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REVIEW 2021 Annual Issue #258

8 Features


Shipyards face new challenges as pandemic ebbs ............................. 4

Review of new tugboats YT 808 & YT 809 U.S. Navy, Bremerton, Wash............................................................... 8

Aurora Crowley Fuels, Anchorage, Alaska.....................................................13

A. Thomas Higgins

E.N. Bisso & Son, New Orleans .....................................................18


Jack K.

Weeks Marine, Cranford, N.J. ........................................................ 23

North Arm Tempest

North Arm Transportation, Vancouver, B.C. . .................................... 28

Gretchen V. Cooper

Cooper Marine & Timberlands, Mobile, Ala. .................................... 31


N.C. DOT, Manns Harbor, N.C. ...................................................... 34

28 18 Cover: YT 809, the Navy’s second tugboat in a six-vessel series, left Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, Wash., this spring. Photo by Brent Morrison.

Q-Ocean Service Q-LNG Transport, New Orleans ...................................................... 38 Breaker II N.Y. Power Authority, Buffalo, N.Y................................................... 42 Janice Ann Reinauer Reinauer Transportation, New York, N.Y. ......................................... 45 Leisa Florence Foss Maritime, Seattle....................................................................... 49 Apollo Crowley, San Francisco . ................................................................. 53

Roundups Suderman & Young completes series of Z-Tech tugboats...................................................................................56 Hines Furlong Line addresses need for efficient, high-horsepower towboats. ..............................................................61

American Tugboat Review 2021



REVIEW 2021 Publisher Dave Abrams dave@maritimepublishing.com

Alex Agnew, associate publisher alex@maritimepublishing.com



Editor Casey Conley Copy editor Harry Queeney

Design/production Kim Goulet Norton Gulf Coast photographer/ correspondent Brian Gauvin

West Coast photographer/ correspondent Alan Haig-Brown

Columnist Capt. Kelly Sweeney



West Coast/Canadian/ Susan W. Hadlock International 207-838-0401 Midwest, Gulf Coast

East Coast Charlie Humphries Midwest, Gulf Coast 207-939-1929


Events and marketing Lee Auchincloss coordinator lee@maritimepublishing.com

Business office Lee Auchincloss

Business 619-313-4321

Subscription Department subscribe@maritimepublishing.com 1-866-918-6962



PROFESSIONAL MARINER (ISSN 1066-2774) This magazine is printed in the U.S. Professional Mariner is published in February, March, April, May, June, August, September, October and December, with an annual special issue of American Tugboat Review in July and an annual special issue of American Ship Review in November for $29.95 per year by Maritime Publishing, 3980 Sherman Street, Ste. 100, San Diego, CA 92110. Periodicals postage paid at Portland, Maine, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Please send address changes to Maritime Publishing, 3980 Sherman Street, Ste. 100, San Diego, CA 92110 Copyright © 2021 by Maritime Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any way without written permission from the publisher. Multiple copying of the contents without permission is illegal. Subscription rate is $29.95 for one year (nine issues) in the U.S. and its possessions. Canadian subscription rate is $44.95 U.S. funds. Other foreign service is $49.95 U.S. funds. Overseas airmail is $94.95 U.S. funds. Multi-year discounts are available, call (866) 918-6962 for details. Distribution: Newsstand distribution, domestically and internationally: Maritime Publishing, Sarah Spangler, (619) 313-4321. Contributions: We solicit manuscripts, drawings and photo­graphs. Please address materials to Editor, Professional Mar­iner, P.O. Box 569, Portland, ME 04112-0569. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the safe handling of all contributed materials.




American Tugboat Review 2021

IF HE’D EVER STOP WORKING, HE’D TELL YOU HIS CUMMINS ENGINES NEVER STOP WORKING. MARINERS TRUST MARINERS, and there’s a good reason for that. Nobody knows their business like they do. Except for Cummins. For more than 100 years, we’ve outfitted everything from tugboats to yachts with engines and generators that get the job done. With connected technology that lets you fine-tune performance, collaborative engineering that makes our products feel like they were made just for you, and a service network that understands the way you operate, mariners only need to trust one name, and that’s Cummins. Learn more at cummins.com/marine or call 1-800-CUMMINS.™

Brent Morrison

Shipyards face new challenges as pandemic ebbs


merican shipyards overcame tremendous obstacles over the last year during a once-ina-century global pandemic. Now, as COVID-19 appears to be receding, shipbuilders face a new set of challenges. One of the most pressing is the surging prices for steel and other raw materials that have increased construction

By Casey Conley costs by up to 10 percent in a year, threatening the burgeoning recovery. “A couple of weeks ago we started getting calls from various customers about bidding jobs,” said Tara Steiner Marshall, president of Steiner Shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Ala. “We are excited and thrilled to be working on bids, but this is a tough thing

to do because costs are rising like crazy.” Steel prices are moving so fast, she said, that her costs can change substantially within a week. That makes it nearly impossible to estimate prices even a few weeks ahead. “It used to be I could sign a contract and issue a purchase order … and vendors would hold a bid for seven or 10

Above and left, Dakota Creek Industries is making progress on its sixvessel order for the U.S. Navy. Few large orders of this kind emerged during the last year. Brent Morrison


days, maybe two weeks. Now, there is none of that,” she said. “There are lots of warnings that all prices are going to go up.” It’s a remarkable turn of events in a single year. Given their “essential” status, most shipyards remained open last spring during the worst of the pandemic. Shipyard managers developed protocols on the fly based on changing guidance that were intended to keep workers as safe as possible. These included new workflows, staggered shifts and efforts to seperate personnel from different parts of the yard. Shipyard workers, many already accustomed to wearing personal protective equipment, generally embraced the new protocols. With some exceptions, American Tugboat Review 2021



