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Kvichak Marine Industries > Delivers Green

Most people don’t equate workboat with environmentally friendly. Seattle based Kvichak Marine Industries is working to change that perception.

Kvichak builds aluminum vessels using approximately sixty percent recyclable materials. At the end of their service life, the vessels can be stripped and recycled. Of course, longevity offers environmental advantages as well. Of the 450 boats built by Kvichak since 1987, all but two remain in service.

While all of Kvichak’s workboats utilize largely recyclable materials, two recent projects go much further in Delivering Green.


San Francisco Water Emergency Transit Authority:

When the San Francisco Water Emergency Transit Authority (WETA) mandated that their new passenger ferries integrate as much green technology as possible, they partnered with Kvichak Marine Industries and Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Whidbey Island, WA to achieve their goal. They started with a sleek, low wake 118’ catamaran hull, designed by Incat Crowther of Australia, to minimize shore erosion from wake and reduce fuel consumption.

The WETA specified that the ferries’ emissions be 85% cleaner than the current EPA emission standards for Tier II (2007) marine engines.

The Kvichak and Nichols team matched a pair of Tier II compliant, MTU 16V2000, 1410 HP Diesel engines with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems from Engine, Fuel & Emissions Engineering of California. SCR, current state-of-the-art technology for diesel emissions reduction, injects urea into the exhaust before it passes through a precious-metal catalyst, converting nitrogen oxide –a toxic greenhouse gas- into harmless nitrogen and water.

Using a biodiesel/ultra-low sulfur diesel blend in conjunction with SCR, the first ferry exceeded Tier II requirements by more than 85% in trials and by 90-95% in actual operation.

In addition to minimal shore impact and low emissions, the passenger ferries showcase several additional green features:

• Custom exhaust systems minimize noise pollution on ship and shore.
• Solar panels augment the electrical system
• Sonar system allows the captain to detect and avoid whales and debris

The first craft delivered, Gemini, was voted one of the 10 most significant boats of 2009 by WorkBoat magazine.

The Kvichak-Nichols team delivered the fourth boat, Taurus, in May 2010.

Dutch Pilotage Organization:


The port of Rotterdam is the busiest port in Europe and the 4th busiest in the world. With space to handle up to 300 ships at a time, Rotterdam Port Authorities and the Netherlands as a whole, have become increasingly concerned with the environmental impact of so much concentrated maritime traffic. All fleets operating within the port have agreed to limit their environmental impact as much as possible.

The Dutch Pilotage Organization, Loodswezen, coordinates large ship arrivals and departures in the Netherlands and operates a substantial fleet of pilot boats. In an effort to renew their fleet with more ecologically friendly craft, Loodswezen challenged Kvichak to incorporate the latest diesel emissions technology in a 72’, pilot-class boat that would still meet its operational requirements and exceed 28 knots.

Loodswezen selected a vessel designed specifically for their operation by Camarc Design in the UK, the same company that designed their current pilot boats. Loodswezen then selected engines from Caterpillar and an emissions system from Hug Engineering in Switzerland -which is supplied and serviced by Soottech in the Netherlands.

The Dutch pilot boat’s emissions system combines Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). Although a different design than the type used on the WETA ferries, the SCR functions similarly. After exhaust passes through the SCR, the DPF collects unburned soot and adds another catalyst, converting the carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons to carbon dioxide and water.

This system took the relatively clean emissions of the Tier II compliant Caterpillar ACERT C32 engines, and reduced carbon monoxide by 73%, nitrogen oxide by 76%, hydrocarbons by 94% and particulate soot by 99% -far exceeding the standards of the EPA, EU, and International Maritime Organization.
Although the boat’s pair of 32 liter, V-12 engines possess more than four times the displacement of most semi-truck engines, they emit less particulate matter and fewer hydrocarbons than a single, on-road truck engine complying with current EPA standards.

The Most Green For Your Green

Kvichak Marine Industries leads teams that incorporate the best ideas in naval architecture and machinery systems design into innovative, task-specific craft. The result: workboats that meet all operational requirements while exceeding the emissions standards of today and well into the future.

It’s how Kvichak, Delivers Green.




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