Master Boat finishes new-build dive boat

In late May, Bayou La Batre, Ala.-based Master Boat Builders handed over a completed 128’×32’×11’ dive boat to Oceaneering International Inc., Houston, less than five months after construction began.

Last year, Master Boat converted a 145’ OSV into the Ocean Quest for Oceaneering International. Part of the conversion included extensions of the boat’s foc’sle and the aft section of the pilothouse.

The new steel-hulled Ocean Inspector was designed and constructed by Master Boat to support inspection, maintenance and repair, and subsea construction projects in the Gulf of Mexico. The vessel will take the place of the 30-year-old dive boat Ocean Inspector I

“This is a very well-designed vessel built on a very tight schedule,” said Warren Klinger, Oceaneering International’s manager, dive/marine, Americas region. “The Inspector already has a respectable backlog of work.”

All dive gear is inside the vessel, including the dive monitoring systems, leaving the 58’×26’ (150 LT) rear cargo deck clear, which promotes safety for work crews and client access.

Tankage includes 25,000 gals. of fuel, 8,000 gals. fresh water, and 800 gals. lube oil.

Dive equipment includes two decompression chambers, a Gardner Denver 99EHB tool compressor, three low-pressure dive compressors, and a high-pressure compressor for filling bottles.

On deck is a five-ton EBI C10-30 crane.

There are accommodations for four crew and 20 divers and support personnel.

Main propulsion is provided by two Caterpillar 3508B diesels, producing 859 hp at 1,200 rpm each. The Cats are connected to Rolls-Royce Hung Chin 62”×58” bronze wheels through Twin Disc MG-6690 marine gears with 3.21:1 reduction ratios. This combination gives the boat a running speed of 12 knots.

The Ocean Inspector was also fitted with a Marprop 250-hp MT-80-250 bowthruster powered by a Cat 3406 diesel.

Two Caterpillar 3056 gensets, producing 99kw each, handle ship’s service power. There is also a Cat 3406 dive generator that creates 260kw of electricity.

Gulf Coast Air & Hydraulics supplied the steering system, ZF Mathers engine controls, the dive compressors, and all of the dive station tubing. 

The boat is USCG certified, Subchapters L&I Dive Support and ABS classed Full Ocean Loadline. 

— Ken Hocke


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