Nichols Brothers Delivers High-Speed Army Catamaran For Use In Marshall Islands

marshall army

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Inc., Whidbey Island, Wash., recently christened the second of two catamaran passenger ferries it has built for the U.S. Army for use in the Marshall Islands.

Built under a $1.8-million contract, the 72-foot FB-817 Jelang K will join the FB-816 Jera at the Army's missile range in the Marshall Islands. The 31-knot Jelang K will be barged to the Marshall Islands for use as a ferryboat for technical personnel working at the U.S.

Army Kwajalein Atoll test range. With a beam of 28 feet 6 inches and a draft of 5 feet 11 inches, the vessel will carry 1,100 gallons of fuel oil, 250 gallons of water, and 232 passengers at full load. She is powered by a pair of Detroit Diesel 16V92 TA 960-hp main engines supplied by Pacific Diesel Power of Portland, Ore. The engines are coupled to ZF model BW250 reduction gears with a ratio of 2.03:1, and 37- inch by 36.5-inch, five-bladed bronze propellers from Osborne Propellers. The two 50-kw Northern Lights auxiliary generators are driven by John Deere 4276 engines. Systems Engineering provided propulsion controls and Hough Marine, the steering system. The vessel's air conditioning was engineered by Celcius Marine, Inc., with duct work by Puget Sound Refrigeration.

The Jelang K is based on a design by International Catamaran Designs Pty. Ltd., of Australia. Nichols Brothers Boat Builders and Gladding- Hearn Shipbuilders, Somerset, Mass., are the only shipbuilders in the U.S. licensed to build this type of catamaran.

Electronics include a Data Marine LX201 fathometer, Standard Communications VHF radio, Furuno FCR 1411/6 radar, Furuno 8030D radar, and Data Marine LX50 speed log. The electronics package was provided by Northern Marine Electronics of Seattle. Current contracts at the Whidbey Island, Wash., yard include an order for a 35-knot advanced technology "wave piercer" catamaran from California Cruisin', as well as an order for six passenger catamarans to be delivered to Puerto Rico over the next two years.

For free literature detailing the boatbuilding services of Nichols Brothers,

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