All American Marine Inc., Bellingham, Wash., has delivered a new whale watching vessel to Puget Sound Express, Port Townsend, Wash.
The 73' Saratoga, a high-speed aluminum catamaran vessel, was designed by Nic De Waal of Teknicraft Design in Auckland, New Zealand. The Saratoga is the second vessel built at All American’s new facility on Bellingham Bay.
The Subchapter T-certified, high-speed catamaran has two asymmetrical semi-planing hulls, and an adjustable aluminum midship hydrofoil plus two aluminum aft foils, which allow the boat to reach top speeds of 40+ knots with low wake wash. Powered by four Scania D16 diesel engines, the design, coupled with finely-tuned, wave-piercing sickle bows, enables the boat to travel through both calm and rough water at full cruising speed while keeping underwater noise to a minimum. To help save weight, the boat was fitted with carbon fiber drive shafts.
“This is a very special event for Puget Sound Express,” co-owner Peter Hanke said in a statement announcing the delivery. “The Saratoga is the first boat that we have had the opportunity to build, and we designed it with customers, whales, and the environment in mind.”
The Saratoga was designed from top to bottom for low fuel consumption at high speeds, a critical factor to the success of the daily whale watch tours originating out of Edmonds, Wash. The vessel also utilizes HamiltonJet drive control systems with four HJ364 waterjets and MECS control systems, which are designed to increase maneuverability as well as fuel efficiency at higher speeds.
“During sea trials, we went out with a specifically fully laden vessel, and the difference in terms of fuel consumption between light-laden and fully laden was almost negligible,” said De Waal. “We’ve done many years of research to develop a vessel design that’s particularly low-wake, due in large part to our unique hydrofoil system that doesn’t displace as much water and create waves as is the case with traditional hull design.”
The interior of the vessel is finished with materials that include recyclable Ayres aluminum honeycomb wall panels and recyclable Dampa aluminum ceiling tiles with acoustic insulation. Other amenities include ADA-friendly accommodation spaces, comfortable Beurteaux seating, two restrooms, and a galley complete with a full-service bar for passengers. The Saratoga is also equipped with seven HDTVs and a premium sound system with speakers inside and out, to give passengers a fully immersive experience throughout the vessel's journey.
All American Marine was founded in 1987 and specializes in the construction of custom-tailored aluminum catamaran and monohulls and is the exclusive builder for Teknicraft Design Ltd. catamarans in North America.