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Keel Laying Ceremony at St. Johns Ship Building for Atlantic Wind Transfers Second Offshore Wind Crew Transfer Vessel

St. Johns begins construction of the second in the series aluminum catamarans servicing
offshore wind farmsfor U.S. based Atlantic Wind Transfers.

Attending the Keel Laying Ceremony were representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, St. Johns Ship Building, Americraft Marine, Atlantic Wind Transfers, Chartwell Marine, EMS, BEE Electrics, MAN Engines, Hamilton Waterjets and ZF participated in a keel laying ceremony at St. Johns Ship Building in Palatka, Florida.

January 23, 2023; Palatka, FLorida

St. Johns Ship Building held a keel laying ceremony on January 18th for the second of the series of aluminum crew transfer vessels (CTVs) used to service the offshore wind farm industry. The announcement follows the Jones Act shipyard’s acquisition by Americraft Marine last May. The crew transfer vessels will be servicing U.S. offshore wind projects for construction, operations, and maintenance.


The Chartwell Ambitious aluminum catamarans have the capacity to transport 24 personnel to and from wind turbines with speed, safety, and stability. The vessels were commissioned by the Rhode Island-based Atlantic Wind Transfers (AWT), which participated in the ceremony that continues in the St. Johns’ partnership with AWT to build future-focused vessels.

“We are very pleased to earn the trust of Charles Donadio, Jr. and the teams working with Atlantic Wind Transfers.  This keel laying ceremony represents the second Chartwell designed Ambitious now under construction as we work hard to keep facility and infrastructure improvements just ahead of our construction goals,” said Jeff Bukoski, President of St Johns Ship Building, VP of Business Development of Americraft Marine Group.  “Our diverse portfolio of projects will continue to support vessels that will help American shift towards energy independence and a cleaner, healthier environment.


Charles A. Donadio Jr., Founder of AWT, said:  “This is another milestone for Atlantic Wind Transfers as we lay the Keel for our second crew transfer vessel at St. John’s as AWT continues to expand its CTV fleet to support offshore wind construction and O&M in the U.S.  It was an honor to have representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, FL leading the ceremony with the Keel Stamping of Hull #175 as well as much gratitude to all the SJSB shipyard employees, Americraft Marine Group, Chartwell Marine and all of our vendors that are supporting these vessels through construction and into service for our future clients.”  AWT and its team are looking forward to launching these CTVs in the months to come and putting them right to work.”


The Ambitious, Chartwell Marine’s flagship CTV design, will be U.S. Jones Act-compliant, certified under United States Coast Guard (USCG) Subchapter L and able to operate at any offshore wind farm in the U.S. under the safety and inspection standards of the U.S. Coast Guard. AWT currently operates the only two crew transfer vessels in the U.S. under long-term contracts, servicing the Block Island Wind Farm for Orsted and Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Farm (CVOW) for Dominion Energy.

Atlantic Wind Transfers Orders Six Chartwell EPA Tier 4 Compliant CTV's

This order bolsters AWT's fleet to support growth, service and lower emissions for the U.S. offshore wind market

August 30, 2022; Quonset Point, Rhode Island  


Atlantic Wind Transfers (AWT), the first US offshore wind farm support company, has ordered six Chartwell Ambitious-class Crew Transfer Vessels (CTV) designed by UK-based based Chartwell Marine. 


AWT’s order comprises six CTVs to be constructed by St. John’s Ship Building Inc. at its shipyard in Palatka, Florida. The first two vessels are expected to be delivered in Summer 2023 and January 2024 respectively, with four further builds in the pipeline. The vessels will be the first US-built CTVs to be compliant with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 4 regulations, which rank among the most stringent emissions rules for marine engines in the world.


Through its continued partnership with Chartwell Marine, AWT demonstrates its commitment to the growth of the US offshore wind market. Building US Jones-Act Compliant vessels certified under US Coast Guard Subchapter L, these CTVs will be able to operate on any Wind Farm in the United States under the strict Safety and Inspection standards of the U.S. Coast Guard. AWT currently operates the only two crew transfer vessels in the US under long-term contracts, servicing the Block Island Wind Farm and Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Farm.  AWT’s seven years of operating experience in US offshore wind brings an impeccable safety track record while logging over 6,600 TP connections and 25,000 personnel transfers. 


