Blount Boats Inc., Warren, R.I., has signed a new sub-licensing agreement that will allow Marine Applied Physics Corp. to build South Boats-designed wind farm crew transfer vessels (CTVs) at its Baltimore facility.

MAPC will build the UK designs as U.S.-flag, Jones Act compliant boats for wind turbine arrays to be built on federal leases off Maryland. South Boats has designed and built about 30% of CTVs in use by the European wind power industry.

Blount built the first U.S.-flag CTV for Atlantic Wind Transfers, a subsidiary of Rhode Island Fast Ferry that services the Deepwater Wind Block Island Wind Farm project. The Atlantic Pioneer is a 70’6”x24’x4’ aluminum catamaran that was commissioned in April 2016 and carried workers during construction that summer and now during ongoing operations at the five-turbine, 30-megawatt array.

Blount made an early move to position itself as a supplier for U.S. offshore wind when it acquired the U.S. license from South Boats in 2011. The sub-licensing agreement with Blount gives MAPC the opportunity to expand beyond Maryland waters.

MAPC is a 32 year-old company that designs and builds vessels for commercial and military customers, both manned and unmanned vessels from 4.3 to 40 meters.

The company’s recent projects have included designing five Subchapter T passenger vessels for use on Chesapeake Bay, and the delivery of 24
 air-dropped rescue vessels for Air National Guard para-rescue jumpers. MAPC is currently designing a 40-meter unmanned vessel for emerging Navy requirements.

The company works in composites for its smaller craft and in aluminum and steel for its larger craft. Vessel construction work is performed in Baltimore while its composite work is led by personnel in its Brunswick, Maine facility.

MAPC’s Baltimore facility includes a 52,000-sq.-ft. deep-water fabrication facility containing two 180-foot bays that are serviced by 30-ton bridge cranes. The facility includes full-service machining, electronics, and welding shops.

Blount Boast president Marcia Blount said it's a good partnership for her 69-year-old family company.

“We are thrilled to have found a well-qualified partner to build South Boats designs as the offshore industry develops and demand for crew transfer vessels increases exponentially,” Blount said in announcing the agreement. “MAPC’s technical expertise, quality control, and location will assist in making South Boats the vessel of choice as we work together to ensure continued superb performance.”

MAPC president Mark Rice said, that by collaborating with Blount on the production of South Boat designs, "we are able to increase the collective production capacity, bring new technologies to the market, satisfy regional content needs, and rapidly introduce product to the rapidly growing market for Jones Act compliant crew transfer vessels.”

Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.