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shipyards were able to prevent or limit the spread of COVID-19 at their facilities. Yet even for yards that kept the virus at bay, quarantine rules for potential offsite exposure were another issue altogether. “The pandemic has really challenged us in trying to maintain a stable workforce when we were constantly having people have to go home and quarantine,” Richard Hunt, vice president and acting general manager at Gunderson Marine in Portland, Ore., said in late February. “That has been a large challenge, and we have been able to work through it.” By mid-May, Hunt said disruptions had faded as more people became vaccinated

Joe Starck, president of Great Lakes Towing and Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland. “As manufacturing came to a standstill, we relied upon the existing inventories of steel, machinery and equipment, and bulk materials typically used in the shipyard business,” he continued. “We have now seen a spike in prices as these inventories are now depleted, transportation costs are at an all-time high, and demand is spiking to record levels.” Steel prices have undergone a historic surge over the past several months. Aluminum prices also have risen, although not by as much. Starck hopes these costs will stabilize over the rest of the year as inventories stabilize and backlogs shrink. New tugboat orders fell sharply in recent years for reasons that by now are

well understood. Tugboat construction surged leading up to the 2017 deadline for adopting the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 4 emissions standards. As a result, fewer vessels have been needed in the years since. The slowdown in the Gulf of Mexico oil patch has continued to reduce demand for tugs and service vessels. Despite these developments, there have been bright spots over the last several years. Many large tugboat operators have spent tens of millions of dollars upgrading their fleets with modern tractor tugs delivering ever-higher bollard pull. Many of these new tugs replaced older, less efficient and less capable vessels. “The ship-assist industry is not a high-margin industry, so there is not a lot of spare cash lying around,” said John Waterhouse, principal of Elliott Bay Design Group in Seattle. “That industry

in the last 20 years made a tremendous investment in new equipment, (these vessels) still have market value and there is no external driver that says they need to get rid of that equipment and get new equipment.” The pandemic brought new orders almost to a halt over the past year as operators tried to navigate uncertainty on a global scale. Although container volumes fell in the early months of the COVID-19 outbreak, demand for goods came roaring back. Demand for petroleum products have not recovered as many workers have not returned to the office. Los Angeles and Long Beach, among the nation’s busiest container ports, have experienced long queues of containerships waiting to offload their goods. These delays are often associated with the logistics of moving so many cargo boxes and coordinating with shoreside transportation.

Brian Gauvin


Above, A. Thomas Higgins, built by Eastern Shipbuilding, working on the Lower Mississippi River. Right, ABD Boats preparing to launch North Arm Tempest. Opposite page, Master Boat Builders made progress this spring on a Rotortug for Seabulk Towing. Alan Haig-Brown

against the virus. Even so, it was by no means business as usual. Vendors struggled to fill critical orders and logistics bottlenecks caused serious delays in vessel deliveries. “The worst of the pandemic’s related effects of last year were on our vendors and suppliers and the freight lines, which impacted availability and delivery of parts and materials needed to perform the shipyard work required to meet our contractual obligations,” said

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“The ship movement numbers are about the same,” said Capt. John Strong, vice president of Jacobsen Pilot Service in Long Beach, Calif. “It is just that the ships out there are so much bigger, so it is taking longer to offload.” As the market for building new tractor tugboats remains fairly steady, demand for secondhand ones has stayed red-hot through the pandemic. John Braden, president of ship broker Marcon International, said many z-drive tugboats built in the 1990s are selling now for more than they cost to build. “There is quite a demand for ship-docking tugs. There was a bit of a slowdown in the early part of last year when traffic fell off, but it was a short decline,” he said. “That is one side of the market that is still active and building, and people still have longterm plans to build boats.” The market for new inland towboats, which accounts for a much larger segment of the industry, showed resilience before and during the pandemic. Shipyards of all sizes continued to build over the past year, albeit mostly on projects that began before the pandemic started. Savvy shipyards laid keels American Tugboat Review 2021

and ordered Tier 3 engines before the deadline for EPA Tier 4 emissions rules. That has kept a steady stream of Tier 3-powered towboats coming from U.S. shipyards more than four years after the new rules took effect. These vessels typically cost less to build and outfit than similar Tier 4 vessels. At some point, towboat operators will have to adapt to the new standards. Some already are: Canal Barge was one of the first, taking delivery of the 6,000-hp H. Merritt ‘Heavy’ Lane Jr. in early 2020. Earlier this year, Cooper Marine & Timberlands welcomed Gretchen V. Cooper, the first inland towboat with Caterpillar Tier 4 engines. Steiner Shipyard delivered five towboats within the past year, which yard president Steiner Marshall considers a very good year. Her focus now is finding more contracts to keep her 75 workers busy. She remains concerned about rising prices but is optimistic about the recent inquiries. “We’ve had four customers asking about bidding a boat,” she said, adding that three were past customers and all appeared serious. “Nobody was asking for anything last year.” •

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YT 808 & YT 809 | U.S. Navy, Bremerton, Wash.

Navy modernizing tugboat fleet with YT 808 class Story by Casey Conley | Photos by Brent Morrison


he U.S. Navy has launched a new class of tugboats that will replace aging YTBs on both coasts. YT 808 (Rainier) left Dakota Creek Industries last fall for Naval Base Kitsap in Washington state, where it has worked since October 2020. YT 809 (Agamenticus) left Puget Sound in March atop a barge bound for Portsmouth Naval



Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. The 90-by-38-foot tugboats are updated versions of the YT 802 class of tractor tugs built a decade ago. The new series features an updated Robert Allan Ltd. Z-Tech 4500 design and twin 1,810-hp Caterpillar 3512E Tier 4 engines. They are the first tugs in the Navy fleet with engines meeting EPA Tier 4 emissions standards.