Charles A. Donadio Jr., Founder of AWT, said: “We’re pleased to strengthen our pioneering status in delivering another first for the US offshore wind sector with these new Tier IV vessel orders. Our goal is to build the most reliable, multi-purpose Jones-Act CTV fleet in the U.S., and provide our clients with cutting edge technology while lowering our carbon footprint and meeting all Jones Act and USCG Regulations. This investment will enable us to have crew transfer vessels available for charter to support the demand over the next several years.


“Our experience has proven our vessel model works for both the shipyard construction phase with on-time deliveries, and in-service uptime reliability for installation support and long-term O&M. Chartwell is our go-to when it comes to CTV designs which are operating in multiple international markets. We see our partnership with both Chartwell and St. John’s Ship Building as a key cornerstone in our strategy to build the capability and capacity of AWT to support the future growth of the offshore wind industry.”


The Ambitious is Chartwell’s flagship CTV design; a 25.2m aluminum catamaran with capacity to transport 24 personnel to and from turbines with speed, safety, and stability. Orders for the Ambitious class design are now well into double-figures, with boats currently operating in Scotland, France, and Virginia.


Andy Page, Director and Naval Architect at Chartwell Marine, said: “The US offshore wind market is expanding rapidly, and AWT’s pioneering vision to support this growth aligns well with our own ambition to bring versatile, high-performance crew transfer vessels to the markets that need them most. With its performance and versatility, the Ambitious delivers on the needs of the growing US market.


Jeff Bukoski, President of the shipyard stated that “St. Johns Ship Building is excited to be working with Charlie Donadio and to be part of Atlantic Wind Transfers’ successful CTV operation and their extensive planned new vessel construction program. This effort further solidifies our position as a leading supplier of Jones Act compliant CTVs for the offshore wind industry and working with highly experienced European naval architects such as Chartwell Marine. We know that our skilled workers also appreciate the additional opportunity to showcase their high quality craftmanship and will allow continued growth and opportunity.”

Atlantic Wind Transfers Wins Contract to Supply Crew Transfer Vessel Sfor Dominion Energy's Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Farm (CVOW)


This marks Atlanitc Wind Transfers second constract award in the U.S. solidifying its role as a leader in the CTV industry

May 27, 2020 – Norrfolk, Virginia


Atlantic Wind Transfers based in Quonset Point, Rhode Island has secured its second long-term O&M Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) contract in the U.S. to provide offshore marine support services for the Siemens Gamesa offshore wind turbines to be installed for the first offshore wind project in U.S. federal waters. The project is being developed by Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Energy.


Atlantic Wind Transfers was selected by Dominion Energy through a competitive bid process and this contract solidifies the company’s role as a leader in crew transfer vessel services for the U.S. market along the East Coast. The crew transfer vessel will be based out of Virginia’s Hampton Roads region.


Atlantic Wind Transfers is the first CTV owner/operator in the U.S. operating the “Atlantic Pioneer” built in 2016 originally under a contract with Deepwater Wind for the installation and operations & maintenance of the five GE 6 megawatt turbines off Block Island, Rhode Island. The Atlantic Pioneer currently has a long-term contract with Ørsted providing offshore marine support services for the Block Island Wind Farm, transporting GE technicians/cargo along with Ørsted personnel performing maintenance year-round.


Atlantic Wind Transfers was selected based upon its marine experience and safety track record in operating the first crew transfer vessel in the U.S. for the Block Island Wind Farm. Charles A. Donadio, Jr., CEO of Atlantic Wind Transfers, said: “I am proud that my company was selected to provide CTV services for the first offshore wind farm in federal waters. We are looking forward to bringing our years of experience, reliability and safety standards to the table to make this offshore wind farm a huge success.”

