Unique Mini-Liner Nearing Completion At Bender Shipbuilding Yard In Mobile

Richard M. Scudder, president of Hyannis Harbor Tours, Inc., has announced that Coastwise Cruise Line, a new service of his corporation, is building a new mini-cruise liner, 150-passenger the Pilgrim Belle, at Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc.

in Mobile Ala. Bender specializes in construction and repair of fishing vessels, supply boats, large tugs, and a wide variety of oceangoing and inland work vessels.

Lofting and engineering for the mini-liner started in late summer of 1983; delivery of the new vessel is scheduled for the fall of this year.

John W. Gilbert of Boston is the naval architect for the new cruise vessel. He is recognized internationally as one of the leading designers of commercial vessels in this size range. The Pilgrim Belle has an overall length of 192 feet, beam of 40 feet, and draft of IV2 feet. She is twin-diesel powered with 1,055-bhp Caterpillar engines, and has a 300-hp bow thruster.

The vessel is thoroughly modern in her machinery and electronics inventory. Electrical power is supplied by two 390-kw Caterpillar diesel generators.

The 49 outside cabins all have private bathroom facilities and individually controlled heating and air conditioning. An elevator serves three decks for passenger convenience.

Her appearance is in the manner of a 1925 coastal steamer, with a decor and ambiance that Coastwise Cruise Line has dubbed the Steamer Class™.

The design of the vessel's interior has been assigned to Interior Design International of Seattle and Copenhagen. The trio of Richard D. Roselle, Shirley La- Follette, and Doreen Hamann come from a select association of designers in the field of marine, aircraft, and commercial interiors.

They have the responsibility for the decor and appointments for the multimillion-dollar flagship of Coastwise Cruise Line.

The vessel's hull was built upside down from the stern forward.

During January this year, steel was plated over the framework and the hull was rolled over into an upright position in March.

Hy-Line general manager Robert C. Nelson will captain the Pilgrim Belle during shakedown and repositioning from Mobile to Hyannis in preparation for her maiden voyage. The vessel is designed to be highly maneuverable, with a speed greater than other coastal cruise ships.

The Steamer Class coastal cruise vessel is the first of its type to be constructed by Bender Shipbuilding, and is to be a showpiece for the quality product of this Gulf Coast yard of 60 years' experience.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 7,  Jul 1984

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.