Blount Boats adds to order book

Boats, Inc., Warren, R.I., has been adding to its order book. Recent contract include an award by the Maine Department of Transportation to build a 110-foot passenger ferry for the Casco Bay Island Transit District. The design specifications are similar to the Aucocisco III, which were developed by Seaworthy Systems. The proposed 399 passenger, Sub-Chapter K vessel will operate year round ferry service to islands in Casco Bay, Portland, Maine.

The vessel will be equipped with electronically controlled diesel engines that meet the latest EPA standards.

The vessel will be the ninth built by Blount for the Casco Bay Island Transit District.

Blount Boats, Inc. has also recently received a notice of award to design and construct four 75-foot passenger vessels for the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific. The vessels will be built to meet the USCG Subchapter T for operation between the Marshall Islands of Kwajalein, Rio-Namur and Ennubirr Island on a Protected Waters Route for the Kwajalein Range Service, LLC, a contractor to the U.S. Army.

The 150-passenger mono hull boat will be constructed of welded Corten steel with an aluminum superstructure. The ferries will be powered by twin Detroit Series 60 diesel engines, rated at 475 hp at 1,800 rpm, coupled to ZF 550 1.833:1 ratio gears. The fire and bilge pumps will be PTO driven off both mains, and the steering will be operated by a cable-type steering system. The main deck will be outfitted with the Blount "clam shell" style design for passenger seating.

Blount has designed a vessel that will operate efficiently and with minimum maintenance. For instance, the pto driven pumps and the manual cable steering eliminate the need for any generators.

Yard upgrades

Blount Boats has been making significant upgrades to its physical plant thanks mostly to a Marad small shipyard grant.

New capital equipment installed includes a hydraulic shear, a proform brake press, a hydraulic plate roller and a big swing lathe among other equipment. Blount was also able to bury its electrical power supply lines, which achieves significant gains in both safety and reliability.

According to Marcia Blount, President of Blount Boats, "The overall improvements to our infrastructure are significant and represent the biggest change in our capabilities ever achieved in the relatively short period of nine months. As a result of these changes, we will be more productive than ever and we will be able to make even further strides in our ability to set the highest possible standards in shipbuilding."