2013-12-12 / Nature

Great Progress on Perry

Christmas came early this year for Rhode Island’s official sailing education vessel, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, when its two Caterpillar C-12 main engines were delivered in November. This week at Senesco Marine in North Kingstown, the 12-liter, in-line six cylinder engines were lowered onto the 200-foot tall ship’s freshly-painted engine beds. The engines are certified to run on a 20 percent biofuelto diesel blend that will be provided by Newport BioDiesel.

“Ships have been green before there was a green,” said the Perry’s Captain Richard Bailey, “because they use wind in their sails to move from place to place. However, a ship still has to have engines and a bow thruster to make tugs unnecessary and provide ability to enter smaller ports. During times when the wind doesn’t blow, this is the hidden power to meet tight schedules, and since we have to have this power aboard the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, we are making it as green as possible.”

The Perry’s engine installation is part of the final construction phase that also includes her move this winter from Senesco to Newport Shipyard, where the ship’s lower masts, Douglas fir upper mast sections, and 16 yards will be installed. Currently half completed, her 20 sails continue to be made by Hood Sails, and the rigging team is in place to take delivery of the masts and spars in February. The ship’s entire inventory of interior paneling, fixtures and equipment has been ordered and partially installed.

Newport BioDiesel Chairman Rob Morton said he believes his company’s involvement in the state’s sailing education vessel will help expand awareness of the benefits of using biodiesel as an alternative fuel. “Since part of the ship’s curriculum is environmental awareness, the ship naturally must be a good steward and represent what it’s talking about,” said Morton, explaining that Newport Biodiesel produces a clean-burning and sustainable fuel from waste vegetable oil collected from over 1,700 restaurant partners in the New England area.

Return to top