Lead boats in a six-vessel order


Above, the U.S. Navy’s YT 808-series tugboats will replace most of its remaining YTB tugs dating back almost 50 years. Right, YT 809 has a top speed of 12.5 knots. Left, the wheelhouse is equipped with Furuno navigation electronics and Icom VHF radios.

First Navy tugs with Tier 4 engines


Like its predecessor, the YT 808 class is built for all-purpose towing and ship-assist work ranging from aircraft carriers to destroyers to deck barges. The new class has modern navigation electronics and upgraded towing equipment as well as the new engines. “This is the Navy getting the right tool for the right job,” said Capt. Tim Hartman, who spent three decades in the Navy and is now a civilian port captain at Navy

Enhanced version of YT 802 class American Tugboat Review 2021

Region Northwest. “And at the same time, it is environmentally friendly and doing the right thing for the future.” The Navy has relied on its fleet of 2,000-hp YTBs for ship-assist work for generations. American shipyards built 77 of these singlescrew tugs in the 1960s and 1970s. Many later entered commercial service or were transferred to allied nations around the world. Three original YTBs still operate in Navy Region Northwest, a sector that includes the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Naval Submarine Base Bangor and Naval Station Everett. Two other Navy tugs in Puget Sound are converted YTBs with two Cat 3516s linked to z-drive thrusters. The rest of the eight-tug Northwest fleet is composed of YT 808 and two YT 802-class tugboats. Five of the six YT 808-class tugs on order will stay in the Pacific Northwest, replacing all but one YT 808 & YT 809 SPECIFICATIONS


Right, the Caterpillar 3512E mains in the YT 808 series are the first EPA Tier 4-rated engines in the Navy’s tugboat fleet. Below, these tugs have a JonRie Series 210 winch on the bow and JonRie Model 421 capstan aft.

converted YTB. YT 809 will replace a YTB operating at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. “The primary reason (for the new class) is to replace the old YTB tugboats,” said Dan Shimooka from the Navy’s Program Executive Office Ships, which manages design and construction of assets ranging from destroyers to support vessels. “We are buying new, modern tugboats that are increasing our capabilities by a huge margin.” The Navy began thinking about replacing its YTB fleet in the late 1990s. In the mid-2000s, the service developed performance requirements for the replacements. The Navy wanted

BUILDER: Dakota Creek Industries DESIGNER: Robert Allan Ltd.

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CREW SIZE: 4 ................................................................................................... u Electronic chart PROPULSION: u Engines: (2) Tier 4

Caterpillar 3512E, 1,800-hp u Bollard pull: 45 short tons u Vessel speed: 12.5 knots u Z-drives: (2) Schottel SRP 340 u Gearbox: (2) Twin Disc MCD 3000-5HD u Auxiliary generators: (2) Tier 3 154-kW John Deere DECK EQUIPMENT: u Winches: JonRie

Series 210 u Cordage: 600’ of 2.25” Cortland Plasma u Capstan: JonRie Model 421 u Fendering: Schuyler Cos. NAVIGATION GEAR:

u Radar: Furuno FAR

2218 X-band radar

display: Furuno Navnet TZT 14” multifunction touch display u Compass: Ritchie Model F600B u AIS: Furuno FA170 u Autopilot: Simrad AP70 u Radio: (3) Icom M-506 VHF CAPACITIES:

u Fuel: 26,000 gallons

u Water: 4,000 gallons

u Lube oil: 500 gallons u DEF: 2,000 gallons


u Monitors: (2) forward-

facing Stang Industries 930210-11 u Pumps: 2,000-gpm Counterfire ESF 150-500 u Onboard fire suppression systems: FM-200 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

u Sherwin Williams


American Tugboat Review 2021

tugboats with enough power and versatility for a wide range of towing operations, Shimooka said. Rather than reinvent the wheel, the Navy looked to existing commercial tugboat designs to meet those needs. Naval architects at Robert Allan Ltd. in Vancouver, British Columbia, modified their

proven Z-Tech 6000 platform into a smaller Z-Tech 4500 package optimized for harbor towing. J.M. Martinac in Tacoma, Wash., built six 90-foot Valiant-class YT 802 tugboats between 2009 and 2011. Dakota Creek of Anacortes,

Wash., won the YT 808 project in bidding against 15 other shipyards, Shimooka said. The Navy rated each bid and awarded the contract based on a “best value” model that weighs the design and other factors rather than just the low bid. The total cost for the six tugs is $84 million. YT 808 shares the same Z-Tech 4500 hull as the YT 802 tugs, albeit with some notable changes. The engine room was redesigned to accommodate selective catalytic reduction (SCR) modules paired with the Tier 4 Cat engines. The SCR units are installed forward and above each main engine. “(The SCR) units are big and bulky,” Evan Gatehouse, project director and senior naval architect at Robert Allan Ltd., told Professional Mariner last fall. “They are continuing to be a challenge because tugboats already have a crammed engine room. These units are almost


half the volume of an engine, so finding room for them you basically need to reconfigure. … Previously, it was a straightforward exhaust system.” Other changes in the engine room include the placement of day

YT 808 and its sister tugs are generally used as day boats. Even so, they have comfortable crew spaces and berthing for six people.

tanks in the main engine space; the addition of 1,000-gallon diesel exhaust fluid tanks on the port and starboard sides of the z-drive compartment; and the installation of the generators along the centerline, one in front of the other, between the mains.


