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St. Johns Shipbuilding Lays the Keel for its First Jones Act CTV

AWT ctvs
Courtesy AWT

Published Sep 22, 2022 12:17 PM by The Maritime Executive

The offshore wind industry on the U.S. East Coast is beginning to take off, and when the first large-scale installations go into the water, operators will need a fleet of service vessels to get technicians to and from offshore turbines. This will mean new orders for Jones Act shipbuilders, who will build the small crew transfer vessels (CTVs) and larger service operation vessels (SOVs) for the domestic market. 

This new line of business is already boosting the orderbook at St. Johns Shipbuilding in Palatka, Florida, which has just laid the keel for the first in a series of new CTVs for industry pioneer Atlantic Wind Transfers (AWT). Rhode Island-based AWT operates two crew transfer vessels, one serving the Block Island Wind Farm and one carrying technicians to the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Farm. At present they are the only vessels of their kind in the United States, and they have logged more than 25,000 safe personnel transfers over the past seven years in operation. 

To serve additional windfarms coming soon in the development pipeline, AWT has ordered a series of six Chartwell 24 aluminum catamaran CTVs from St. Johns to carry personnel to and from wind turbines off the northeastern U.S. coast. The vessels were designed by UK-based Chartwell Marine, the leading CTV naval architecture firm on the international market. They will be fuel-efficient in operation and will comply with EPA Tier 4 emissions regulations. 

"Our goal is to build the most reliable, multi-purpose Jones-Act CTV fleet in the U.S., and provide our clients with cutting edge technology while lowering our carbon footprint and meeting all Jones Act and USCG Regulations. This investment will enable us to have crew transfer vessels available for charter to support the demand over the next several years," said Charles A. Donadio Jr. founder of AWT, at the time of the order.

AWT and St. Johns held a keel-laying ceremony for the first hull in the series on September 8, marking the start of a new partnership. 

“We are proud to be chosen as part of Atlantic Wind Transfers successful CTV operation. St. Johns Ship Building appreciates the trust and confidence that Charlie Donadio, President and Founder of AWT, and his team have placed in our hardworking and dedicated employees,” said Jeff Bukoski, President of St. Johns Ship Building. “We will also continue to make improvements to our facilities that allow us to construct greater numbers of similar, newbuild vessels.”