Posted on August 1, 2022
Blount Boats Inc., Warren, R.I., delivered the steel-hulled 94’x27’x10′ buoy tender/ice breaker Eddie Somers in May to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The boat was designed by BMT Designers & Planners Inc., Arlington, Va., with a 4’6″ draft and a 157 LT displacement.
The boat will serve as the primary icebreaking asset for Crisfield Harbor and Smith Island, in addition to placing buoys and performing additional functions.
“As with the Tawes, the Somers will also be a lifeline to Smith Island when the waters surrounding it freeze over, with the boat clearing a path for supply and shuttle boats,” said Julie Blount, the shipyard’s executive vice president. “By cooperative agreement with Virginia through the U.S. Coast Guard, the Somers will also provide the service to Tangier Island in Virginia when requested. During heavy ice seasons, all food, fuel, medicine, and emergency transport going to and from the islands are supplied by the vessel.”
Main propulsion comes from twin Cummins QSK19, Tier 3 diesel engines, producing 750 hp at 1,800 rpm, supplied by Cummins Northeast. The mains hook up with Michigan Wheel 42″x27″, 5-bladed NIBRAL props through Twin Disc MGX-5202SC marine gears with 2.48:1 reduction ratios. The propellers come from New England Propeller, the gears from North Atlantic Power Products. The propulsion package gives the new boat a running speed of 10 knots (loaded) at 1,650 rpm and a top speed of 12 knots.
Ship’s service power is the responsibility of two Cummins Onan gensets, producing 55 kW of electrical power each. The steering system is a Jastrom B2-76-400-1-35 and the controls are Twin Disc EC300s (3 stations).
Tankage includes 1,987 gals. of fuel and 1,000 gals. fresh water.
The electronics suite was supplied by Cay Electronics, while on deck the boat is fitted with a MERCAL FL20T4 knuckle boom crane.
The Eddie Somers is built to ABS standards and is USCG certified, Subchapter T.
The Department of Natural Resources’ hydrographic operations team, based on the eastern shore, operates four large boats that perform various duties throughout Chesapeake Bay. The department’s boats are shallow draft, meaning they can get into rivers and shallow areas of the bay.