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First vessel of its kind about to leave Bay Shipbuilding

Sep. 25, 2013
 

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Facing the channel, Platform Supply Vessel (PSV) 771 is moored at its berth inside Bay Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, on Tuesday. In background is the nearly completed PSV 772. Completing its sea trials this summer, the 771 will be heading to the Gulf of Mexico next week for the Tidewater Marine Co. Door County Advocate photographer Tina M. Gohr followed the build on a monthly basis since January 2012 and concludes with this 19th installment on the Advocate's website at www.doorcountyadvocate.com. / Tina M. Gohr/Door County Advocate
Completing its sea trials this summer, the 771 will be heading to the Gulf of Mexico next week for the Tidewater Marine Co. Door County Advocate photographer Tina M. Gohr followed the build on a monthly basis since January 2012 and concludes with the 19th installment on the Advocate's website at www.doorcountyadvocate.com. The vessel is 303 feet long and seven stories high. / Photos by Tina M. Gohr/Door County Advocate

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Bay Shipbuilding Co. of Sturgeon Bay is set to deliver the first of two ships designed to bring supplies to oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

The platform supply vessel, Bay Ship’s Hull 771, has been undergoing sea trials before leaving for Tidewater Marine LLC, based in New Orleans. The ship is expected leave Sturgeon Bay by next week, according to Todd J. Thayse, vice president and general manager of Bay Shipbuilding. The exact time of departure has not been determined.

Since construction began in November 2011 with the laying of the keel, Door County Advocate photographer Tina Gohr has been photographing the vessel’s completion monthly.

Cutting of steel started Sept. 19, 2011, with the first 50 tons of fabricated steel used for the keel or center line for Hull 771. Another 1,000 tons of fabrication followed. Hundreds of Bay Shipbuilding workers helped complete the vessel.

“It’s a great boat,” Thayse said of the completed project, adding that Hull 772 will also soon be finished, and Tidewater is expected to take delivery of the second vessel built in Sturgeon Bay later this year.

Currently, Bay Shipbuilding has about 450 employees, with no layoffs expected, Thayse said.

“We’re gearing up for a busy fall of conversion work,” he said

Hulls 771 and 772 are 303-foot deepwater class vessels, with diesel-electric Z-drive propulsion, designed by MMC Ship Design of Poland. The PSVs are the first of their kind to be built at a Great Lakes shipyard. They will join the Tidewater Marine Services fleet of more than 650 vessels used in the petroleum industry worldwide for offshore oil rigs.

Bay Shipbuilding specializes in building commercial ships and in ship repair. Before the Tidewater contract, 2009 had seen the last of the major build programs that restarted in the mid 1990s, according to Thayse. Many of the lakers and barges that ply the Great Lakes were built at Bay Ship. In Door County, both the Eyrabaki and the Arni J. Richter were built in Sturgeon Bay for Washington Island Ferry Lines.

The Sturgeon Bay shipyard is a division of the Fincantieri Marine Group, which builds ships for commercial and government customers including the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. The group also has facilities in Marinette and Green Bay. It is a part of Fincantieri-Cantieri Navali Italiani SpA, an international company that employs more than 10,000 people worldwide including eight shipyards in Italy, building everything from mega-yachts, naval and commercial vessels to cruise ships.

Contact Ramelle Bintz at rbintz@doorcountyadvocate.com.

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