All American Marine, Inc. (AAM), inked a deal for the construction of a new hybrid electric passenger vessel to be delivered to the Red and White Fleet of San Francisco, California. The contract for the new 600 passenger aluminum monohull was signed during the recent annual Maritrends Conference put on by the Passenger Vessel Association.
AAM’s latest contract follows an earlier announcement made by the company regarding a construction agreement for a 500 passenger aluminum monohull tour boat for Argosy Cruises of Seattle, WA. Both operators were originally pursuing construction contracts for steel monohulls, but AAM was successfully able to demonstrate considerable savings in construction and maintenance costs with an aluminum design, while ensuring delivery of a robust and solid hull structure. These contracts bode well for AAM, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary and is in the process of moving into a brand new purpose-built ship building facility at nearby Squalicum Harbor. Argosy will take delivery of their vessel in the late fall and the Red and White Fleet will receive their new craft in the late spring of 2018.
The new vessel for Red and Fleet, to be christened, Enhydra, will be the first aluminum hulled, Lithium-Ion battery-electric hybrid vessel built from the keel up under US Coast Guard subchapter-K passenger vessel regulations and the latest guidelines for structural fire protection. The vessel will be 128’ long with a moulded beam of 30’ and is specifically designed for harbor tours of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Guests on board Enhydra will be able to experience amazing views of the bay and cityscape from each of the three decks, complete with their own convenient snack bar. The second level offers a full wrap around viewing deck with access to the enlarged bow foredeck, which is sure to become a favorite photo spot. The top deck is completely open and offers plenty of outdoor seating for sun soaking or respite from the busyness of the city.
All American Marine partnered with BAE Systems to design and integrate the complete battery electric hybrid system. BAE Systems will supply their HybriDrive Propulsion System that includes a generator, control system, and AC electric traction motor. The generator will mount to a variable speed Cummins QSL9 410 mhp@2100 rpm diesel engine. The motor generator offers diesel-electric operation of the AC traction motor which is coupled directly to the propulsion shaft. With this configuration, torque is immediately available for the propeller and the speed can be precisely controlled without the need for a reduction gear.
The hybrid system will also utilize battery power from two 80 kWh Lithium-ion battery packs. The batteries will come from Corvus Energy and are supplied under their next generation Orca Energy line. The BAE HybridDrive system can automatically utilize full electric battery operation at slower speeds and when maneuvering in and out of the harbor. At higher speeds, the generator will automatically engage and augment the additional power demands of the traction motor. The battery system is sufficient to meet the entire demand of the vessel’s hotel load while at the same time providing silent and emission-free operation of the propulsion system during an evening sunset cruise. Red and White Fleet’s Vice President of Operations, Joe Burgard, expressed “We are very pleased with the team All American Marine has put together to deliver this unique vessel and are eager for our guests to experience San Francisco Bay from the silent decks of the Enhydra in 2018. We see the propulsion configuration on the Enhydra as phase one in our move toward the full electrification of our fleet. Stay tuned for phase two.”
All American Marine Inc., located on the shores of Bellingham Bay, was founded in 1987 and specializes in the construction of custom tailored aluminum boats. Today, the company has become a leading builder of high speed passenger catamarans, monohull tour boats, survey craft, and research vessels. All American Marine is the exclusive builder for Teknicraft Design Ltd. catamarans in North America.
Founded in 1892, the historic Red and White Fleet is legendary for its premier San Francisco Cruises. Family owned, the Red and White Fleet is committed to environmental sustainability and community education as one of the oldest businesses operating in the San Francisco Bay area.