“Over the past year there has been a marked increase in vessel fabrication opportunities of all kinds, including for ferries, tugs, barges, and fishing vessels,” said Vince Piscitello, VP of Sales, Marketing and Business Development. Earlier this year Vigor signed an agreement to build the largest floating drydock in the United States, and construction is currently underway. The new drydock will allow Vigor to service larger ships, up to and including any of the cruise ships operating on the West Coast and Military Sealift Command’s Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo/ammunition ships. Vigor’s Alaska Ship & Drydock is also underway with a number of improvements in cooperation with the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority and other partners. Less than a year ago, the Ketchikan yard opened a new 70,000 sq. ft. ship assembly hall, and a new $10 million steel fabrication shop is currently in the works.
While investment in facilities and machinery is essential in today’s modern shipyard, leaders in the field such as Vigor recognize the value of workforce development and retention, and a central value at Vigor is “Jobs Matter.” Much more than a simple slogan though, the shipyard launched two initiatives: Harbor Island training center: an industrial skills training center at its Seattle shipyard; and Pathways to Manufacturing, where Vigor provided seed money for a pilot program that helps high school students learn both in-demand industrial manufacturing skills in addition to “soft skills” such as job interview techniques and public speaking.
A few of the recent vessels to grace the building and repair ways at Vigor facilities include:
- Olympic Class 144 Car Ferries (Seattle): Washington State’s two newest ferries, the Tokitae and the Samish, are 362.5 x 83 x 24.5 ft. draft; 144 vehicle ferries currently under construction at Vigor’s Seattle shipyard. The Tokitae will remain pier side as teams finish final work including painting, outfitting of passenger areas and system testing. The Tokitae is set to be completed in early 2014 and the Samish is scheduled for completion in early 2015. Scheduled completionis 2014 and 2015 respectively.
- F/V Arctic Prowler-Longliner (Ketchikan): Alaska Ship & Drydock is currently fabricating the 136 x 41 x 26.25 ft., 16,300 cu. ft. freezer Arctic Prowler freezer longliner. Designed by Jensen Maritime consultants, the Arctic Prowler will fish for Pacific black cod in Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. It’s powered by two 1000-hp MTU main engines, with three 300-kW generators. The Arctic Prowler is the first vessel to be constructed in ASD’s new 70,000 sq. ft. assembly hall. It is scheduled for completion this fall.
- Split Hull Hopper Barge (Portland): This 242 x 54 ft., 4,050 cu. yd. dump barge is being built for American Construction Co. It will be used to dredge 770,000 cu. yds. of material from Aberdeen’s inner harbor. The barge features an advanced sealing mechanism to prevent leakage in environmentally sensitive areas. It is scheduled for completion this fall.
- Iliuliuk Bay Deck Barge (Portland): Constructed for Harley Marine, the 250 x 70 ft. Iliuliuk Bay Deck Barge was designed to accommodate a 230 ton lift capacity Manitowoc 4100 crawler crane. The vessel will transport cargo between Dutch Harbor and Akutan, and is scheduled for completion this fall.
(As published in the August 2013 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News - www.marinelink.com)