Hempstead Navigation Takes Kittiwake

Friday, February 21, 2003

Washburn & Doughty Associates, Inc. (W&D) delivered Kittiwake, a 72- x 20- x 10.5-ft. Offshore Motor Vessel, to Hempstead Navigation Service LLC of Exeter, Rhode Island. The vessel, which is designed for long distance travel, has a .375-in. steel hull and an aluminum deckhouse. Hempstead Navigation Service's core business has been contracting the delivery of military and commercial vessels worldwide, and compass adjusting and repair when not otherwise at sea.

With the delivery of Kittiwake, company owners Robert Hempstead and Letitia Davis, a husband and wife team, plan to expand their business to include training in advanced navigation, seamanship and shiphandling aboard Kittiwake. Additionally, they plan to operate her as a research platform for smaller research projects.

These programs will draw on Hempstead and Davis' years of experience at sea. Hempstead, who is on his 9th issue of his Unlimited Masters, Oceans and Pilot License, Sail & Steam, with close to two million miles at sea, formerly operated research vessels for URI and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Davis holds a USCG license as Mate, Oceans, 1,600 tons, with over 60 commercial and military vessel deliveries worldwide to her credit.

On choosing Washburn & Doughty, Hempstead said, "We wanted a vessel of heavy scantlings that could be designed by the builder in-house, allowing him to exercise his strengths in his building practices. We had heard a number of favorable reports on the quality of W&Ds steel work, and most importantly, the builder's integrity in delivering a good product while taking no short cuts."

Kittiwake features a Caterpillar 3406E main engine rated at 450 hp at 1,800 rpm. The vessel has a top speed of 10 knots, and uses a Twin Disc 5114 reverse gear with a 4.17:1 reduction ratio turning a 4-in. Aquamet 22 shaft, and a 48-in., five-blade NiBrAl propeller through an Aquadrive unit.

Two generators, a Cummins Onan Model 35 MCGBA (35 kW) and a Cummins Onan Model 17.0 MDKAD (17 kW), fulfill the vessel's electric power requirements. A four kW Trace Inverter system provides limited AC power, thus reducing generator usage when only light power demands must be satisfied. A Charles 50 Amp Iso-Boost Transformer provides electrical isolation and corrected voltage when plugged into shore power.

The vessel is equipped with an American Bow Thruster 16-in. TRAC series thruster hydraulically powered from the 35 kW generator. Controls are installed at the pilothouse and bridge wing stations. In addition, the bow thruster's hydraulic system is designed to chain drive the main propeller shaft and thereby create an emergency take home system.

Hempstead and Davis put extensive thought into the vessel's bridge.

The vessel is outfitted with a Simrad AP-45 Autopilot, Furuno 8111 Radar with ARPA capability, Furuno FCV-582L depth sounder, Furuno SC-120 Satellite Compass, which also drives a Plath gyro steering repeater, Northstar 951XD GPS, Icom 710 SSB radio, Icom 127 and 520 VHF radios, and a Furuno NX300 Navtex Receiver.

Steering is by a Jastram system featuring 45° rudder angles with a hard over to hard over time of 13 seconds. Back-up exists in all major systems aboard. To assist a two-person operation on long passages, a day berth and head were installed in the pilothouse. Unlike most modern vessels there is no helm chair at the wheel. On the Kittiwake, watch standers will follow tradition and stand their watches.

Kittiwake's interior is finished with off-white formica-faced plywood and teak trim. The interior's overhead is sheathed in foam backed Majelite panels for sound reduction. The comfortable and well-appointed master and guest staterooms feature queen and full size berths respectively, ample storage and private heads. The crew stateroom is outfitted with two single berths, two roll-up pipe berths, and a private head. In addition, Kittiwake features a spacious lounge area, an office, and a fully equipped galley. The galley was designed for Davis, who loves to cook. It features a professional quality Viking stove, Corian counter tops and under-cabinet lighting.

The vessel has a 6,000 gallon fuel oil capacity for a 3,500 nm cruising range; 225 gallon lube oil capacity; 225 gallon dirty oil capacity; and a 1,500 gallon potable water capacity supplemented by a 600 gpd reverse osmosis water maker.

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