, Inc. shipyard at Warren, RI has contracted with the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) of the United States Department of Homeland Security for a steel vehicle
and passenger ferry.
The 120 ft. OSV type vessel will be propelled by twin 1,300 hp Cummins engines at a speed above 16 knots. It will provide RoRo capacity to a vehicle load of 100 tons, and when partially loaded carry 150 passengers. It will be the second such steel vessel built for the center by Blount Boats. The first one was the Plum Isle, built in 1968.
“Though Plum Island Animal Disease Center’s mission has always been to develop preventatives and diagnostic tools to protect America’s livestock from foreign animal diseases, the facility’s mission has expanded to include Homeland Security programs such as a bioforensics laboratory,” explained Dr. Gerald Jennings, DVM, PhD, Deputy Director of Operations for PIADC. “This expansion requires the renovation of existing lab space, which, in addition to the day-to-day operational demands, requires the ability to move more equipment or freight to and from the island facility. This new vessel will help us meet those needs.”
Blount Boats saved the center one year of construction time on this project. Blount had a ready-made hull that possessed all the required dimensions and features to provide for their exact needs. It is scheduled to be delivered in late 2006.