Preliminary Owner's Requirements (Under Development)


General Statement of Need

Isle Royale is an island destination in northern Lake Superior. There are significant outposts for hotel, cabins, restaurants/pub, marina, offices, ranger stations, and entire communities of support personnel. Given its relative isolation, Isle Royale is not self-sustaining. In fact, it is extremely dependent upon the Ranger III as its primary lifeline.

To handle its multiple missions, the Ranger III is utilitarian by design. It carries up to 128 passengers. It has multiple hold spaces and ample deck space to haul its cargo. It has additional tanks to carry the fuel necessary to keep the island’s generators and support boats running. Because she is a multi-mission vessel, the Ranger III falls short in being a good passenger vessel, cargo vessel or tank vessel. Concessions in every endeavor have been made in order to be utilitarian.

When considering the design for its replacement, it should be noted that the Ranger III’s current capacities have been sufficient in carrying out her mission, but perhaps there are ways in which to increase her capabilities within the desired vessel dimensions. Also, regulations have changed since her construction, and the new vessel must be compliant with current OPA regulations for a small tank vessel.

The National Park Service continually dedicates itself to pursuing greener alternatives. Consideration should be given to fuel economy and any new or emerging technologies that limits or even eliminates the vessel’s overall waste stream.

The new vessel may have to work around the island while ice from the previous winter persists. The affect upon the vessel’s operation is minimal, so it does not require the type of construction required for Ice Classification. However, it should be able to cope with the limited ice it may encounter. A bow designed for ice breaking/crushing would go a long way in improving the new vessel’s capabilities.

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Primary Mission

  • Transport logistics and passengers to and from Houghton, MI to Isle Royale National Park, a distance of approximately 70 miles across Lake Superior.
    • Hull: Steel
    • Superstructure: Steel
  • The vessel must be able to moor at the quay walls in Houghton and in Rock Harbor, Mott and Windigo. These are shallow water ports with tight turning areas. The vessel must be shallow draft and maneuverable. At the same time it must have sufficient draft to cross Lake Superior in good to moderate weather.
    • Length (LOA) Maximum 175’
    • Beam (B) Maximum 36’
    • Draft No greater than 11’ Mean (12’) max
    • Speed 10- to 13kts
  • Fuel
    • ~15,000 gallons of diesel II (10,000 gallons for cargo and 5,000 gallons for bunkers Double Hulled, OPA-90 compliant)
  • Cargo
    • Cargo~100 LT bulk – hydraulic or electric (faster) access hatches
    • Deck Crane (6 ton Capacity/35’-40’ telescoping reach
    • Ability to load using standard size airline carts through the port or starboard side. RO/RO Brand new standard-sized airline carts plus reefer and freezer carts. Circuits available in cargo hold to plug in. Powered fresh air ventilation in cargo holds for Ro/Ro tractor.
    • Built-in refrigerator (600 cu ft capacity) and freezer (250 cubic ft capacity). As an alternative, portable freezer/reefer cart that meet the storage requirement, or freezer/reefer shipping containers. Consideration must be given storage requirements, and that it cannot encroach upon the allotted deck space required for cargo transport. Electrical tie-in shall also have to be considered.
    • Small HAZMAT storage-Small Propane, gasoline tanks, etc.
    • Large HAZMAT- Deck cargo storage to include the bulk shipment of propane tanks and shipping cages. Specific details are available upon request
    • Four-gas continuous monitoring in all enclosed cargo holds, quarters (CO, flammable, etc.).
  • Passengers – Park employees and park visitors are transported back and forth from the park to Houghton.
    • Handicap access
    • Between 80 and 149 – Subchapter K
    • Use available market, business class airline or bus seats.
    • Men’s, women’s, and handicapped heads with, spring- loaded-off low water use fixtures. Heads need fast-pressure flush – no tank-type toilets
  • Quarters
    • Crew
    • Captain’s quarters with private head.
    • Separate galley, mess room, and scullery.
  • Invasive Species Prevention: NPS policy prohibits introduction of invasive species.
    • Ballast Water Treatment System
    • Hull fouling prevention
  • The vessel must meet all required Coast Guard, ABS, safety requirements.
    • Emergency Diesel Generator (EPA Compliant). Capacity ~150KW
    • Sewage collection, storage, and discharge
    • Ballast pumping system
    • Compressed air
    • Fire Suppression Systems in all motor spaces
  • The vessel is idle for five months a year so designing the ship to be laid up with no crew or utilities requirements during this period should be a consideration.
    • Heating and Ventilation System
    • TV/camera monitoring
    • Anti-freeze
    • Drainage for all fluid systems
  • Plumbing (potable & sanitary) needs to be able to be drained down quickly using knife type valves to bilges or overboard. Lake Superior has been designated a zero-discharge zone. Storage of grey and black water must be considered in the final design.
  • During the early parts of the season some of the ports on Isle Royale are still iced in. The vessel should have some ice breaking capability, just short of ABS ice classed vessels. Perhaps an ice breaking bow design with structural re-enforcement.

Secondary Mission

  • High End Amenities (Consider whether to include, and if so, how many)
    • Staterooms with private head
    • First class seating options
  • General Passenger Amenities
    • Big flat screen TV with Satellite connection. Have a separate TV lounge with two or three 40”-42” screens. Have one (as below) large screen in main pax lounge for PP programs and pre-sail safety briefings, training, demonstrations.
    • Amphitheater for Ranger presentations.
    • Bar and Grill, separate galley and scullery. Eating area.
    • Souvenir sales.
    • Available technology, with scalable options to dampen vessel roll.
    • Hot domestic water ~ 150 gallons of storage
    • Arms Locker – separate ammo Storage (primarily for passengers)
    • Fresh water storage and distribution ~2,500 gallons
  • Labor costs are always an issue so the vessel should be designed to run with as small a crew as possible.
    • Unmanned engine room
    • Command/ControlX and S band radars (one with ARPA), GPS, Plotters, radios, sound powered phones, public address, crew and work station phones. Engineering control console on bridge. Open bridge wings with wing controls for engines, bow prop and rudders. Needs closed circuit TV/camera monitoring in compartments and pax spaces for fire, flooding, security.
    • Autopilot system.
    • All piping and wiring easily accessible for easy maintenance
  • The Parks Service has expressed an interest in using solar, or wind power and being as “green” as possible. All available technologies should be considered, including
    • Fuel Economy
    • Vertical turbines
    • Solar panels
    • Battery Banks
    • Incinerator
  • Finally, construction costs must be a consideration. A reasonable upper limit on the acquisition cost should be established. This figure currently appears to be in the $20-25 million range.
  • The first trip around the design spiral will reveal incompatibilities in some areas. When this occurs the designer in conjunction with the owner will have to set priorities.

Last updated: October 17, 2017

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