Washington-based ACI Boats in March announced the official award of a $3 million dollar contract with American Samoa’s Department of Commerce for four “Super Alia” commercial fishing vessels.
All four boats are to be manufactured at ACI Boats’ facility in Port Townsend, Wash. The vessels themselves are to be 38-foot by 14-foot semi-displacement catamarans, designed by ACI with Coastwise Marine Design.
American Samoa Government (ASG) Fisheries Economic Development Coordinator Tamatoa Tony Lankilde said officials “look forward to working with (ACI Boats) in bringing this great economic development project to fruition for the ASG and people of American Samoa, but especially the fishing community and local fresh-fish industry,”
“We are excited to take on this project, signaling a positive step in the expansion and growth of our business and workforce in the Port of Port Townsend,” ACI Boats owner and founder Cory Armstrong said. “This is an amazing opportunity for us as a business to build four vessels to the same specifications, while also providing a safe and durable product to the people of American Samoa.”
Constructed with 5086 aluminum hull skins, and 5052 aluminum interior transverse frames, each boat is identical in design and will be built to specifications as outlined by American Samoa. They will include ACI Boats’ signature self-bailing decks, a forward leaning full-width cabin with cuddy, galley and head compartment.
The boats are also designed to have an extended aluminum roof over aft deck to shade the work area. Fishing equipment will include Lingren-Pitman commercial hydraulic longline gear, three ProFisher electric deep-sea reels, a worktable and two insulated fish holds of 75 cubic feet. They’re to be powered by twin 195HP Yanmar diesel inboards and outfitted with Garmin navigation electronics.
The first of the four vessels, expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022, is set to be used as a training platform for boat owners, captains and deckhands. The following three boats, which will be completed over the course of 18 months and will then be available for lease by American Samoa, are intended to support the growth and safety of the local fishing fleet.
“It is our goal and vision to stabilize, further develop and grow the fresh-fish industry to support our local restaurants and tourism industry,” ASG Department of Commerce Assistant Director Michael McDonald said.” In addition, we plan to export high-grade fresh fish to the global markets so as to create additional economic opportunities for our business owners and entrepreneurs. The ‘Super Alia’ is at the center of this strategy, and we are looking forward to making this become a reality.”