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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Nichols Brothers News

Nichols Brothers to Build Washington Ferry Superstructure

Ice Floe, LLC dba Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) has been contracted by Vigor Industrial to construct the superstructure portion of the third Olympic Class 144-Car Washington State Ferry the M/V Chimacum. Nichols Brothers completed the superstructures for the first and second WSF 144-Car Ferry vessels delivered to Vigor for final assembly in March and December 2013. Nichols Brothers is responsible for construction of the grand block section of the vessel including the upper car decks, exhaust stacks and pilothouses. Additional work has been awarded to NBBB including all superstructure piping, windows, stairs, ladders, all exterior hand rails and completely painting the interior and exterior.

Nichols Brothers to Build Second WSF 144-Car Ferry

144-Car Washington State Ferry.

US Fab Contracts Nichols Brothers Boat Builders to build the second 144-Car Washington State Ferry Superstructure. At their Seattle facility, US Fab, a subsidiary company of Vigor Industrial will partner once again with Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Freeland, Washington to build the second 144-Car Washington State Ferry. The Vessel is the second to be built in the Olympic Class for Washington State Department of Transportation Ferries division. Construction of the first vessel is currently underway at both US Fab and Nichols Brothers facilities.

Nichols Brothers Closes

On Friday, November 2, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Freeland announced it was ceasing operations immediately, according to a report on www.whidbeynewstimes.com. The company was a long-term builder for the North American marine industry, well-known for its high speed passenger catamarans and small cruise ships, as well as military boats, tugboats, fishing boats and other work boats. According to a release issues by the company, there are several reasons for the closure. “Nichols Brothers has faced significant financial challenges in recent years and has sought additional capital to assist in restructuring the company. The company was started in 1964.

News: Nichols Brothers Launch Sternwheeler

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Whidbey Island and Seattle-based American West Steamboat Company, owned by Henry Hillman, Jr., CEO of Oregon Rail Corp., launched the newly constructed overnight sternwheeler cruise ship Empress of the North. The 360-ft. sternwheeler was transferred on a specially designed rail system into Holmes Harbor, where it launched. Designed by Seattle naval architects, Guido Perla & Associates, construction of the Empress of the North began at Nichols Brothers' shipyard in April, 2002. She is the largest ship built by Nichols Brothers, with over 350 employees on the job and approximately 300,000 man-hours involved in the project.

AMCV Awards Columbia Queen Contract

American Classic Voyages (AMCV), granted a $6.4 million contract for construction completion and outfitting on Columbia Queen to Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Whidbey Island, Wash. The 161-passenger U.S.-flag riverboat, which will be readied by Nichols for service on the Columbia River system, will be operated under The Delta Queen Steamboat brand. Offering Pacific Northwest cruises beginning in April 2000, Columbia Queen will travel the Columbia, Snake and Willamette rivers during its eight-night vacation package, which features an overnight stay in Portland, as well as a seven-night cruise with various excursions. Scott Young, AMCV executive vice president and president of The Delta Queen Steamboat Co.…

Nichols Brothers Resumes Work

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders returned to work after the company laid off 185 employees Nov. 2. Shortly thereafter, the company filed for bankruptcy protection, a move necessitated by a big lawsuit filed by a disgruntled customer. While the bankruptcy issues are far from settled, Nichols Brothers was allowed to negotiate with individual boat owners to see that their projects, shut down on Nov. 2, could be completed. Those boat owners are now paying the workers’ salaries, as Nichols Brothers as a company is broke and is up for sale. The rehiring process will continue as more existing contracts are placed online though negotiations with individual companies.

Nichols Taps Higgins as COO

Gavin Higgins, Chief Operating Officer at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders.

Gavin Higgins has joined Nichols Brothers Boat Builders as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Gavin Higgins has been appointed the Chief Operating Officer at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders. Gavin’s duties will include oversight of Engineering, Production, Project Management, Purchasing and Facilities. He will be working with the current team for the successful delivery of two tugs and superstructure for the new Washington State Ferries currently under construction at the Freeland facility.

Nichols Brothers Launch Sternwheeler Cruise Ship

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Whidbey Island and Seattle-based American West Steamboat Company, owned by Henry Hillman, Jr., CEO of Oregon Rail Corp., have launched the newly constructed overnight sternwheeler cruise ship Empress of the North. Beginning at 5:00am on Monday, June 16, 2003, the 360-foot sternwheeler was transferred on a specially designed rail system into Holmes Harbor, where it launched at high tide at approximately 8:45pm. With the launch open to the public, an estimated 5,000 people showed up for the event. Designed by Seattle naval architects, Guido Perla & Associates, construction of the Empress of the North began at Nichols Brothers’ shipyard in April, 2002.

