Volvo Penta said the Fort Ripley, a new offshore emergency response boat that is entering service in Charleston, S.C., is the first commercial vessel in North America to be powered by triple Volvo Penta IPS drives.
The Coast Guard-certificated 64-foot aluminum boat, owned by Southeast Ocean Response Services, was commissioned Tuesday in a ceremony in Charleston. It was built by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding and Duclos Corp. and designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates.
“We chose the Volvo Penta triple IPS system because it has the power we need to get offshore to the scene of an incident rapidly while also having the versatility to provide dedicated power to the fire pump, as needed,” Southeast Ocean Response Services president John Cameron said in a statement.
“Fort Ripley is a truly revolutionary boat,” Volvo Penta of the Americas president Ron Huibers said. “The combination of the Hunt-designed hull and our IPS drives with DPS sets a new standard in terms of speed, maneuverability, fuel economy and seaworthiness to meet multiple mission requirements. This vessel represents the future of the next generation of multipurpose response boats.”
The boat’s primary mission is to allow ships to meet federal requirements for rapid offshore firefighting, salvage and emergency response, providing coverage between Morehead City, N.C., and St. Augustine, Fla. It also will serve as a fireboat in Charleston Harbor, a supply boat for ships at anchor and an additional launch for the Charleston Pilots and other marine operators in the region.
The new boat is equipped with three IPS drives, each powered by a commercially rated Volvo Penta D13-700 diesel engine. Each of the independently steerable IPS drives has dual counter-rotating, forward-facing propellers to maximize efficiency and increase maneuverability.