18TH May 2015, Cowes – South Boats IOW Ltd., the Sister company to Alicat Workboats, is pleased to announce that Rhode Island Fast Ferry has placed an order for a South Boats 21m with US licensee, Blount Boats Inc.
Blount Boats was awarded a licence from South Boats IOW back in 2012 in preparation for the development and construction of offshore wind in the US. The order signifies a huge moment in both South Boats IOW and Blount Boats history as it will be the first US flagged Wind Farm Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) built to service an US Offshore Wind Farm.
Picture – South Boat IOW 21m CTV design will be the first ever vessel built for the US offshore wind sector
Blount Boats Inc. based in Warren, Rhode Island was formed in 1949 and has a distinguished history of building steel aluminium workboats ranging from crew transfer vessels to passenger vessels and cargo vessels.
Rhode Island Fast Ferry operating a ferry service from Quonset Point, Rhode Island was formed in 2003 establishing a fast ferry service to Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard. Using a South Boats IOW designed and Blount Boats built crew transfer vessel they entered into dialogue with Deepwater Wind following the full permit for the construction of its 30MW Block Island Wind Farm last year. Following a competitive tender process, Rhode Island Fast Ferry was awarded 20 year crew transfer contract.
Both Charles Donadio, President of Rhode Island Fast Ferry and Luther Blount, Project Engineer of Blount Boats spent a week in the UK earlier this year spending time at Cowes with the design team and local operator, Seacat Services. They also had the opportunity to view vessels in build and to take a trip out to Scroby Sands Offshore Wind Farm, the first in the UK aboard a similar crew transfer vessel.
The vessel is imminently about to start construction for delivery Spring 2016.
Ben Colman of South Boats IOW Ltd: “We have been working with Blount Boats for over 3yrs and it is fantastic that they have now been awarded a contract for the construction of their first South Boats IOW crew transfer vessel. Charles Donadio fully researched the CTV market and spent time with us here in the UK before signing the contract. This is a significant development for all parties and South Boats IOW are particularly pleased that the first CTV in America is to be a South Boats 21m.”
Marcia Blount, President of Blount Boats Inc., stated, “We are honoured to be chosen to build the first U.S.-flagged wind farm vessel in the United States. The vessel is designed specifically for turbine transfer service. We enthusiastically join an all Rhode Island team of windfarm, operator and boatbuilder.”
“We are very excited to be a part of this offshore wind farm project and to work with Deepwater Wind. Launching Atlantic Wind Transfers and building the first crew transfer vessel in the Unites States with local company Blount Boats is not only good for the State of Rhode Island, but it will also provide for future growth and enhance the capabilities of our company in the US offshore energy sector,” said Charles A. Donadio Jr., President of Rhode Island Fast Ferry.