3 certification. Her two main EMD engines were removed and rebuilt by NREC in Houma, La., who boosted their power from 1,250 hp each to 1,500 hp each. The boat's old reverse/reduction gears were replaced with re-conditioned Falk gears to accommodate the higher horsepower and her two drive shafts were re-conditioned at Bollinger. Elsa Leigh's Detroit Diesel 12V71 generator sets were "tuned up" and a Cummins KT-19 M3 700 hp diesel engine replaced the existing Detroit Diesel bowthruster engine. That engine was re-conditioned and used to drive a fire pump that serves two new 11,000 GPM Stang fire monitors that Bollinger added to the boat. Bollinger also
adapted the stern to accommodate a Schottel skeg thruster unit powered by a Cummins KT-19 M4 600 hp diesel engine. Two Cummins 6CT diesels were added to power new
mud pumps and to drive Quincy air compressors that deliver dry bulk drilling mud.
Both dry and liquid drilling mud systems were totally upgraded. Bill Purvis, marine superintendent for Aries and project manager said, "Originally the vessel had dry mud tanks that were removed in the mid 1990's. We have installed four new dry bulk
tanks rated at 80 PSI, giving the vessel 6,000 cu. ft. capacity.
"We also converted six ballast tanks to hold liquid mud," said Purvis. "That, with the boat's four other liquid tanks gives Elsa Leigh a capacity for 4,169 barrels of liquid product." Two new mud pumps powered by two Cummins 5CT engines were also installed. The pumps and their associated piping are two separate systems permitting the boat to carry two different types of mud without contaminating the other. The double pump system is also used for "mud swaps" in which the vessel delivers fresh mud to a rig and the rig pumps the old mud back to the boat.
Extensive changes were also made in the pilothouse with the addition of an integrated electronics package manufactured by Engine Monitor, Inc., St. Rose, La. It includes a dynamic positioning 1 system, a 96-point alarm, dry bulk controller and liquid mud mimic panel, steering and engine controls and controls for the bow and stern thrusters.