Working from a proven Swiftship design with modifications to meet their particular needs, Tidewater Marine has ordered a pair of 145 x 26 ft. crewboats from Swiftships, in Morgan City, La. With space for 150 passengers and accommodation for up to nine crew, the boats will also be capable of carrying 16,000 U.S. gallons of fuel, 19,500 gallons of fresh water, 375 gallons of lube oil
and 275 gallons of waste oil. An additional 6,600 gallons of ballast tankage is included. Deck cargo capacities will be approximately 150 tons.
Power for the boats will be provided by five 12-cylinder Cummins KTA38 M2 engines. Four of the engines, rated 1,350 hp at 1,950 rpm, will drive through Reintjes WAF 430/1SC 2.5:1 gears with propellers designed for maximum speed at designated deadweight. The two outboard engines will be set about one length aft of the two inboard engines with a similar configuration being reflected in the prop arrangement. Rudders will be installed on the two outboard engines only.
Following a tried-and-true Swiftship application, the fifth KTA38 M2 engine, delivering 1,200 hp at 1,800 rpm, will be mounted midship and aft of the main engine compartment and coupled through a Reintjes WAF 430/1SC 1.5:1 gear to a Hamilton 571 boost waterjet. In addition to allowing a greater pitch on the props, the single jet - without steering - can move the boat on its own in shallow water or heavy driftwood conditions. This will be an added bonus to the vessels' charterers in waters with prop punishing driftwood and shoals.
Top speed for the new boats is anticipated to be 28 knots light and 25 knots with 100 LT DWT. Delivery of the first of the two 6,600 hp crew boats is scheduled for August 1999 with the second to follow in October.