In May of 1974, Clean Bay, Inc., acquired a recovery system which is designed specifically for oil spill cleanup operations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Operational constraints for the Bay Area, such as large amplitude, short-period waves, debris, a long and varied multiuse shoreline, and large variations in potential spill sizes, locations and properties of spilled products strongly influenced Clean Bay's performance specifications for this system. The system can respond quickly and effectively to spills anywhere within the bay area. Special features of the system include oil recovery rates up to 1,000 gpm, high oil-water recovery efficiency, the ability to recover and effectively process oil soaked debris, 90 barrels of onboard storage capacity, the ability to recover and transfer high viscosity products, a water jet propulsion system for high maneuverability, transit speeds approximating 10 knots, an elevated pilot house to improve visual observation of the spill area, marine radar, radio transceiver, and an onboard hydraulically operated crane.
The paper will describe in detail the performance specifications for the recovery system; compare wave tank predictions of hull performance with operating experience, discuss the impact on design and operations of the requirements for tank vessel certification by the U.S. Coast Guard, and describe Clean Bay's operating experience with the system.