September 1, 2003

Blount Boats delivers whale watcher
The 442 passenger, fast catamaran Atlanticat, built for B.B.O., LLC, will be operating as Acadian Whale Adventures out of Bar Harbor, Maine and used for offshore whale watching during the summer months and commuter service in Key West, Florida during the winter.

The vessel was signed for construction by Blount Barker Shipbuilding at the Blount, Warren, R.I. facility under a yard lease, which accomplished initial work. Construction was taken over at the end of February by Blount interests and was completed by Blount Boats, Inc., a new company wholly owned by the Blount family. The new company is continuing with several new vessels presently under construction. Luther H. Blount is President, Bradford C. Bernardo is Executive Vice President of the operation, Marcia Blount is Controller and Julie Blount is Human Resources Manager.

The 7,200 HP aluminum catamaran is powered by four Cummins KTA-50 engines; ZF4600D gears with two Cummins ONAN 95 kW generators supplying the ships service power. The vessel is equipped with four Hamilton Jets HM651 Series and SeaState Ride Control enabling the vessel to sail heavy seas. Full load service maximum speed is 35 knots.

The vessel was designed by Crowther Multihulls of Australia and is the first large, high-speed catamaran built at the shipyard. The modern upgraded interior features aircraft-style seating and a fully functional kiosk with a "wedding cake" multiple-level bow designed especially for whale watching. The vessel is equipped with an 750,000 BTU state of the art HVAC system. There is a surround sound theater system for each deck with large plasma-screen TV monitors connected to 13 cameras throughout the vessel and a satellite TV dish to monitor machinery, passengers and whale watching activity.

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