Nichols Brothers Catamaran Delivered

Another Nichols Brothers catamaran joined the commuter fleet on San Francisco Bay in November. Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Inc., of Whidbey Island, Wash., delivered a Cummins-powered, 112-ft. vessel for service between Alameda, Oakland, and San Francisco. The 315-passenger catamaran, M/V Peralta, will be operated by the Alameda/Oakland Ferry Service, with the Blue and Gold Fleet providing maintenance and engineering services. As with the 27 other catamarans built by Nichols Brothers, the vessel was designed by International Catamaran Designs of Sydney, Australia. Commuter route for the Peralta includes the ports of Alameda and Oakland and the ferry landing on the Embarcadero in San Francisco.

Phillips Orders Catamaran for Glacier Tour

Phillips Cruises & Tours will put a new 131.2 ft., 400 passenger, 35 knot catamaran excursion vessel into service on Prince William Sound in June. The vessel is being built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Inc., for use on Phillips Cruises' "26 Glacier Cruise." It will be the 25th high-speed passenger catamaran to be built by the Whidbey Island, Wash. boatbuilder. The cruise visits 26 glaciers in Prince William Sound on a daily schedule. Phillips took delivery of the first of the passenger catamarans Nichols Brothers built in 1984. Nichols Brothers builds the high-speed catamarans under license from Australia's International Catamarans, Ltd., original designer of the catamaran style excursion and commuter ferries.

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders Launch M/V Robert Franco

M/V Robert Franco

On March 14, 2013 Nichols Brothers Boat Builders launched the M/V Robert Franco  the first of two tractor tugs Nichols has contracted with Harley Marine Services. Nichols began construction of the 100’ x 40’ Z-drive ship assist tractor tug in May of 2012. On March 14th 2013 Nichols launched the vessel into Holmes Harbor of Whidbey Island from their Freeland Shipyard. The vessel was then towed to Nichols Langley site for final vessel outfitting, dock and sea trials. The M/V Robert Franco will be delivered to Harley Marine Services in mid April 2013.

Nichols Brothers Introduces Its Biggest Passenger Catamaran Ever

Nichols Brothers, based in Whidbey Island, Wash., recently delivered a 144 ft., 450-capacity passenger catamaran for Catalina Cruises, dubbed Catalina Jet. The vessel, which is the largest passenger catamaran to be constructed by Nichols, will run between Long Beach and Catalina Island at a speed of 36 knots.Employing four Caterpillar electronically controlled 1,950-hp diesel engines, to power Ulstein Bird Johnson waterjets, Catalina Jet is constructed with an active ride control system for comfortable sailing along the Catalina Channel. The system, supplied by Maritime Dynamics is comprised of trim tabs and T-foils beneath the twin…

Nichols Brothers to Build Vessel for American Samoa

Image: Nichols Brothers Boat Builders

Ice Floe, LLC dba Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) has been contracted by the Government of American Samoa to build a multipurpose vessel to operate in the warm waters of the South Pacific primarily between Pago Pago and the Manu’a Islands, however the vessel will also be certified to travel to Tonga, Fiji and U.S. territory Islands to support the economic development of American Samoa. NBBB has contracted Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) to provide the functional design and production engineering for the project.

Nichols Brothers to Build Arctic Landing Craft

Photo: Nichols Brothers Boat Builders

Bowhead Transport, LLC has recently awarded Nichols Brothers Boat Builders a contract to construct a new 150 by 50’ Landing Craft. The landing craft will operate in Arctic coastal villages of the North Slope Borough of Alaska and between the Pacific and Arctic oceans. The vessel designed by Columbia Sentinel Engineering, Inc. will consist of a steel hull, including the main deck; with an aluminum deck house and pilot house. The vessel will be powered by three diesel engines; Caterpillar C-18 DITA Commercial EPA Tier 3…

SD Builds Tractor Tug Replica Model

San Marcos, California-based SD Model Makers delivered three replica models of a 100-foot tractor tug to Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Freeland, Wash. The 24-inch scale model ship replicated the Nichols Brothers lasts build -- the second of two new 100' x 40' Z-drive ship assist tractor tugs. The tugs are the most technically and environmentally advanced equipment available. "SD Model Makers has provided Nichols with a fine-crafted model of our tractor tug. The attention to detail has captured the vessels complexity and characteristics.

