Delaware Bay Shipbuilding Co., Leesburg, N.J., has begun construction on vessel number one, a 45'x15'6" aluminum workboat/salvage vessel. Shipyard owners Mike Tilsner and Eric Berg have over 25 years combined experience building large aluminum vessels in New Jersey for a ferry boat manufacturer.   

The boat design was a collaboration between Mike LeMole of LeMole Naval Architecture, Vineland, N.J., and boat designer Steve Pollard of Specmar Inc., Scappoose, Ore.

Working with the client, LeMole provided the general arrangement, basic design specs, frame sizing, stability calculations, weight, and balance data. Specmar took LeMole’s information and 3D lofted the entire vessel. The digital files were then sent to Bayou Metal Supply, New Iberia, La., where every part was CNC routed, labeled, and cut to size in nests as large at 24'x8'.

The construction began this month, and the project is well underway. The entire vessel is constructed from 5086-H116 aluminum. The bottom plate is 5/16", frames are ¼" and longitudinal members are 3/8". The house material is all 3/16".

The vessel is being welded with Miller AlumaFeed 350 XR-Aluma-Pro push pull system for pulsed MIG welding. The “suitcase” design allows welders freedom of movement. The pulsed MIG system gives welds the look of TIG.

Main propulsion will come from twin Cummins QSM-11 V-drive diesel engines — 670 hp each — fitted with ZF marine gears.

Ship’s service power will be the responsibility of a Cummins Onan genset, sparking 17 kW of electrical power. In addition, the new boat will feature a full hydraulic system with Scuba Air compressor, Flagship Marine AC, AJR Marine windows, Garmin Electronics, and Llebroc seating.

“The engineering and thought behind the design is making the build very fast,” Tilsner said in a statement announcing the construction. “It is like assembling a huge model, where every part is labeled and cut to size. It’s a huge win for our client in labor savings and material utilization in a time where aluminum prices are skyrocketing”.

“The 3-D model is allowing us to pre-plan all the system layouts. The open mechanical spaces will make wiring and hydraulic installation a breeze,” Berg said. “The pre-engineered beds for the Cummins engines and Seakeeper will also save time and make for a best-in-class installation. This type of build corresponds to the core values of Delaware Bay Shipbuilding Co. with the customer experience and top-quality workmanship as a priority”

Naval architect LeMole collaborated with Specmar in the final lofting. “Working with Specmar allowed me to focus on the critical design elements and technical details," LeMole said. "By delegating the 3-D lofting and nesting to the Specmar team we are seeing an efficient and well engineered solution for our client.”