Page 60: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 1983)
Artist's rendering of the 75-foot, 149-passenger commuter boat featuring a new hull construction process. The boat will be powered by twin GM 12V71 diesels.
Blount Establishes Subsidiary To
Build Super-Fast Commuter Boats
Hi Tech Boat, Inc., the new subsidiary of Blount Marine Cor- poration of Warren, R.I., recent- ly entered into a contract with
Fire Island Ferries of Bay Shore,
L.I., N.Y., to supply a super-fast commuter boat of revolutionary new construction.
The vessel, to be delivered in
July, will measure 75 feet by 21 feet. Its 75-foot hull is believed to be the lightest ever built for its strength, and it will draw less than a foot although propulsion and anti-sliding devices will bring the total draft to about 26 inches.
Of composite sandwich con- struction, the vessel will be built around a skeleton of aluminum, stainless-steel, and foam mate- rial, with a hull skin of fiber- glass. The vessel, in light ship condition powered by twin GM 12V71 diesels, will weigh a total of only 22-tons compared to a lightly built 75-foot steel com- muter weighing 46 tons.
The vessel will operate on a run between Bay Shore, L.I., and Fire
Island, where extreme shallow draft and speed is important.
Passenger capacity is 149, with aircraft-type seats for the entire passenger complement located in a modern passenger salon.
Speed of the new vessel is ex- pected to exceed 30 miles an hour with less power than required by steel 20-mph commuter boats of which Blount has built a total of five over the last seven years.
To fulfill the need for a super- fast, light-duty workboat, Blount
Marine has established a new di- vision, Hi Tech Boat, Inc., that will build and market the new specially built craft based on the
Blount patent. The project is the result of an invention developed and patented by Luther H. Blount in 1981.
In May 1982, the 40-foot ex- perimental Island Express was built using the new method cited in the patent. Mrs. Clairborne
Pell christened the craft at its launching. The vessel's original design met all U.S. Coast Guard requirements for high-speed craft. It is now eligible for a cer- tificate to carry 44 passengers.
Built under U.S. Coast Guard inspection, it has been tested for six months under extreme oper- ating conditions and found to ex- ceed all performance criteria.
Hi Tech Boat, Inc., will com- mence construction operations in the south hull shop complex at
Blount. Hi Tech will also license others interested in using the invention. $215.3-Million Increase
Awarded GE For Nuclear
General Electric Company,
Schenectady, N.Y., has been awarded a $215,323,000 increase to a previously awarded cost- plus-fixed-fee contract for naval nuclear propulsion components for Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.
The Naval Sea Systems Com- mand, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activitv (N00024-82-
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