The vessel’s repower was performed by VIGOR MARINE in Portland, Oregon, US, while EBDG provided design services and on-going owner support services for the mission.
EBDG project manager Matt Williamson said: “The Columbia was designed for the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) by EBDG’s predecessor firm, so we’re intimately familiar with the vessel and its systems.
“The main engines were at the end of their useful life and the AMHS opted for replacing them, along with replacing or upgrading drive train components and auxiliary systems, where it made economic sense.
“Replacing the main engines is a significant undertaking in the life a vessel. EBDG’s strong familiarity with the Columbia made us the natural choice as the designer for this repowering project.”
Manufactured by Lockheed Shipbuilding in 1974, M/V Columbia has served as AMHS’ flagship vessel for nearly 40 years, linking a number of inside passage communities, such as Ketchikan, Wrangell, Alaska Petersburg, Juneau, Haines, Alaska, Skagway, Alaska and Sitka.
The 418ft-long vessel has the capacity to accommodate 625 passengers and 134 vehicles, and is claimed to be the fastest vessel, operating at a service speed of 17.3k.
M/V Columbia features a total of 91 cabins comprising 60 four-berth units, nine three-berth units, and 22 two-berth units, and also includes a fine dining room and a cafeteria, as reported by Alaska Ferry Vacations.
Apart from M/V Columbia, EBDG has also assisted ferry operators with an array of services, such as transportation studies, concept designs, capital budgets, security improvements and midlife refurbishments.
Image: M/V Columbia has served as the Alaska Marine Highway System’s (AMHS) flagship vessel for nearly 40 years. Photo: courtesy of Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man).