Vallejo Baylink Rebuilds and Renames Cat Ferry

Vallejo Baylink, the San Francisco Bay community’s municipal commuter operation that was initiated five years ago, is now carrying some 800, passengers a year. With thousands of miles on the operation’s first catamaran ferry, originally known as the “Jet Cat Express,” an InCat vessel built by Gladding Hearn Shipbuilding, Vallejo Baylink management decided to send the well-used boat to Nichols Brothers Boat Builders’ Washington yard for a complete rebuild. In December, after nine months in Nichols Brothers’ Whidbey Island yard, the thoroughly renovated and enlarged vessel headed back home with a new name: M/V Vallejo. Marty Robbins, general manager of Vallejo Baylink…

Empress of the North Scheduled for Completion in May 2003

American West Steamboat Company has begun construction of a second sternwheeler cruise ship, the Empress of the North, scheduled for completion in May 2003. The Empress of the North is being built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland, Wash., where her sister ship, the sternwheeler Queen of the West, was completed in 1995. Designed in Seattle by naval architects, Guido Perla & Associates, the Empress of the North will be 360 ft. long and accommodate 236 passengers and 84 crew. The ship will feature 112 all-outside suites and staterooms, of which 105 will have private verandahs. The Empress of the North will operate 11-night cruises between Seattle and Juneau, along the famed Inside Passage of Canada and Alaska beginning June to mid-September, 2003.

Baydelta Picks Up Option for Second Nichols Brothers-Built Tug

Baydelta Maritime of San Francisco has exercised its option for a second 100-ft., 6800-hp harbor tug from Nichols Brothers Boat Builders. Meanwhile, an order for a similar tug has been received from Minette Bay Shipdocking, Ltd., of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, the company said. The first tug is expected to be delivered in June, with the second Bay- delta tug due in October. Delivery date for the Minette Bay tug is forecasted for December. According to a Baydelta spokesman, the company’s two tugs will be named the Delta Billie and the Delta Cathryn. The tugs were designed by Jensen Marine Consultants, Inc., of Seattle with ship handling as their primary purpose, although they will also be fitted for long-haul towing.

Nichols Brothers Delivers 39-Knot Cat

The transit between Long Beach and Catalina Island will be reduced to "well under" one hour when the "Jet Cat Express" joins the Catalina Express fleet. "This will take place before Memorial Day," according to Greg Bombard, president of the California company. The 381-passenger, 145-foot, 39-knot catamaran ferry was delivered to Catalina Express in ceremonies on Whidbey Island, Washington, on April 28. The vessel, designed by International Catamarans Designs, Ltd., (Incat) Australia, was the 26th passenger catamaran built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Inc., for U.S. service since the program began in 1983. Meanwhile, Nichols Brothers is building two other Incat catamarans for the San Francisco bay area.

Todd Pacific, Martinac and Nicols Brothers to Submit Joint Proposal to WSF

Todd Shipyards Corporation announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Todd Pacific Shipyards Corporation has reached an agreement with J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp. and Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Inc., to submit a Joint Single Proposal to build ferries for the Washington State Ferry System (WSF). A bill (SHB 2378) approved by the Washington State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Chris Gregoire earlier this year created a 30-day period during which "pre-qualified" and "best-qualified" shipyards -- Todd, Martinac and Nichols -- could seek to come to agreement on a Joint Single Proposal for the construction of four New 144-Auto Ferries for WSF. The discussions, which were moderated by the Governor's Office, concluded with an agreement to submit a proposal.

Golden Gate’s High-Speed Ferry at Bay Ship & Yacht

Photo Courtesy, Bay Ship & Yacht

The Golden Gate Ferry’s high-speed, 450-passenger ferry, the Motor Vessel (MV) Mendocino, is in dry-dock at Bay Ship & Yacht’s Alameda shipyard for its periodic U.S. Coast Guard inspection.  While in dry-dock, the vessel will also undergo minor repairs.  The aluminum catamaran ferry was designed by International Catamaran in Australia and built by Nichols Brothers in Washington in 2001.  It is Golden Gate Ferry’s second high-speed catamaran operating on San Francisco Bay, and capable of speeds up to 36 knots provided by four water-jets.  

Fireboat Delivered to Port of Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Fire Department has accepted its new fireboat which is en route from Freeland, Wash. to its homeport. The fireboat left March 21, and is expected to take 5 to 6 days. This voyage is the culmination of an eight year long process to create a new generation of marine fire-fighting capability in Los Angeles. Built over an eighteen month period (started on September 11, 2001) by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Freeland, the new fireboat was designed by Robert Allan Ltd. of Vancouver, BC.

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders Looks at Expanding

According to a report from the South Whidbey Record, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders is looking at expanding its operations into Oak Harbor, Wash. in order to have a larger role in building ferries for Washington state.   Source: South Whidbey Record

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