With the changes taken together, the new vessel has a different feel than its forebears. “The operators said it, and I noticed it too. It feels solid,” Hartman said. “You only really know it when you sit in the helm seat. It feels solid and sits lower in the water.” The propulsion package for the new class remains virtually unchanged from the YT 802 tugs, aside from the Tier 4 classification. The Cat 3512s turn Schottel z-drives through Twin Disc reduction gears. The starboard engine has a power takeoff driving a Counterfire fire pump that supplies 2,000 gallons per minute to two forward-facing Stang fire monitors. Electrical power comes from two 154-kW John Deere gensets. “We wanted to stick with not only what works, but the end users already know how to operate and maintain the equipment on the previous class,” Shimooka said. “We

try to keep the equipment the same unless there is a new requirement, or unless the previous equipment didn’t work.” In an era where 90 tons of bollard pull is becoming the norm, the YT 808 tugs get the job done with less than 50 tons. Over consecutive days last winter, the new tugs assisted the decommissioned USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier into dry dock, moved a destroyer and shifted a deck barge. “Everybody wants 7,000 horsepower, but 7,000 horsepower isn’t always what you need,” Hartman said. “We are under 4,000 horsepower and we just pulled a 1,000-foot LMSR (for Military Sealift Command) at easy bell. It is so multi-missioned.” The YT 808s have finesse not possible on the YTBs thanks in part to slip clutches on both Twin Disc gearsets. These systems give the operator more control when

American Tugboat Review 2021


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coming alongside a ship or submarine hull, Hartman said. They also produce less wheel wash in sensitive environments. The deck equipment has been upgraded on the YT 808 class as well. The single aft bitt on the YT 802 tugboats was replaced by a sturdier H-bitt for towing off the stern. The aft deck also has a JonRie InterTech Series 421 capstan to help with line handling. A JonRie Series 210 hawser winch on the bow has a line pull of 20,000 pounds


and brake holding force of 300,000 pounds. The single drum is spooled with 2.25-inch Cortland Plasma line. The working deck is covered with nonskid coatings for safer operations in damp weather. Aft of the house, the Navy installed an improved hydraulic articulating brow that has a greater weight capacity and is easier to operate than the one installed on the previous series. The brow extends from the tugboat to the deck of a submarine for pilot and personnel transfers. Undertun, based in

Norway, initially developed the system for crew transfers between vessels and offshore wind turbines. The fendering arrangement on YT 808 was changed to better accomplish its mission. The heavily protected bow has two rows of cylindrical fenders and a lower course of “W” fenders. The sides above the waterline have diagonal rubber sections for handling barges with low freeboard. Schuyler Companies supplied the fendering system, which includes non-marking gray above the waterline. Below the surface, the skeg’s leading edge used for nudging submarines is swathed in protective rubber. The tug has a metal guard aft on the port and starboard sides to prevent contact between the z-drives and a submarine hull when alongside. These guards, and much of the tugs’ sides, also are protected by fenders. YT 808 operates with a four-person crew. In the Pacific Northwest, those mariners are civilian Navy employees who are assigned to a single tugboat. They typically work eight-hour stints and go home when the job is done for the day. The tugs operate as day boats, although they do have overnight accommodations for six people. The main deck forward of the fiddley has a small galley and comfortable crew lounge area, along with cabins for the captain and chief engineer, and a head with a shower. There are two double rooms with a bathroom forward of the engine space. The wheelhouse is enclosed by floor-toceiling windows affording excellent visibility in all directions. The operator sits forward between two control stations and Furuno navigation electronics. The vessel also has a closed-circuit TV system. “It has much newer technology,” Hartman said, comparing the YT 808 class to the YTBs. “From the navigation electronics to the winch with the foot controls, it is just moving us from the 1970s technology to current technology.” At press time, YT 808 was the lone tug in the series in service. But it won’t be that way for long. YT 809 (Agamenticus) was scheduled to arrive in Kittery, Maine, in late May, where it will go to work assisting submarines at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Delivery of the third tug in the series, YT 810 (Deception), also was scheduled for late May. • American Tugboat Review 2021

Aurora | Crowley Fuels, Anchorage, Alaska

Shallow-draft Aurora is designed for the long haul

Story and photos by Casey Conley


rowley Maritime has enhanced its fuel delivery unit with a sturdy articulated tugbarge (ATB) that will operate in remote western Alaska. The 4,000-hp Aurora pairs with the 55,000-barrel doublehulled barge Qamun through an innovative Intercontinental coupling system. The ATB meets International Maritime Organization (IMO) Polar Code and ABS ice class D0 standards and has a 4,300-mile range. It can operate in temperatures down to negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit.


Above, Aurora and its barge Qamun are designed to operate in shallow, winding Alaska rivers. Right, second mate Nick Pokryfki and Capt. Brian Deedler (right) stand in the tug’s large ship-like bridge.

