Sun Ship Lays Keel For The First Of Three Specialized Vessels For Waterman Steamship
The S/S John B. Waterman is the first of three combination rollon /roll-off (ro/ro) container vessels being constructed by Sun Ship, Inc., Chester, Pa., for Waterman Steamship Corp. of New York. Delivery of the Waterman is scheduled for April 1981. Its design is very close in basic concept to a new class of ships being actively considered for U.S. military service.
Currently, the Navy and Marine Corps are developing new deployment plans for rapidly increasing the nation's capability to transport fully equipped combat forces overseas, quickly. Under the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) concept, a fleet of specially designed roll-on /roll-off ships would be stocked with all of the heavy equipment, fuel, supplies and ammunition needed for one month's operations by a full Marine combat brigade. These ships would move to any trouble spot in the world at an instant's notice. Flexibility of the Waterman design provides f o r t r a n s p o r t i ng trailers, other wheeled vehicles and containers, as well as unitized and palletized cargoes. The ship is equipped with a full-slewing ramp on the stern and a side cargo port, plus a self-sustaining container crane, for ease of cargo loading and unloading. The Waterman is scheduled to service the North European trade route from Gulf and East Coast ports of the U.S.
The Waterman-class ship has an overall length of 692 feet, a beam of 105.5 feet, and a draft of 33 feet. The new vessels are powered by a steam turbine and can attain a speed of 22 knots at 30,000 maximum shaft horsepower. They have a cargo capacity of 762 forty-foot containers and will be operated by a crew of 35 o f f i - cers and seamen.
Sun Ship is one of the world's most experienced builders of ro/ ro ships, having delivered 10 of these vessels since 1968.