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Port Tenant Delivers First-Ever, Biofuel-Powered Navy Vessel

Contact: Barbara Moreno (619) 686-6216 on .

A new, groundbreaking and environmentally-friendly vessel for the U.S. Navy has been built by Chula Vista's Marine Group Boat Works, a tenant and partner of the Port of San Diego. (Courtesy: Marine Group Boat Works)

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A new, groundbreaking and environmentally-friendly vessel for the U.S. Navy has been built by Chula Vista's Marine Group Boat Works, a tenant and partner of the Port of San Diego.

The 114-foot Range Training Support Craft (RTSC-110) was delivered to the Navy July 23, 2010 - the first out of a three-boat contract between the South Bay yacht facility and the Navy.

It's described as a multi-mission boat with the ability to launch and recover objects, including torpedoes. It can also intercept small high-speed craft, as well as aerial targets and test weapons.

Among the vessel's highlights are:

  • A unique fuel filtration system that runs on 100 percent biofuel
  • A rugged, all-aluminum hull made to endure extreme physical conditions
  • Twin Caterpillar engines with 1,800 horsepower, designed in compliance with the EPA's Tier 3 emissions standards
  • A Seakeeper gyro stabilizing system designed to stabilize the craft in rough weather or zero speed
  • Zero discharge vessel - the boat does not have the capability of pumping toxins overboard

"More than 20 years of boat-building experience and the tradesmen on our team give us the background and expertise to effectively execute this contract," said Todd Roberts, vice president of Marine Group Boat Works. "We're able to provide employees with job security and local vendors with business."

The ship is due to be delivered to the Navy next week. The RTSC-110s are considered the Navy's new generation of Torpedo Weapon Retrieval boats.

"The RTSC-110 class of craft will satisfy aviation, surface and subsurface warfare training requirements," said Capt. Bill Jensen, the Navy Range Office resource sponsor.

The boats were built upside down, on a jig, at the 15-acre Chula Vista facility. Once built, they are "flipped" right side up with the hull and wheelhouse welded together.

"All the material for this boat was bought from local vendors here in San Diego," said Roberts. "The boat is built by San Diego for San Diego."

As a result of the $30 million contract, Marine Group Boat Works created 30 new jobs and spent over $5 million in materials and services within the San Diego economy.

You can watch this and other work at Marine Group Boat Works through their live web cameras.

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