The St Johns Ship Building in Palatka, Fla., this week held a keel-laying ceremony for the second ship in a series of new Jones Act-compliant Crew Transfer Vessels (CTVs) that it builds for WINDEA CTV to operate in the US offshore wind industry.

WINDEA CTV, a partnership between Hornblower Wind and MidOcean Wind, earlier this year announced orders for three CTVs, including the two under construction at St Johns Ship Building, plus another at Gulf Craft in Franklin, Louisiana.

In the coming years, it is expected that dozens of CTVs will be built as part of a new fleet of Jones Act-compliant vessels needed to support the construction and long-term service of new offshore wind farms.

St Johns Shipbuilding started to build his first CTV for WINDEA in June.

The 30 meter long vessels are designed by Incat Crowther and have the capacity to carry 24 technicians, plus six crew members. The Bureau Veritas classed vessels will be powered by Volvo IPS quadruple propulsion units driven by Volvo DI13 main engines. The ships have been described as “hybrid-ready”, meaning they are being built with space to accommodate upgraded equipment for hybrid electric propulsion in the future.

Scheduled for delivery in 2023, the vessels will first go to work for GE Renewables, operating out of New Bedford, Mass. during the construction of the Vineyard Wind I wind farm 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.

“We are happy to have reached the point of our second WINDEA keel set. Our team will continue SJSB’s crew transfer vessel construction program in covered work areas with direct support from Incat [Crowther] and monitoring by Hornblower,” said Jeff Bukoski, president of St. Johns Ship Building. “We remain focused on infrastructure improvements that will contribute to the quality and efficiency of our aluminum and steel vessel programs needed to support offshore wind developments.”

For St Johns Ship Building, the construction of this CTV series marks the official launch of its new focus on the production of dedicated high-speed aluminum vessels, the company said. Over the past few years, St Johns Ship Building has made several modifications to its facilities and acquired new production equipment, such as a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) router for processing non-ferrous metals and composite materials.