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Closer to the wind

Ship & Boat International: eNews June 2018



Rhode-Island, US-based builder Blount Boats reports that it has signed a sub-licensing agreement with Maryland naval architect and builder Marine Applied Physical Corp (MAPC), in which the latter firm will be permitted to construct crew transfer vessels (CTVs) based on designs developed by South Boats, UK.


MAPC has more than 30 years of experience of producing passenger vessels sized up to 40m for both the commercial and military sectors, and of developing unmanned vessels and life-saving appliances. The company also offers electrical and engineering services to the marine and offshore sectors. The firm typically produces its smaller craft in composites at its facility in Brunswick, Maine, while larger vessels are fashioned in steel and aluminium at its Baltimore, Maryland site. However, while MAPC has mainly catered for a fairly localised market, this sub-licensing deal could enable the group to increase its national scope.


Speaking in late May, MAPC president Mark Rice claimed that the deal would help his company to “introduce product to the rapidly growing market for Jones Act-compliant CTVs”, as the nascent US offshore wind power market continues to gain developmental pace.


Blount Boats originally struck its production deal with South Boats in 2011, resulting in the construction of the South Boats-designed Atlantic Pioneer (see Significant Small Ships of 2016, pages 12-13) – hailed as the first ever US-flagged, purpose-built wind farm CTV (pictured, above right). This 21.4m x 7m aluminium catamaran was delivered to operator Atlantic Wind Transfers – a subsidiary of Rhode Island Fast Ferry that was established specifically to serve the 30MW, five-turbine Block Island wind farm. Situated off the coast of Rhode Island, this turbine array has been operational since December 2016, and is credited as the first offshore wind farm to have gone online within US waters.


The CTVs in this 21.4m South Boats class, which has been certified by class society DNV GL, can carry up to 49 passengers or 16 turbine technicians, as well as three members of crew and 12tonnes of equipment and parts.