Mr. Donadio said he plans to launch and commission his new-build Chartwell 24 CTV directly into the long-term charter contract upon delivery from Blount Boats in Warren, Rhode Island later this year. “This next-generation Jones-Act Compliant CTV design will set the bar to the highest standards meeting all U.S. Coast Guard Regulations and Certifications to operate up to 150 miles offshore. It’s exciting to be involved and working on the first two offshore wind farms in the U.S.”

Rhode Island Fast Ferry Awarded 20-Year Deepwater Wind Crew Transfer Vessel Contract for yhe Block Island Wind Farm


70+ Rhode Island Workers will Build and Operate Nation’s First Offshore Wind Crew Transfer Vessel

May 18, 2015 – Quonset Point, RHode Island


Groundbreaking agreement enables high-speed catamaran ferry company Rhode Island Fast Ferry to commission first US-built crew transfer vessel, to be built by Blount Boats, and launch Atlantic Wind Transfers, its commercial wind support services division. 


This long-term charter services agreement is the first deal of its kind to be signed in the United States and marks another significant milestone in the successful development and deployment of US offshore wind.  Expectations within the North American offshore wind market have escalated in recent months and this exclusive first charter services deal provides further tangible proof of the benefits and commercial potential that the wind sector can deliver.


“We are very excited to be a part of this offshore wind farm project and to work with Deepwater Wind.  Launching Atlantic Wind Transfers and building the first crew transfer vessel in the Unites States with local company Blount Boats is not only good for the State of Rhode Island, but it will also provide for future growth and enhance the capabilities of our company in the US offshore energy sector,” said Charles A. Donadio, Jr., President, Rhode Island Fast Ferry.


As part of the charter agreement with Deepwater Wind Block Island, LLC, a subsidiary of Deepwater Wind, Rhode Island Fast Ferry (Atlantic Wind Transfers) will build a dedicated wind turbine transfer vessel and develop an extensive training program for its transfer services crew. The construction of the transfer vessel is being undertaken by local Rhode Island shipyard, Blount Boats, where the contract will secure employment for 70 workers throughout the 12-month build. 


Marcia Blount, President of Blount Boats, stated, “We are honored to be chosen to build the first U.S. flagged windfarm vessel in the United States. The vessel is designed specifically for turbine transfer service. We enthusiastically join an all Rhode Island team of windfarm, operator, and boat builder.”


Rhode Island Fast Ferry’s subsidiary brand, Atlantic Wind Transfers, will provide crew and equipment support during the construction phase of the Block Island Wind Farm, beginning in Spring 2016.  Following completion of the 30MW five-turbine site, work will move into operations and maintenance support, to encompass a scheduled maintenance program as well as any additional crew transfer support required throughout the 20-year lifecycle of the first US offshore wind farm project.


Thanks in part to the long-term nature of the charter agreement and the strong working relationship that has already been built between Deepwater Wind and Rhode Island Fast Ferry, this deal will create long-term, local Rhode Island jobs.   Each workboat that is chartered to an offshore wind farm typically requires a crew of 5-6 full-time, skilled employees working year round.. 


Rhode Island Fast Ferry was awarded the inaugural charter agreement thanks in part to its offshore operating experience, its impeccable safety record and its catamaran water jet experience.  In addition, the firm’s established location and dockage facility at Quonset Point will provide Atlantic Wind Transfers and Deepwater Wind quick and convenient access to the Block Island Wind Farm site using the new crew transfer vessel.


“We’re excited to partner with two veteran Rhode Island companies that will bring their decades of experience to supporting our Block Island Wind Farm,” said Jeffrey Grybowski, Deepwater Wind CEO. “Most importantly, this will mean more jobs in the marine trades for Rhode Islanders and another way that the Ocean State will lead the growth of this new American offshore wind industry.”


“I’m delighted to support Deepwater Wind’s efforts throughout the wind farm’s offshore construction and operation and to demonstrate our own personal commitment to the offshore wind sector through the launch of our subsidiary brand, Atlantic Wind Transfers,”  added Donadio.


An official keel laying ceremony at Blount Boats in Rhode Island, where the workboat will be officially inaugurated, is planned for later this summer.

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