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Keel laying for Jones Act compliant crew transfer vessel

Photo: St Johns Shipbuilding AMERICRAFT MARINE.[55].jpg
Florida-based St. Johns Ship Building hosted a keel laying ceremony for the first Incat Crowther 30 Crew Transport Vessel (CTV) built in compliance with Jones Act regulations in the United States.

St. Johns Ship Building was recently acquired by Americraft Marine Group, a maritime subsidiary of the US-headquartered privately-owned business group, the Libra Group which has 45 years of maritime heritage through its original subsidiary Lomar.

The event marked the first in a series of vessels under construction at St. Johns for Windea, a partnership of Hornblower Wind and MidOcean Wind,  that will go into service at the Vineyard Wind I construction project near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.  

“We could not be happier to have Hornblower and their partners return to St. Johns Ship Building to build the vessels that will help America move closer towards energy independence and a cleaner, healthier environment for generations to come,” said Ed Sheets, executive vice president and director of business strategy for Americraft Marine Group.

The construction of this series of Incat-designed vessels also signals the official launch of St. Johns Ship Building’s new focus on dedicated high-speed aluminum vessel production. The Incat 30 is a 30-metre crew transport vehicle with a max speed of 29 knots and made of marine-grade aluminium.

The groundwork for this focus on supporting the construction of Jones Act-compliant CTVs was laid more than two years ago through multiple facility modifications and the acquisition of new production equipment for processing of non-ferrous metals and composite materials.  

“Our efforts are reinforcing the industrial strength of US shipbuilding, and we remain prepared to construct and repair almost all of the various vessel types that will be required to support the future of this country’s offshore wind development needs,” added Ed Sheets, executive vice president and director of business strategy for Americraft Marine Group.