Seaworthy And Bethlehem Steel Offer An Innovative 1,500-TEU Class Convertible Container Carrier

Seaworthy Systems, Inc., of Essex, Connecticut, and Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Sparrows Point Yard have announced an innovative vessel design intended for Jones Act trade routes. The vessel's capacity is based on the carriage of 774 forty-foot equivalents using longitudinally movable cell guides. The flexibility to adjust to any mix of containers gives rise to the choice of the term "convertible" in naming the vessel class.

The design provides a continuous, unobstructed, weather-protected deck aft of the house with easy access to reefer receptacles at all levels. Elimination of the usual transverse bulkheads and hatches in combination with the use of longitudinal framing and repetitive structures provide economies in construction. Operational savings will be realized through the elimination of hatch covers and container lashing systems resulting in faster port turnaround times. The heavy-fuel-burning diesel- powered twin screws and bow thruster make it exceptionally well-suited to the frequent maneuvering required for the service intended.

Alternate cargo designs for this multi-purpose vessel include variations of RO/RO, RO/ LO, special products, heavy lift, and a variety of military configurations. The vessel's concept permits extremely low gross tonnage for its size.

Preliminary estimates place the vessel's price under $50 million.

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