New & Notables

Tuesday, September 19, 2000
Bahamas Receives New RoPax Service Ten years ago, a RoRo passenger service called Sealink, commenced in the Bahamas — operating from Nassau to port of Governor's Harbor on the adjacent island of Eleuthera. The vessel that performed this service was an aging 14-knot Greek ferry, which established a solid market within the RoRo sector. Despite its healthy growth spurt, the venture ceased in 1993 resulting from rising repair costs and maintenance, specifically in the machinery department, as some engine parts had since been discontinued.

Then a group of local businessmen purchased an Australian RoPax catamaran to re-enter the Eleuthera trade. This vessel, which incidentally is also named Sealink, is from the Sea Transport Solutions (STS) design studio in Queensland, Australia.

According to Craig Symonette, chairman of Bahamas Searoad, the shallow draft and quadruple engines provide good access to shallow ports, but more importantly a redundancy coverage that their previous vessels didn't have.

While the selected one-year-old Sealink was similar to the optimum vessel, the weather on the alternative route of Nassau to Abaco generated waves up to 10 ft. (3 m) at certain times. STS designed a modified high bow and generated the CNC discs to facilitate the modification. The process of removing the old bow was undertaken by a local shipyard in Brisbane.

Boasting four MAN 14-liter, 390-shp diesels with 2.5:1 twin disc gearboxes, providing a service speed of 16 knots, the vessel also holds aluminum deck hatches above each engine room to facilitate a rapid engine change, while two generators supply 35 kva each.

The vessel can transport four trucks, 24 cars and 200 passengers, while its 50 ft. (15.2 m) wide deck allows cars to load first and drive up the portside, turning around and facing aft on the starboard side. Sealink ran into its first experience with harsh weather conditions in April where it was caught in the middle of cyclone Neil east of Fiji — experiencing 25-30 ft. waves — both the vessel and crew were unharmed.

Crowley Delivers Last Of Prevention Tug Series Crowley Marine Services has delivered Aware — the third in a series of three 140-ft. (42.6 m), 10,000-hp Prevention and Response Tugs (PRTs), to Alyeska Pipeline Service Company in Valdez, Alaska.

Aware and her two sisterships — Attentive and Alert — have been specifically designed and developed for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company by Crowley for use in the Trans Alaska Pipeline System trade. Alert was delivered to Alyeska in February and Attentive was delivered in June.

The three PRTs are deployed in Alyeska's Ship Escort Response Vessel System (SERVS), serving as tanker escorts in Prince William Sound.

The mission of Alyeska/SERVS is to prevent oil spills by assisting tankers in safe navigation through Prince William Sound, and to protect the environment by providing rapid and effective response services to the Valdez Marine Terminal and Alaska crude oil shippers.

During sea trials, Aware generated a certified bollard pull of 305,000-lbs. and a free running speed in excess of 16 knots. The PRTs are powered by twin Caterpillar 3612B engines generating the combined 10,192-hp driving two Kamewa Aquamaster azimuthing thrusters. They are also equipped for firefighting, emergency response and oil spill recovery equipment.

The PRT trio was designed by Seattle-based Guido Perla and Associates and built at Dakota Creek Shipyard in Anacortes, Wash., for Vessel Management Services, a Crowley Maritime subsidiary that owns and leases vessels. The vessels have oil spill recovery and storage capability for up to 43,000 gallons of recovered oil. Design features include accommodations for up to 16 personnel, Schuyler fendering, a Markey TDS-40 towing winch, Step Warmfloor (tm) heated decking, 3,000 ft. of oil recovery boom, and on-deck stowage for two oil spill recovery skiffs.

Image Marine Delivers Police Boat Trio Image Marine has delivered three of nine innovative police boats for the New South Wales Police Service, Water Police Branch. Arriving in Sydney Harbor — the vessels, which are named Vigilant, Vanguard and Victor — were to have been joined by the remaining six the end of this July.

Upon completion, the new fleet will consist of two 72-ft. (22-m) vessels and seven 52-ft. (16-m) vessels. Nicknamed "Water Rats," the vessels will replace many of the existing vessels in the Police Fleet. The new boats will work to conduct marine search and rescue operations; combating marine criminal activities and marine security in Sydney during the Olympic Games. With a maximum speed of 28.5 knots, designs of the monohull Class 1 and Class 2 vessels were specifically formatted to meet the needs of the N.S.W. police. Designed by the company's in-house team, the vessels have a planing aluminum hull form with a varying dead-rise, with the waterline entry providing the least resistance at full operational speed. At the same time, the design also offers the most comfort in a variety of sea conditions.

3.Maj Concludes Chem Carriers

Shipbuilding contracts for two (plus one under option) 23,400-tdw oil products/chemical carriers were signed this past March between 3.Maj and Erste Buttner Schiffahrts Gesellschaft MBH & Co. and Carl Buttner Schiffahrts Gesellschaft MBH & Co. have been released for action, following the owners' payment of the first contract price installment.

If the owners decide to utilize their option with 3.Maj for a third vessel, the total value of the contracts would be raised to $70 million.

The pair of oil products/chemical carriers are scheduled for delivery in February and June 2002.

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