Shallow draft for operating in Alaska rivers

American Tugboat Review 2021

Master Boat Builders of Bayou La Batre, Ala., built Aurora, while Gunderson Marine of Portland, Ore., built Qamun. Crowley Engineering Services, formerly Jensen Maritime, designed the 410-foot ATB for shallow-draft operations in the Kuskokwim and other winding Alaska rivers that are prone to shoaling. In a region with few assist tugboats, the ATB is maneuverable enough to dock itself in trying weather and sea conditions. Aurora and Qamun were expected to enter service in June 2021, joining Crowley’s fleet of seven tugboats and 10 tank barges already delivering fuel in western Alaska. The new ATB will be more efficient and resilient than traditional tugboats towing barges off the stern, according to Rick Meidel, Crowley Fuels’ vice president and general manager. “It is about reliability, speed and making deliveries in weather conditions where we are not able to do it today,” he said in a recent interview. “Alaska is an austere environment. The seas are rough, and we can frequently get held up waiting for a break in the weather to reach the dock.” The 108-by-46-foot Aurora is a smaller cousin to the 128-foot ATB tugboat Aveogan that Crowley


Z-drive propulsion for agility, self-docking


Meets IMO Polar Code and ABS ice-class standards 13

placed into service last summer. The larger tug pairs with the 100,000-barrel Oliver Leavitt and works under contract to the Alaskabased refinery Petro Star. Aurora and Qamun will typically work in western Alaska from April to October before shifting to comparatively balmy southeast Alaska during the winter months. The ATB will make fuel deliveries to some of the most remote places in the United States and Canada during that seven-month season. Specifically, the vessels will deliver 4 million gallons of fuel to Eareckson Air Station on Shemya Island. The outpost, home to about 175 U.S. Air Force personnel and

Above, Aurora has Schottel z-drives to help the ATB get into tight spaces without an assist tugboat. Right, the tug and barge pair up through an Intercontinental coupler system. Below, twin GE Tier 4 engines propel the ATB.

contractors, is located 900 miles west of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Its small dock lacks protection and is routinely battered by wind and surf, offering narrow windows to safely discharge cargoes. Unexploded ordnance from World War II in the small adjacent harbor makes anchoring particularly hazardous, leaving captains with few good options in poor weather. Aurora also will push Qamun into Arctic Canada for annual deliveries to a remote mining camp near Roberts Bay, Nunavut. The mine is located near Victoria Island, more than 1,000 miles east of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Closer to home, Aurora must safely transit up the narrow Kuskokwim River to Bethel and

surrounding Native Alaskan villages in western Alaska. Design parameters required the tugboat to draw no more than 9.5 feet while carrying 15,000 gallons of fuel. “That was the contract specification, but we hit that with 20,000 gallons of fuel on board,” said Dean Sahr, Crowley’s manager of new construction. Maneuverability and the ability to reach terminals in all weather was another design imperative. Aurora, named for the aurora borealis, is powered by twin 2,000hp GE 6L250 Tier 4 engines driving Schottel SRP 460 z-drives. Qamun is equipped with an 800-hp Schottel omnidirectional bow thruster to help guide the barge in and out of terminals. “This will be a very maneuverable boat,” said Capt. Kenneth Graybill III, a staff captain for Crowley Petroleum Transport who oversaw construction and delivery. “That is one of the reasons AURORA


OWNER/OPERATOR: Crowley/Crowley Fuels BUILDER: Master Boat Builders

DESIGNER: Crowley Engineering Group DIMENSIONS: 108’ x 46’ x 16’

MISSION: Fuel transport in Alaska

CREW SIZE: 9 ................................................................................................... PROPULSION:

u Sat. compass: Furuno

6L250, 2,000 hp u Vessel speed: 9 knots u Z-drives: (2) Schottel SRP 460 u Auxiliary generators: (2) 200-kW John Deere; (1) 65-kW John Deere

u GPS: (2) Furuno

u Engines: (2) Tier 4 GE


u Capstan: Coastal

Marine Equipment C50-30-131 u Coupler system: Intercontinental Model 34 u Cranes: Toimil Marine T-045M/3 NAVIGATION GEAR:

u Radar: (2) Furuno


u Electronic chart dis-

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u Radio: (3) Furuno FM

8900S; Icom GM1600

u GMDSS: Furuno RC1815 u Weatherfax: JRC


u Satellite connection:



u Fuel: 87,000 gallons


u Onboard fire sup-

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u IMO SOLAS certified

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American Tugboat Review 2021

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Left, the Toimil knuckle-boom crane is used for loading stores and heavier gear and equipment. Below, Aurora’s wheelhouse is laid out much like a modern ship-assist tugboat.

they went with z-drives … so you can maneuver the whole unit safely without an assist tug.” Aurora is expected to sail at 9 knots or faster with a loaded barge in 3- to 5-foot seas. Based on Aveogan’s performance in Alaska over the past year, Meidel expects the new ATB will exceed those projections.

“It will be able to get where it’s going faster (than a line-haul tugboat and barge) so we can expand our customer base and make more deliveries than we have done in the past,” he said. Aurora has an unusually spacious interior owing to its 46foot beam. It will operate with up to 11 crewmembers sharing seven cabins across three decks. Wireless internet is available throughout the vessel, and mariners can access an extensive on-demand TV and movie library. The crew spaces are

rated for no more than 65 decibels when the ATB is underway. “Crew ergonomics is really important to us,” Sahr said. “We just really put a lot of effort into making it comfortable because these guys are going to be so remote.” Sahr expressed particular pride with the galley and comfortable open-concept mess. The kitchen area is equipped with gleaming stainless-steel appliances and surfaces for easier upkeep and maintenance. The mess has a large table facing a 60-inch TV with access to the on-demand entertainment library. “The galley standard is the best we have in the Crowley ATB fleet,” Sahr said. The bridge resembles that of an oceangoing ship, with plenty of space to move around. The controls are laid out like a tractor tugboat and designed for a single operator.

