2009 Significant Boats

At the International WorkBoat Show held in New Orleans in December, the editors of WorkBoat magazine presented awards to the owners, designers and builders of 2009’s 10 Significant Boats. Below are descriptions, specifications and photos of each award winner.


In early June, the U.S. Coast Guard finally went to sea with the first of its new National Security Cutters, the Bertholf . The 418’7″×54’×38’10” Legend class vessel is the first of a planned eight-vessel NSC fleet and is the first major multimission Coast Guard cutter delivered to the agency in more than 20 years.

The cutter’s final acceptance by the Coast Guard was in May. Built by Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS), a joint venture of Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin , the Bertholf was delivered two years behind schedule. Its $641 million price tag was more than double the original estimate.

The first NSC gets its 28-knot running speed from a combination diesel and gas propulsion system featuring a 29,000-hp GE LM2500 gas turbine and twin MTU V20 1163 diesels, each rated at 9,724 hp for a grand total of 48,400 hp. Three 1,360-kw Caterpillar generators provide ship’s service power.

The Bertholf boasts a 60- to 90-day range, chem-bio-radiological environmental hazard detection and defense, and improved command control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment. The vessel is also equipped with air and surface radar and target classification sensors.


From the outside, Carolyn Dorothy , the world’s first hybrid-powered tug, looks almost exactly like Foss Maritime ‘s nine 78′ × 34’ Dolphin-class sister tugs with standard diesel propulsion, all of which were designed by Robert Allen Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia. It’s down in the engine room that the difference is visible.

But even here, to the casual observer, things really don’t look unusual. There are two diesel generators ( Cummins QSM11, 300 kw), and two large diesel engines (Cummins QSK50, Tier 2, 1,800 hp), all in normal locations. In between the mains is a metal cabinet that houses a DC bus and switchboard. Except for some differences in size (and brand), this is essentially the same equipment that you would find in any Dolphin-class tug. The Foss hybrid power package also includes 126 12-volt, lead-acid batteries, with all 18,000 lbs. of them racked in a compartment behind steel doors at the forward end of the engine room.

The propulsion system also includes a pair of large electric motor-generators connected to the aft ends of the main engines. Built by Siemens , the units were modified by Foss and Aspin Kemp & Associates , the Canadian engineering firm that developed the hybrid power management system, which automatically selects the appropriate combination of power sources for any particular situation. When all forces are energized, the tug produces over 5,000 hp and more than 60 tons of bollard pull in both directions, all of which is equivalent to the conventionally powered Dolphin-class tugs.


Designed by CT Marine , Edgecomb, Maine, and built at Gulf Island Marine Fabricators (GIMF), Houma, La., the 124′ × 34′ × 10’6″ Danny L. Whitford has been working the Ohio and Cumberland rivers for Hunter Marine Transport since it was delivered early last year. The towboat is the first vessel constructed at the new shipyard owned by Gulf Island Fabricators .

Corning Townsend of CT Marine, also designed the near sistership, the James H. Hunter , which was built in 2007. Townsend said the newer boat has more power because the Caterpillar engines in the Whitford comply with Tier 2 diesel engine regulations while the Cats in the Hunter boat meet Tier 1 requirements. Main propulsion comes from twin Caterpillar 3516 diesels, producing a total of 4,000 hp at 1,600 rpm. “Physically they’re the same engines as on the James H. Hunter ,” said Townsend. “The engines just turn more rpms and create more horsepower.”

The Cats connect to Rice 86″ × 102″ Heavy River 4-bladed, 8″-bore Aqualloy propellers in nozzles through Reintjes WAF 1173 marine gears with 6.696:1 reduction ratios. While the engines differ between the two Hunter pushboats, a plan was hatched that would allow spare wheels to fit either vessel. “We selected a gear ratio that a spare propeller could work on either boat,” said Townsend. “The wheels are interchangeable.” Other changes include additional fuel capacity, lower vertical pilothouse, and removal of the electronics suite from the pilothouse to the next level down.


The Gemini , a 118′ × 28’8″ aluminum passenger catamaran, is the first of four boats being built by the Seattle-area partnership of Nichols Brothers Boat Builders and Kvichak Marine Industries . The boat was designed by Incat Crowther in Australia and is owned by the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA).

With California’s notorious air pollution problems, WETA and the state demanded that the engine emissions be 85 percent better than the EPA’s 2007 Tier 2 standards. If they didn’t meet that mandate, WETA would refuse the boat. There were no graduated penalties for missing the target. It was 85 percent better or nothing. To meet the goal, which was actually exceeded, the engine emissions are treated with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system that injects urea into the exhaust gases before they pass through catalytic chambers in the exhaust trunk. Limiting wake wash was another environmental mandate, and, once again, the boat cleared the bar set by WETA.

