Gladding-Hearn awarded Army fireboat contract

Gladding-Hearn awarded Army fireboat contract

Things have been busy at Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding , and a project getting a lot of attention is an all-aluminum, high-speed fireboat for the U.S. Army.

A joint-design between C. Raymond Hunt Associates , New Bedford, Mass., and Gladding-Hearn, the 75’8″ × 20’6″ × 4’2″ boat will be the largest-ever fireboat built at the Somerset, Mass., yard. When complete, the vessel will be on call for fire protection at the Army’s munitions terminal in Sunny Point, N.C. The fireboat will also be available for fire response in surrounding communities.

The hull configuration is based on “meeting the customer’s needs in terms of getting in and getting out of their dock, going to the area they expect to work and having enough volume of bottom to carry the weight of all the equipment,” said Gladding-Hearn’s Tim McAuliffe.

And there is plenty of weight in terms of firefighting equipment. A Caterpillar 503-hp diesel powers each of two firefighting pumps, which, together, will deliver up to 7,500 gpm of water to rotating monitors and eight deck hydrants.

On the foredeck will be a pair of manually controlled 1,250-gpm monitors, along with 200′ of fire hose stored on a reel. Aft, the fire crew will have two 2,500-gpm manually controlled monitors.

From the wheelhouse, firefighters will be able to remotely operate a 5,000-gpm monitor located on top of the house.

If it’s a petrochemical fire that the fireboat is dealing with, a 1,200-gpm-foam system can be directed to the monitors and hose outlets.

A Palfinger knuckle-boom crane will be installed just aft of the wheelhouse for moving heavy stuff around. For water rescues, the design has a rescue platform with recessed steps built into the transom.

To get to fires, the Army’s new fireboat will rely on a pair of 1,600-hp Caterpillar C-32 diesels matched up with Twin Disc MGX-6599SC marine gears that will turn HamiltonJet HM-651 waterjets. The engines and jets will be controlled from HamiltonJet’s Marine Electronic Control system when fighting a fire or running at a 25-knot top speed. One set of controls will be in the wheelhouse and another on the aft deck.

Delivery of the Army fireboat is scheduled for 2011.

Gladding-Hearn recently delivered a 52’6″ × 17′ × 4’8″ aluminum pilot boat to the Freeport Harbor Co. in the Bahamas.

The boat is one of the shipyard’s St. Johns-class pilot boats. It’s built on a deep-V design from C. Raymond Hunt. It can hit 27 knots behind the power of two 671-hp Caterpillar C-18 diesels turning ZF 5-bladed props through Twin Disc MGX5135A gearboxes.

On Aug. 3, the seventh 64′ × 21’4″ patrol boat in a 12-boat order for the U.S. Navy was loaded on a freighter in Florida. It will be shipped to the West Coast, said McAuliffe.




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