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American Tugboat Review 2021

that we have installed on a barge,” said Richard Hunt, vice president and acting general manager at Gunderson Marine. “The integration of all the systems into a central command and control location has been very challenging (but it will) provide the barge crew with enhanced safety and operational efficiencies.” MarFlex, based in the Netherlands, supplied three electric deep well pumps for Qamun. The company also outfitted the barge with two ballast pumps, two cooling

water pumps and one variable-speed drive system. Other equipment on Qamun includes Coastal Marine Equipment winches, two burly North Pacific Crane Co. cranes and a Panasia ballast water treatment system. The barge can hold nearly 1.3 million gallons of ballast water. As of early May, Aurora was underway to the West Coast, where it will pick up Qamun in Portland. From there, the vessels will sail north to Alaska, where plenty of work awaits. •


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American Tugboat Review 2021

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The helm chair along the centerline is placed between z-drive controls and a modern suite of Furuno navigation electronics. Forward-facing helm stations also have been installed on the port and starboard sides of the wheelhouse. Aurora has Inmarsat and Iridium satellite systems to ensure stable communications even in high latitudes. Crew communicate internally through an intercom system and Icom handheld VHF radios. Like most modern ATB tugboats, Aurora is designed to stay in the notch. The tugboat has a tapered square bow that pairs with Qamun through an Intercontinental Model 34 coupler. The coupler helmet, like the one on Aveogan, has a wave design on one side and a smooth friction plate on the other. Hydraulic pressure on the wave side maintains the connection between tug and barge in dynamic conditions. Aurora is equipped with a sturdy H-bitt and a Coastal Marine Equipment capstan on the aft deck. The capstan is well suited for tightening mooring lines, retrieving anchors and, in an emergency, handling a hawser connecting the tug and barge. The 350-by-88-foot Qamun, an Inupiaq word for “low sled,” has 12 tanks, 10 of which hold 5,000 barrels while two hold about 3,000 barrels. The barge will load some of its cargo at the Petro Star refinery in Valdez, but much of the product it delivers will come from foreign-flagged tankers that loiter in international waters each summer. Qamun can load 6,000 barrels of cargo an hour while alongside another ship, according to Crowley. The barge has two anchors, one fore and one aft, that allow the ATB to push close to shore in small communities that lack terminal facilities. The 800-hp electrically driven Schottel jet thruster is located at the bow, forward of the cargo tanks and aft of the forepeak. Electrical power on the barge comes from three 436-hp John Deere engines paired with selective catalytic reduction systems that meet IMO Tier 3 standards. Tanks for the barge engines hold 1,700 gallons of urea and 14,000 gallons of diesel. “The electrical and control system on Qamun is the most technically complex

17 2104123_AZ_AmericanTugReview_RZ.indd 1

23.04.21 10:22

A. Thomas Higgins | E.N. Bisso & Son, New Orleans

With A. Thomas Higgins, E.N. Bisso & Son builds on what works Story and photos by Brian Gauvin


he 80-foot A. Thomas Higgins, named for a current owner of E.N. Bisso & Son, Inc., joined sister tug C.D. White in the company’s New Orleans fleet last year. Both tugs, built at Eastern Shipbuilding in Panama City, Florida, are RApport 2400-series tugboats designed by Robert Allan, Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia. Both are outfitted and classified for ship assist and ocean transits. “This boat was built to do jobs in very tight quarters,” Mike Killelea, E.N. Bisso’s port captain,



Capable of 67.5 tons of bollard pull

said of A. Thomas Higgins. “It has great power for its size and the maneuverability is second to none.” The new tugs are modified versions of Gladys B., acquired from Signet Shipbuilding and Repair of Pascagoula, Miss., in 2016. Gladys B. was the first Robert Allan-designed tug to work on the Mississippi River. The White and Higgins have proven their worth performing ship assist and escort duties along 230 miles of the Mississippi River, from Pilottown, near the river’s mouth, to Baton Rouge. They also perform ocean towing in the Gulf of Mexico. “We’ve worked several jobs from Key West to Brownsville, Texas, and in ports, in all weather, in between,” said Luis Solano, a veteran of 32 years at E.N. Bisso, and captain of A. Thomas Higgins. “This boat is extremely stable in the Mississippi River, and the best handling boat on the river. She’s very agile.” Although the three tugs share the same pedigree, there are some notable differences. For example, Gladys B. is powered with twin Tier 3 MTU mains. The two new tugs are fitted with Tier 4 Caterpillar 3512E engines.

Above, A. Thomas Higgins is the second of two sister tugs built by Eastern Shipbuilding. Right, operators have modern controls and navigation electronics at their fingertips.


Outfitted for ship assist, escort and ocean towing


Heavy interior insulation to reduce engine noise American Tugboat Review 2021

“Our experience with the various Caterpillar 3512 and 3516 plants on our tugs showed that, for our purposes, the 3512Es were the right choice,” said Mike Vitt, an E.N. Bisso vice president. “Caterpillar engines also are more familiar to the crews and personnel operating and maintaining them.” The 5,100-hp Caterpillar mains, supplied by Louisiana Cat, are shafted to Kongsberg US 205-P20 z-drives generating 67.5 tons of bollard pull and a top speed of 15.5 knots. Two 99-kW John Deere generators provide electrical power. Jamie McCarthy, project manager for Robert Allan Ltd. said the skeg’s size was reduced on the new tugs. This gives them better maneuverability when handling ships in the strong currents on the Mississippi River year-round.

American Tugboat Review 2021

Another change was to move from raw-water cooling to keel cooling. “Gladys B. has raw-water heat exchanger cooling for the main machinery,” McCarthy said. “Although this works fine in the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River tends to have a lot of debris, which can sometimes clog the strainers.” For the new tugs, the grid coolers are mounted in recesses in the hull.

