Wednesday, June 27, 2012

About my Boat

The boat I work on was built by C&G Boatworks in Bayou La Batre about 10 years ago. She differs from a lot of crewboats in that she has a high, fo’c’sle bow, much like a typical mini-supply boat.

She’s 145-ft long, and has a 29-ft. beam. We have a clear cargo deck 87 feet long and 25 feet wide. Maximum displacement is 380 long tons, and loaded-down she draws about eight-and-a-half feet. Gross registered displacement is 89 tons, though by international measurements she’s over 300.

We can pump water or fuel at about 200 gpm, and our two fire monitors put out 1000 gpm. We carry two 150-pound Danforth anchors.

Fully loaded, with as much as 300 tons of cargo, her five Caterpillar 3412s will drive her at about 14.5 knots. Light, she’ll do a little better than 18 knots, and I’ve hit 21 surfing.

So, we’re not quite as fast as a lot of traditional crewboats, but we probably can carry a bit more water and fuel. And we can’t carry quite as much as the utility boats, but we’re a lot faster.

The wheelhouse is more spacious than I’ve seen on other comparably-sized crewboats or utility boats. There are two helm stations, the forward, “point A to point B” station, and the aft station for close-quarters maneuvering, docking and cargo operations.

The wheelhouse also contains a two-seat dinette, a large chart table and nav station and two fairly comfortable helm chairs.

Down one deck from the wheelhouse is the lounge, on the main deck, where there is a head (bathroom, for you lubbers), storage, and airline-type seats for 64 passengers. Down another staircase is the accommodations deck, just above the waterline but deep in the aluminum hull, which makes it the most stable spot on the boat.

Accommodations include six, two-man staterooms (our entire crew is six, including the two not on rotation at any given time, so our stateroom assignments are permanent), another head with shower, a laundry room with full-size washer and dryer, a galley with residential-size refrigerator, stove and microwave, and a large dinette that can accommodate all of us at the same time.

Forward of the accommodations area is a watertight hatch that leads to the forepeak and bow thruster room. Ahead of that is a collision bulkhead and our chain locker.

Just aft of the galley is another watertight hatch that leads to the machinery room – freezer, work benches, tools and fuel tanks. Another watertight hatch leads to the engine room, and one behind that to the generator room, where ship’s service power is supplied by two John Deeres. The last compartment is the rudder room.

From the lounge on the main deck, a watertight door leads to the cargo deck. An overhang and crash rails protect the area immediately behind the lounge, and that’s where our walk-in cooler is, as well as a large storage locker.

A ladder on the port side leads to the fo’c’sle deck, where two watertight doors provide access to the wheelhouse. Another ladder leads to the top of the wheelhouse and gives us access to our EPIRB, navigation lights, radars and other antennas, and three spotlights.

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