The Gemini class is powered by a pair of MTU 16V2000M70 Tier 2 engines, each rated at 1,410 hp, that turn 5-bladed propellers. Cruising speed is 25 knots. The engine exhaust is treated by a compact SCR system. The Gemini and its first sister, the Pisces , are both Subchapter T boats limited to 149 passengers, even though there are 149 inside seats and 50 outside seats. A second pair of boats, the Scorpio and Taurus , will be slightly modified and classed as Subchapter K boats and, therefore, can use all 199 seats.

Grant Candies

Otto Candies LLC prides itself on the development of specialized vessels for offshore oil-and-gas clients.

Several years ago, the Des Allemands, La., company broke into the remotely operated vehicle market with the construction of the Chloe Candies . In late 2008, Candies added another ROV support vessel, the 293’×59’×24’4″ Grant Candies , which was designed and constructed as an inspection, maintenance and repair vessel.

Unable to build the boat at its own yard in Houma, La., Candies contracted with Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, Wash., for the construction of the Grant Candies and two more IMR vessels. The new boat features diesel-electric power provided by twin Caterpillar 3512C diesels (1,700 kw each) and two Cat 3516C diesels (2,250 kw each). The propulsion is channeled through two 2,250-kw Schottel SDC 2020 twin-propeller Combi Drives in the stern and two 1,000-kw Schottel STT 4CP tunnel thrusters in the bow. The rear deck has 8,826 sq. ft. of cargo space, and the boat has tankage for 194,000 gals. of fuel and 235,000 gals. of fresh water.

The Grant Candies also features a moon pool that measures 25’×20′ with the bottom door open. There’s also a 100-ton deck mast with active and passive heave compensation for servicing the moon pool with the 100-ton deep-sea winch, and a skidding system that features a sliding deck hatch capable of transporting 100-ton loads to the center of the moon pool.

A variety of amenities, including a gym and a cinema room with 55″ big-screen TV, make life more comfortable for the 76 crew and passengers aboard the Grant Candies . There is also a hospital, conference room and, in the pilothouse, a semi-private ship’s office. The second level of the bow features a heliport suitable for Bell 212, Sikorsky S76 and smaller helicopters.

Hornblower Hybrid

In 2005, San Francisco-based Hornblower Cruises & Events was awarded a 10-year contract by the National Park Service to provide transportation services for Alcatraz Island. The contract stipulated that Hornblower operate ferries that were built or refitted to a higher level of environmental standards.

Alcatraz Cruises , a Hornblower business unit, moved quickly to put its 700-passenger, diesel-electric-powered Alcatraz Clipper and Alcatraz Flyer on the new route. The company took the next step by acquiring an aluminum Gulf of Mexico commercial dive boat and converting it into a hybrid ferry. The Hornblower Hybrid is a 149-passenger, 64’×30′ catamaran that uses a combination of diesel-powered Tier II generators, electric motors, vertical-axis wind turbines, and photovoltaic solar panels to power it around the Bay.

The retrofit, repower and refurbishment took several months to complete at Bayside Boatworks in Sausalito, Calif. Hornblower’s in-house engineering department handled the design, planning and engineering. Almost 90 percent of the former dive boat was refitted. The boat’s final price tag was around $3 million.

The propulsion system is made up of twin Series 60 MTU Tier II diesels stoking two Marathon 320-kw generators that power two Yoskawa variable-frequency drives. The drives control the output of two 350-hp electric motors that turn a pair of 4-bladed, 33″ × 30″ wheels. In addition, there is a 380-volt DC battery bank that supports limited zero-emission operations, two 1.2-kw (2-kw maximum) normal output 10′-tall wind turbines, and a 1.2-kw solar array panel. The vessel has enough power to reach a service speed of 10 knots with a single engine.


Circle Line Sightseeing Yachts in New York likes a certain, traditional look.

“People look out their windows in Manhattan and identify that look with Circle Line,” said Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding ‘s Peter Duclos, whose yard built the Manhattan , a 600-passenger 165′ × 34′ × 8’ steel excursion boat designed by DeJong & Lebet of Jacksonville, Fla. The “look” calls for things such as a plumb stem, a sheer line with some curve to it and a pilothouse with a rounded front and visor. The other boats in the Circle Line fleet have the same look, being made up of converted Coast Guard cutters and landing craft built in the 1930s and 1940s, which is why the company wanted to stay with a traditional design while using modern touches like welded steel hulls instead of riveted steel, and engine controls in the pilothouse instead of communicating with the engine room by bells.