Right, A. Thomas Higgins is outfitted with a 40-hp Markey winch on the bow. Below, the aft deck has a Markey capstan and Washington Chain & Supply towing hook.

The navigation light system, designed by JBOX of Harvey, La., is another difference. Killelea borrowed an innovation developed by Mike Nigro, a vice president with G&H Towing in Galveston, Texas. The system allows for the


navigation lights to be fully reversed by a single switch when the operator is towing in reverse. If a ship under assist by the tug unexpectedly goes dark, the tug, having moved to an emergency tow mode, towing in reverse with the Markey Render/Recover hawser winch on the bow, will display the navigation lights correctly. The fendering on Gladys B. was reworked to suit the new tug’s mission of assisting ships on the Mississippi River. McCarthy said they further improved the fendering to provide better side protection and stand-off from vessels. A. THOMAS HIGGINS SPECIFICATIONS

OWNER/OPERATOR: Bisso Offshore/E.N. Bisso &

Son Inc.

BUILDER: Eastern Shipbuilding Group DESIGNER: Robert Allan Ltd.

DIMENSIONS: 80’ x 38’ x 13’

MISSION: Ship assist, escort, emergency towing

CREW SIZE: 4 ................................................................................................... PROPULSION:

u Depth sounder: Furuno

Caterpillar 3512E, 2,550 hp u Bollard pull: 67.5 tons u Vessel speed: 15.5 knots u Propellers: (2) Kongsberg US205 P20 z-drives u Auxiliary generators: (2) Tier 3 99-kW John Deere 4045AFM85

u Anemometer: Young

u Engines: (2) Tier 4


u Winch: Single-drum

Markey Machinery model DEPCF-42 HS u Cordage: 400’ of 2-5/8” Samson Saturn-12 u Capstan: Markey Machinery CEPB-40 u Tow hook: Washington Chain & Supply 90-ton SWL u Fendering: Schuyler Cos. NAVIGATION GEAR:

u Radar: (2) Furuno

8065 multicolor LCD

u Compass: Furuno SC70,

Ritchie mechanical compass u AIS: Furuno FA170 u E-nav software: Rose Point ECS u Autopilot: Simrad AP80 u GPS: Furuno GP39


FCV 628

Model 05106

COMMUNICATIONS: u Radio: (2) Icom

M-506 VHF, (2) Icom HM-195 command microphones, Icom M-802 SSB u Loud hailer: Furuno LH-500 u Satellite connection: KVH Fleet One u Intercom: Jotron CIS 3100 CAPACITIES:

u Fuel: 28,000 gallons

u Potable water: 8,750


u Lube oil: 750 gallons u DEF: 1,700 gallons


u Monitors: 4” Stang

remote-controlled fire monitor u Pumps: 1,500-gpm Counterfire ES-125-400 u Onboard fire suppression systems: FM-200 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: u Coast Guard

Subchapter M u Built to ABS standards

Top, chief engineer Todd Rablais stands alongside a Caterpillar 3512E main engine. Above, (from left) Capt. Luis Solano, port captain Mike Killelea and Rablais pause for a photo on the bow.

Killelea, Steve Berthold, vice president of sales and marketing (now retired) at Eastern, and Dale Langley with Schuyler Cos., refined the fendering package on the new boats. “The improved fendering system allows the tugs to work where some vessels would encounter a metal-on-metal situation,” said Killelea. Solano added that the fendering helps create a comfortable and forgiving ride offshore. “It is very quiet because there are no tires chained to the hull creating chain noise and chipping the paint.” A 40-hp Markey Machinery DEPCF-42 HS single-drum electric hawser winch and a Smith Berger Marine bow staple with muscular side bitts dominate the foredeck. The winch is wound

with 400 feet of Samson 2-5/8inch Saturn-12 soft line. On the Gladys B., the area required to fit the aft winch and H-bitt on the compact aft deck of the RApport 2400 series, utilized for barge towing on the hip, was not well suited to the new tug’s mission. On the C.D. White and A. Thomas Higgins, a stern tow bitt, a Markey capstan and a 90-ton Washington Chain & Supply tow hook installed on the aft deck in a stacked configuration created a smaller machinery footprint. The setup maintained redundancy for towing and gear retrieval functions, with an optimal pivot point location. There are three tow makeups available on the new boats. One is from the bow with the Markey hawser winch. Another employs the bow staple boasting 60 tons of bollard pull and the bitts rated for 150 tons of static bollard pull. Lastly, the vessel can tow off the stern engaging the tow hook, bitt and capstan. To simplify the confusion caused by a host of alarms and monitors, First Electric Motor Service of Woburn, Mass., designed a Siemens modularbased alarm system. “The system interfaces with all the machinery in the engine room, the electrical switchboard, the battery bank monitoring, the bilges and also ultrasonically monitors all the tank levels,” said Killelea. The captain and engineer can monitor all the tug’s functions on single monitors, mounted in the wheelhouse, engine room, galley, engineer’s stateroom and captain’s stateroom. There are six fixed-mount CCTV cameras that monitor the engine room, the z-drive room and the forward and aft deck areas. A PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) camera is mounted high on the mast and remotely operated from the wheelhouse. “This is an American Tugboat Review 2021



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added measure of monitoring that the crew on board can utilize to respond more quickly to an event or emergency situation,” said Killelea. Most tugboats are a second home for crew members, making comfort and amenities an important element in their design and construction. E.N. Bisso insisted on a high level

