Blount Marine Yard Completes High-Speed Commuter Vessel

Blount Marine Corporation has announced the completion of the Hitech Express, an extremely lightweight commuter boat built of aluminum, foam, fiberglass, and stainless steel. Making a speed of 31 mph, the vessel completed test runs in Narragansett Bay and is available for demonstration.

Certified by the U.S. Coast Guard for 149 passengers in seats, the foam core of this high-speed craft renders it virtually unsinkable. In addition, all components are extremely durable, and the hull needs a minimum of maintenance. Of significant operational importance, the craft produces a minimum wake at high speeds.

In January this year Blount Marine launched the Hitech Express upside down, proving its unsinkability.

Final outfitting had to wait until ordered boats were finished this summer. Blount was granted a U.S.

Patent after constructing a 40-foot preliminary model in 1982. It was satisfactorily tested for two years.

The boat was fast for its power, reasonable in cost, easily repaired and exceptionally durable.

Hitech Express (shown above) is a totally enclosed, windowed craft seating 149 passengers. It is 77 feet long, 20 feet wide, draws 3 feet, and weighs 22 tons—about half the weight of a steel or all fiberglass boat. It is lighter than an all-aluminum boat of equal strength. Power is supplied by two GM Detroit Diesel 12V71 turbocharged engines.

Other commuter boats require three such engines.

For docking, the Express noses bow first into a special floating dock, much as a railroad car is coupled.

This speeds docking and allows fast passenger loading and unloading off the bow. The craft can be delivered with its own docks.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 41,  Nov 1984

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