My Current Project

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As some of you know I usually design boats or more specifically ships. I use the rule that over 100 feet is a ship.

My current project is for the State of Washington. We are building two ferries with a contract price of $220 Million. My role in this officially is the quality control manager for the electrical installations. What I really do is a bit more than that in controlling the construction of this vessel. We are currently contracted to build two of these, but the state has indicated that they want us to bid on a third vessel and it is known that they need four. It takes about two years to build one, but in reality there is always two of them going in a year long overlap. In other words, one of them is a complete vessel that we are outfitting with equipment and wiring while the other one is in modules that are having all the hot work applied, in our case the hot work putting steel studs to attach our electrical equipment after painting.

The complexity of pretty much all the systems has reached a point that I have to act as a technical liaison between engineering and the electricians. The organization of the engineering materials has reached a high level of complexity as well. In my opinion our customer has grown accustomed to champagne taste in everything that the do, but I have to leave my political commentary out of this blog for fear that it will be used against me. I will say that everything on this boat is as expensive as it could possibly be and that creates problems for all involved. Everything has to be documented and tracked to death and the quality has to be insured for every element.

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  1. randude's Avatar
    As for complexity, the hull of the vessel is being built by the prime contractor and the super structure is being built by sub contractor on an island in the Puget Sound. Once both modules have been built to a certain degree the hull is moved to a dry dock and the super structure is brought down on a barge and loaded onto a dry dock. Dry docks are submersible devices and we can stagger their level of buoyancy to slide the super structure onto the hull. That I tell you is a very complex procedure with a high degree of risk. Once the two are joined it becomes a real ship and our men can start installing all of the systems the vessel will need to be a self contained unit. There are hundreds of systems for everything from generating power, propulsion to serving food. It is a lot of work. Every day we deal with everything from personnel problems, material acquisition to meeting all the requirements of the customer. I go home at night and fall into a vegetative state most nights. My girl friend doesn't understand because I work at a desk. We are hiring electricians if you know any. We pay a pretty high prevailing wage that I will not discuss in the open but will tell anyone that ask me in private. I believe we need another 20 people on top of the 35 we already have. I believe our customer needs some engineers too, but I can't speak for them.

    Here is the vessel right after they joined the super structure. It is on a dry dock in this photo. I will be glad to answer any questions that I am allowed for this project. These photos are from March. I will take some more pretty soon.

    The name of this vessel is Tokitae and the second vessel that is still just chunks of steel is going to be called the Sammish.

    Updated 05-02-2013 at 04:14 PM by randude
  2. Jonh's Avatar
    That's a big boat, there. How many cars/passengers?
  3. randude's Avatar
    It's funny, but I cannot see the comment that I posted with these last photos.

    The boat is about 365 feet long and can hold 144 cars. The project is called the 144 Car Ferry.

    Passengers? 1500 is the number but I wouldn't want to be on it if that many were on there.

    I will scan and post a document that shows the layout and the specs shortly.

    JW said he was interested in seeing some boat pictures so I posted this. I have been hesitant in the past to post too much information about myself on the web for reasons many of you know. I have a feeling that problem has been fixed and can loosen up a bit.
  4. Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
    Wow, I worked around one of them floating Dry Docks one time but was not nearly that BIG...
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