Gulf Craft delivers 98′ whale watchers to Maine

Gulf Craft, Franklin, La., has delivered of a pair of 98’4″x28’x9’10” aluminum catamaran passenger vessels, Acadia Explorer and Schoodic Explorer, to Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co., Bar Harbor, Maine.

Designed by Incat Crowther with 4’3″ drafts, the 150-passenger, Subchapter T-certified vessels will be used for whale watching excursions, nature cruises and lighthouse tours in Acadia National Park and surrounding areas as well providing tender services to cruise ships which frequent Bar Harbor during the spring and summer.

The new whale watchers feature three boarding areas on each side of the vessel to facilitate efficient loading and unloading. A pair of stairs leading to the upper deck enhances passenger flow.

The ADA-compliant main deck cabin has seating for 114 passengers in a climate-controlled interior. In addition, the forward doors provide access to the exterior foredeck seating for 16 passengers.

Passenger comfort is addressed with ergonomic seating fitted with tables, a large kiosk serving various snacks and refreshments and five televisions. The aft end of the accommodations includes two heads, one of which is ADA compliant.

The upper deck provides an open view of the environment with seating for 65 total passengers, with 36 under cover. Entertainment is provided by a large screen centerline television.

The large pilothouse is equipped with wing stations and the latest electronics for safe navigation. The roof above the pilothouse is fitted with a station for a naturalist who is tasked with disseminating information to passengers about landmarks and wildlife which are within viewing distance.

Main propulsion is provided by two Caterpillar C32 ACERT rated at 1,300 hp at 2,100 rpm driving two HamiltonJet HM571 waterjets with a service speed of 25 knots. The new catamarans have a running speed of 25 knots and a top speed of 30 knots.

Ride control for passenger ride comfort is provided by a complement of Humphree interceptors. Ship’s service power is provided by a pair of Cat C4.4 generating sets.

Capacities include 2,500 gals. of fuel; 200 gals. fresh water, and a four-person crew.

About the author

Ken Hocke

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.

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