This paper reviews the process of the complete design development, from concept to completion of the largest and most capable fireboats in North America, and among the largest in the world, for the Fire Department of New York (FDNY). The Three Forty-Three is the first of two new fireboats to this design built at Eastern Shipbuilding Inc. of Panama City, Florida and delivered in May 2010. The second vessel is due for completion later in the year. As the result of an international design competition, Robert Allan Ltd. was selected to provide complete engineering and design services for the new boats, from initial concept through detailed engineering design and a comprehensive value engineering process. The scope of services also included the support of FDNY through every stage of major component procurement and the shipbuilding contract award. Robert Allan Ltd.’s shipyard supervisory staff also acted in the capacity of Owner’s Representatives on-site in the shipyard throughout the entire construction process. These major, fast response fireboats were designed to specifically address the fire-fighting and rescue needs of the greater New York harbour, including the New Jersey shore. This includes the capability within the vessel to respond to any CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear) incident. The fireboats are designed for a response speed of 17.4 knots, with a low-wake, 12 knot cruising/patrol speed. The powering, seakeeping, and wake generation characteristics of the semi-displacement hull form were all verified in an extensive model-testing program. The resulting propulsion system is a unique quadruple screw, CPP configuration. The paper focuses on the various initial studies performed to establish the basic design configuration, the model testing and performance verification process, the value engineering studies performed, the many unique design features of the fire-fighting and emergency response capability of these vessels and the performance trials results. Finally, the challenges of managing a major shipbuilding project for a major civic Government Client such as FDNY concludes the paper.

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