High-Speed State-of-the-Art SWATH / Catamaran “Susitna”

by Hans | September 18th, 2012

Marcon International, Inc. of Coupeville, Washington is pleased to announce that they have been selected by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in Alaska to market the SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) Expeditionary Craft ferry “Susitna” for sale.

The “Susitna” was developed by Guido Perla & Associates of Seattle, Washington from a concept created by Lockheed Martin. The vessel is designed to operate as a ferry in the difficult Alaskan waters of Cook Inlet while being assessed by the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) to determine potential effectiveness as a multi-purpose expeditionary/amphibious cargo and troop transport. M/V “Susitna” embodies five new technologies. Among them is the fact that it is the world’s first icebreaking SWATH with 2” thick ice knives capable of handling thin ice < 1’; and the world’s first ship able to make the transition from a high speed catamaran / SWATH hull to a shallow landing barge type – and back again.

The 63.96m (208.8’) LOA x 18.29m (60.0’) x 4.2m (14.1’) draft, steel-hull vessel was built by Alaska Ship & Drydock, Inc. in the City of Ketchikan, Alaska in 2010. The high speed craft is powered by four MTU 12V4000 4-stroke diesels developing a total of 9,464BHP at 2,000RPM, each in their own engine rooms, driving four Wartsila WLD-810 axial flow waterjets. With her advanced variable draft design “Susitna” can operate at speeds up to a maximum of 18kn in ice-free areas in the catamaran mode with a 16kn cruising speed at design draft. During ice navigation with a navigational draft of 4.8m (15.75’), her cruising speed is about 2-6kn depending on actual ice conditions. While performing shallow draft operations speed is 5kn at a draft of 1.4m (4.5’). Maneuverability is enhanced by the vessel’s two mid-body North American 1,600HP, 360 degree steerable thrusters. “Susitna’s” range is about 1,600nm at 10kn and 800nm at 16kn. Ship’s power is provided by two 350kW Marathon generators powered by MTU S60 diesels.

The 970 long ton displacement Expeditionary Craft (E-Craft) is capable of carrying 35 tons cargo consisting of 20 standard vehicles or one tractor-trailer rig on a 501m2 clear deck and up to 129 passengers, or military payloads up to one M1A1 tank without passengers. Accommodations are provided for a crew of 5.

Susitna’s” design concept is similar to the U.S. Navy’s current fleet of high speed catamaran vessels, except that “Susitna” has the ability to transform herself from deep water to shallow draft and back again. While underway, the vessel can operate in at high speed in catamaran mode or as a SWATH providing additional stability in high seas. The center aluminum, 160’ x 35’ vertical lift cargo deck can be hydraulically raised and lowered about 21’ so that she can also work as a shallow-draft landing craft capable of both maneuvering in shallow water and with the cargo deck lowered driving up on the beach to discharge over a 9.4m (30.75’) hydraulic, articulating bow ramp.

Designed as a commercial ferry in addition to being a test platform E-Craft, the “Susitna” was built to meet all U.S. Coast Guard and ABS standards including the notation ABS +A1, (E) HSC Ro-Ro Passenger Craft, SWATH, Alaska Cook Inlet, AMS, Ice Class, A-0, ACCU; SOLAS and MARPOL.

“Susitna” may be a good candidate to operate year-round providing ro-ro ferry services for high-value cargoes and/or passengers in remote areas; supporting oilfield, mining or windfarm projects; or simply accessing challenging shallow draft construction or other project sites worldwide.

Further details, photographs and drawings can be found on Marcon International, Inc.’s website at www.marcon.com.

Marcon has booked 25 sales and charters to date in 2012.  Eight additional sales and charters are pending and expected to close within the next 30 days.

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