Page 38: of Marine News Magazine (March 2013)

Shipyard Report: Construction & Repair

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In the heavy shadow of possible sequestration-induced federal budget cuts, some U.S. companies are busy supply- ing vessels to overseas customers under the Navy?s Foreign Military Sales program and through private contracts to for- eign government and  rms. Demand for offshore oil ves- sels is strong. A big chunk of overseas business now is under the U.S. FMS, transferring defense equipment, services and training to other nations. Countries approved for the FMS pay for vessels themselves and/or with U.S. government help. U.S. defense budget cuts will affect the FMS program ahead, however, boat builders said last month. Neverthe- less, the reality for U.S. boat builders ? especially in the mid-tier and smaller yards ? is that they are successfully competing for foreign business, especially in the less than 300-foot vessel arena. This month, we asked industry leaders what they plan to deliver this year, where, how and why. The answers may surprise you. BRUNSWICK SENDS BOSTON WHALERS TO MULTIPLE FOREIGN DESTINATIONS In Edgewater, Fla., Brunswick Commercial and Govern- ment Products sales director Jeremy Davis said, ?In 2013, we plan to deliver thirty Boston Whalers to Colombia, eight Impact Rigid In atable Boats to Mexico, four Boston Whal- ers to Singapore and seven Boston Whalers to various Cen- tral and South American countries.? (Boston Whalers are outboard-powered,  berglass boats.) ?Our vessels delivered overseas typically range from 25 feet to 37 feet in length and are primarily outboard powered, though we?ve installed in- board diesel engines with water jets in the RHIBs for regions requiring a shallower draft vessel,? he said. Davis also told MarineNews in February, ?We have a four-year, ongoing U.S. military contract for counter- narcotics vessels to multiple South American and Central American nations.? And, some of these contracts are for direct purchase by foreign countries. ?Our larger Boston Whaler models, as well as our mid- sized Impact RHIBs, serve as great patrol platforms,? Da- vis said. ?And we?re seeing an uptick in demand for sur- veillance vessels, counter-drug craft and high-speed patrol boats in international markets. Boston Whalers  t this ap- plication well since their foam- lled construction makes them unsinkable.?He said, ?Our rigid in atable boats, called Impacts, are speedy and maneuverable, and their collars reduce dam- age during boardings and inspections. We anticipate that our aluminum patrol boat line will do well because of cus- tomer demand for aluminum products.? The company has nine months of backlog, spread between its domestic and international contracts.As for competing with foreign shipyards, Davis said, ?In general, we  nd that this market is price-sensitive and many customers prefer to purchase locally or in-country. Some foreign governments require their procured items to consist of local content, whether it?s the whole boat or a percent of the components.? That said, Brunswick seems to be getting more than its share of foreign work. TAMPA YACHT : COMPETING AND WINNING CONTRACTS OVERSEAS ? OUTSIDE OF FMSAt Florida-based Tampa Yacht Manufacturing LLC, CEO Bob Stevens told MarineNews, ?We?ll deliver a se- ries of six 50-foot Fast Attack Craft over the next 18 to 24 months, as well as a series of 10 36-foot RHIBs over the next 12 months. We?ve just completed delivery of 17 35-foot SWAT Patrol Craft to the Indian Government.? Continuing he said, ?late next year, we expect to deliver the  rst of a series of 28 44-foot Fast Coastal Interceptors or FCIs over a two-year period.? Signi cantly, none of the company?s sales were negoti- ated through the FMS program. ?All of our contracts are direct purchase in international competition and lowest bid awards,? Stevens said. ?Our customers are foreign- government military agencies, and they make acquisition announcements themselves, though they actually seldom do so for security reasons. We don?t publicly announce spe- ci cs about our customers unless it?s been announced by the government agency.? Stevens reported a backlog that includes 50 FACs, 36 RHIBs and 44 FCIs, stretching out as much as 36 months. ?The dif culty in competing with our foreign competitors stems from government agencies or buyers not requiring a prototype or ?parent craft? as a technology demonstrator and allowing shipyards the opportunity to bid paper,? Ste- vens explained. ?Concept drawings of vessels not yet built can contain impossible speci cations and can greatly un- derbid pricing.? Tampa Yacht has a stable of demonstrator craft that prospective buyers can test under varying condi- tions. ?That quali es us as a competent builder, able to meet the delivery schedules and quoted pricing,? he said. SILVER SHIPS DELIVERS WORK AND PATROL VESSELSLast month Alabama-based Silver Ships, Inc. completed construction of six Riverside Patrol Boats (RPB), awarded through the U.S. Navy?s FMS for delivery to the Philippines, said Scott Clanton, special projects director. The RPB has a 40-foot length overall, center-console con guration, with a bow area capable of transporting troops and equipment and providing rapid egress through a bow door, he said. March 2013 38 MNMN March2013 Layout 32-49.indd 38MN March2013 Layout 32-49.indd 383/4/2013 3:17:25 PM3/4/2013 3:17:25 PM

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