At one time, the notion of powering a workboat with waterjets was approached with more than a bit of skepticism by workboat operators, especially those building boats in the smaller ranges. Those were hands-on outfits steeped in the tradition of shafts and props. But by the late ’90s and early 21st century most of that reluctance had pretty much disappeared.
HamiltonJet and Rolls-Royce Kamewa have been major players in the U.S. Gulf crewboat market. Another waterjet manufacturer that is just breaking into this market is Marine Jet Power (MJP), a Swedish company with U.S headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. MJP acquired the Ultra Dynamics line of waterjets in 2012.
MJP normally supplies military and government boats with waterjets, but in April, the first of a pair of MJP-propelled 175′ crewboats will be launched at Swiftships in Morgan City, La., for Rodi Marine in Lafayette, La. The second one will go into the water a few months after that. The DP-2 crew and supply boats will have four MJP 650 CSU jets giving the boats a top speed of 31 knots.
“It’s the first big market we’ve seen,” said MJP’s Jordan Tilton, adding that MJP jets will also be going in “smaller 12- to 13-meter crewboats. We are starting to enter the Gulf market. We’ve wanted to be there for a long time.”