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U.S. Built CTV Delivered by St. Johns Ship Building for Vineyard Wind

wind CTV
WINDEA Courageous is the first of three aluminum CTVs being built by St. Johns for Vineyard Wind 1 (St. Johns Ship Building)

Published Jan 8, 2024 7:50 PM by The Maritime Executive


The first of three new crew transfer vessels being built to support the Vineyard Wind 1 wind farm off Massachusetts has been delivered as another example of the opportunities for U.S. shipbuilders coming for the developing offshore wind sector. Built by St. Johns Ship Building in Florida, the vessel is also part of the yard’s expansion into aluminum ship construction.

The 98-foot (30-meter) long CTV began construction in 2022 ordered by WINDEA CTV, a newly launched partnership of Hornblower Wind and MidOcean Wind to support the offshore wind sector. The three vessels which use an Incat Crowther design will be operating on a long-term charter for Vineyard Wind 1, the project being developed by Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners which recently delivered first power.

The vessels are built of aluminum. Each can transport a total of 30 people, including 24 technicians. The well-proven design of Incat has in addition been adapted to be future-ready. The vessels are labeled “hybrid-ready” meaning they have been designed for a possible future conversion to electric propulsion.

The first vessel, WINDEA Courageous has arrived at the new wind port facility in New Bedford, Massachusetts which will be used for the maintenance operations of Vineyard Wind 1. Construction is currently underway on the wind farm and is expected to be completed this year. The vessel is now available to support the construction project and will later be joined by two sister ships.

 

WINDEA Courageous was recently delivered to the operations base in New Bedford, Massachusetts (St. Johns)

 

The project also marks a key point for St. Johns which was acquired in 2022 in a deal with the Libra Group, a privately-owned business group owned by the Logothetis family. They formed Americraft Marine Group to support and strengthen the U.S. shipbuilding industry to meet the perceived need for Jones Act-compliant vessels. The company has invested in developing the construction capabilities at St. Johns including through multiple modifications of the facility and the acquisition of new production equipment.

“The WINDEA Courageous is a statement vessel for St Johns Ship Building and marks the first measurable accomplishment in what has been a two-year effort to convert the facility,” said Ed Sheets, executive vice president and director of business strategy for Americraft Marine Group, the parent company of St Johns Ship Building. He points out that the CTV marks the expansion of the yard from a history in building primarily steel vessels to constructing advanced design, high-speed, aluminum vessels.

In addition to the three vessels for WINDEA, St. Johns also is working on an order for CTVs for Atlantic Wind Transfer. Construction on the first two vessels in an order that could see a total of six vessels built began in September 2022. AWT ordered two Chartwell 24 aluminum catamaran CTVs from St. Johns with an option for four additional vessels. They will be used to carry personnel to and from wind turbines off the northeastern U.S. coast. The vessels were designed by UK-based Chartwell Marine and reported to be a fuel-efficient design that will comply with EPA Tier 4 emissions regulations.

St. John is located in Palatka, Florida near Jacksonville. It has a long history of building crew vessels, ferries, tugs, deck and tank barges, landing craft, and general cargo vessels.