The Manhattan has very large viewing windows that come down to about the passengers’ knees. They not only provide plenty of visibility, but also are dual-pane and don’t fog up. The enclosed main and upper decks are built virtually without pillars so there’s a clear span right across. In the engine room, a pair of 2,200-hp Cummins KTA38-M1 diesels are hooked up to ZF W3350 marine gears with 4.5:1 ratios and turn two 60″, 5-bladed bronze Rolls-Royce wheels. That power package gives the Manhattan a top speed of 15 knots.

Nachik and Sesok

C rowley Maritime ‘s Alaska operations received two new, triple-screw, shallow-draft tugs this past summer, the Nachik and the Sesok .

Measuring 76′ × 32′ × 7′, the tugs were built by Diversified Marine Industries , Portland, Ore. Designed by Crowley, DMI and BMT Fleet Technology , Victoria, British Columbia, the new tugs are near sisters to the Avik , which was designed by Crowley and Peter S. Hatfield in Vancouver, B.C., and built at Dakota Creek Industries , Anacortes, Wash., in 2004. (Peter S. Hatfield Ltd. was purchased by BMT in 2004.)

Because the tugs are used for some ocean towing, as well as shallow river work, the design accommodates both missions by having some sheer and bow shape for ocean conditions, while also putting the propellers in tunnels and adding large push knees. For coastal towing, electric Markey tow winches were installed on the back decks. For pushing, pairs of electric Patterson barge winches are located on each side forward.

The aluminum house has three levels and includes accommodations for eight in four two-person staterooms. Three Caterpillar C18s, each rated at 454 hp, share engine room space with a pair of 99-kw Cat gensets. The triple engine configuration permits smaller propellers and helps reduce overall weight, all designed to reduce the draft, which can be as little as 3.5′ or less.

Ruth M. and Laurie Ann Reinauer

Delivered in April, the 118′ × 34′ × 18′ ATB tug Ruth M. Reinauer has been matched up with a 100,000-bbl. double-hulled fuel barge and is now operating out of New York.

From a distance, the tug doesn’t look a lot different than other ATB tugs, but up close and out of the water, it’s apparent that this is an unusual design. The hull doesn’t have any curved surfaces. “There is zero curved plating. It’s built completely out of faceted shapes – similar to a diamond. Everything is on an angle and flat,” said Bob Hill of Ocean Tug & Barge Engineering in Milford, Mass., the tug’s designer.

The Ruth M. Reinauer was built for Reinauer Transportation at Reinauer’s Senesco Marine facility in North Kingston, R.I. Senesco also built the barge. The tug’s 109,000 gals. of fuel is carried in double-skin fuel tanks, which are expensive and difficult to build, but which provide additional protection. The tanks also vent to overflow tanks, not into the atmosphere.

The Ruth M. Reinauer ‘s main power comes from a pair of 16-cylinder MTU 4000 series diesels, each putting out 2,150 hp. It has Lufkin gears and 104″ props in Nautican nozzles with triple rudders. On sea trials it made 13.6 knots.

Three Forty Three

On 9/11, 343 New York City firefighters, paramedics and EMTs lost their lives at the World Trade Center.

Eight years later in Panama City, Fla., these brave men and women were honored at the launching and christening of the Three Forty Three , the first of two 140′ × 36′ × 16′ fireboats being built for the Fire Department City of New York at Eastern Shipbuilding Group.

The new boats will be the largest and most powerful dedicated fireboats in the U.S. Main propulsion is supplied by four MTU 12V4000 engines that produce 2,000 hp each at 2,000 rpm. CENTA Corp. shafts connect the engines to Hundested CPG non-reversing marine gears that turn four Hundested 70″-dia. 4-bladed CP bronze propellers. The package gives the fireboat a top speed of 18 knots. A pair of Northern Lights 235-kw gensets provides ship’s service power.

The boat will be able to pump 50,000 gpm on four engines as a pumping station and 20,000 gpm on two engines as a firefighting vessel. FFS supplied the four 12,500-gpm fire pumps and all 11 monitors – one 17,000 gpm, six 6,000 gpm and four 2,000 gpm.

The Three Forty Three is also loaded with an assortment of goodies including a command center, FLIR night vision, a CBRN protection system, a triage treatment area, a decontamination shower corridor, and a 17′ fast rescue boat from SAFE Boats outfitted with a 90-hp Yamaha outboard.

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