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THE MARINE LOG FEATURES CALENDAR FOR 2003



January 17, 2003

Griffon 2000TD

Kvichak to build hovercraft for Crowley
Griffon Hovercraft Limited of Southampton England has licensed Kvichak Marine Industries Inc. of Seattle, WA in the United States to manufacture its Griffon range of diesel-engine powered amphibious hovercraft.

Through its licensing agreement with Kvichak Marine and its exclusive sales agent in the United States, Griffon Hovercraft-USA, Stamford, CT, Griffon Hovercraft Limited now has access to U.S. markets with a domestic-build requirement. Kvichak Marine, for its part, will be able to offer the largest range of hovercraft available in the world to manufacture -- possibly in the world's largest market.

Griffon Hovercraft - USA ("GH-USA") operates from its offices in Stamford, Connecticut and is the sole representative for the sales and marketing of Griffon Hovercraft manufactured in the U.S.

The first order for a Kvichak-built Griffon hovercraft has already been confirmed and building has commenced.

Crowley Maritime Corporation's Crowley Marine Services Inc. unit has placed an order for a 20-seat Griffon 2000TD to be operated on the North Slope of Alaska for BP

The hovercraft will be used as a logistics vessel carrying personnel, goods and equipment to a man-made offshore production island in Prudhoe Bay.

The journey from the mainland base to the island is roughly six nautical miles and the sea is frozen for approximately eight months during the year.

Though an "ice road" is sometimes constructed during the worst freeze-overs, the ice is frequently of indeterminate thickness, creating dangerous conditions for travel.

The 2000TD will operate year-round, during the all-water summer months, the ice formation period, the thick-ice winter and the ice break-up in the spring.

Crowley and BP undertook an extensive evaluation of hovercrafts, including a hovercraft demonstration project on site in Alaska. Their team visited many hovercraft operations worldwide including the most northerly of the three Swedish Coast Guard's Griffon 2000TD operations (which has operated in similar arctic conditions for nearly 10 years).

Griffon Hovercraft 2000 TD Specifications:

  • Length -- 11.9 meters
  • Beam -- 4.76 meters
  • Hovering height -- 0.73 meters
  • Maximum payload -- 2,000 kg
  • Passengers -- 18 - 25
  • Crew -- 2
  • Engine -- Deutz BF8L513LC
  • Horsepower -- 355
  • Speed -- ~ 35 knots

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