E.N. Bisso & Son focused on noise reduction and crew comforts on A. Thomas Higgins and its sister tug, C.D. White.

of crew comfort on the boats, Killelea said. One priority was to build a quiet vessel to ensure crewmembers off watch can rest in order to prevent fatigue. Noise reduction was achieved by fitting the machinery with vibration isolators, resilient mounts and exhaust spark arrester silencers. An insulation blanket of 3-inch thick fiberglass was applied to the inside of the exterior superstructure, pilot house bulkheads, exhaust stacks, under the decks and to the lower hull forward accommodation area. “That sounds like enough,” said Killelea. “But we went one step further by insulating the joiner panels, thus resulting in the quietest vessel we have ever encountered. It takes some getting used to as the crew can barely hear the engines start and throttle up. On a tug, that’s

almost unheard of.” Attention was also paid to the operational access, functionality and ergonomics in the wheelhouse. The visibility is noteworthy, giving the operator a direct ship line and winch line of sight, and good peripheral and overhead visibility. By the time specification discussions were underway with Eastern Shipbuilding, Killelea said he had already gathered a wish list from E.N Bisso’s captains, engineers and shoreside personnel. “Almost all of which was approved and specified during the contract phase.” The result is an obvious “Pride of Place” mentality exhibited by the crew and manifested by their dedication to keeping a copious amount of stainless steel, brass and brightwork gleaming aboard A. Thomas Higgins. •


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American Tugboat Review 2021

Jack K. | Weeks Marine, Cranford, N.J.

Versatile Jack K. handles multiple roles at the dredge site Story and photos by Brian Gauvin


aving made the decision to invest in three dredge tenders, Weeks Marine of New Jersey developed a design they termed a modified lugger tug. The result, according to Shaun O’Brien, Weeks’ senior port engineer of towing and project manager during construction, is a twin-screw tug as multifaceted as a Swiss Army knife. “The intention was to develop a small versatile vessel that could support dredging operations, transport a significant amount of fuel water, and perform towing operations to mobilize job sites,” O’Brien said.


Above, Jack K. is the first of three tugboats Rodriguez Shipbuilding will deliver to Weeks Marine. Right, Weeks Marine project manager Dave Tuck says Jack K. has excellent handling.

First of three new Weeks dredge tenders

American Tugboat Review 2021


Modified lugger tug design


The 62.5-foot Jack K., delivered from Rodriguez Shipbuilding in April, is the first of the series. The second tug is scheduled for delivery this summer. The third is a 78-by-30foot triple-screw vessel due this fall. It is larger and more muscular than the preceding two to handle larger equipment and barge tows. “The tug Jack K. is the first new build for Weeks Marine Towing since the tug Candace in 2005,” said Benjamin Peterson, towing division manager for Weeks Marine. Jack K., named for a grandson of company president Richard Weeks, is fitted out for assisting dredges, towing, pushing, anchor handling, moving pipe and performing other dredging duties. Although it will primarily work along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coast, the tug carries an Oceans COI for towing equipment offshore. Joey Rodriguez has a long history of building shallow draft, lugger-style tugs at his Bayou La Batre, Ala., shipyard. He was forced to shutter the yard when the oil price collapse a few years ago resulted in a glut of oil transportation and supply vessels. Last year, he lifted the shutters in response to multiple orders, culminating in the Weeks’ contract. One notable feature of the Rodriguez tug is the adaptable fishtail rudder, which is customized on each vessel to address the boat’s mission and the customer’s budget. Although the fishtail rudder design influences the boat handling characteristics, offsetting the rudders inboard is the largest contribution to better maneuverability. “Offsetting the rudders inboard enhances the walking ability of the tug tremendously,” Rodriguez said. He noted that extending

First Weeks newbuild tug since 2005 23

the leading edge of the rudders also contributes to what he calls a maximum performing rudder design. “After 43 years building boats, you learn a little bit about designing rudders.” Peterson, also impressed with the tug’s maneuverability said, “She has a balanced feel with great rudder power, which allows the tug to utilize all of the vessel thrust to work in the tight confines of Weeks Marine dredging and construction sites.” Dave Tuck, a Weeks engineer and project manager on the Jack K., agrees the handling is outstanding. The wheelhouse has 360-degree visibility and four steering stations: center console, port and starboard wings and aft console. The stern station is fitted with a complete electronics suite and controls for operating the anchors and the Coastal Marine Equipment towing winch in all weather conditions.

The towing winch is also utilized for handling anchors via an anchor chute with roller, centerline at the stern rail. The winch has two drums, the larger wound with 1,200 feet of 1.25inch towing wire, and a smaller drum with 500 feet of 1.25-inch wire for anchor handling. On the bow, there are two electric Nabrico deck winches for facing up to barges. The three tugs have a host of characteristics to combat the elements and the rugged nature of dredging work. The hull and side shell are made of half-inch plate steel and the steel decks are 3/8 inches thick. The hull protection, provided by M&M Bumper Service of Bourg, La., is heavily protected from the wear and tear of handling anchors and pipe connections. The tire system is directly connected to the hull, eliminating the use of chain mounts that cause hull and tire

Above, Cummins supplied the main engines and the generator sets for Jack K.



OWNER/OPERATOR: Weeks Marine BUILDER: Rodriguez Shipbuilding DESIGNER: MiNO Marine

DIMENSIONS: 62.5’ x 22’ x 8’

MISSION: Dredge tender ................................................................................................... PROPULSION:

u Engines: (2) Cummins

QSK19 MCRS, 750 hp

u Reduction gears: Twin

Disc MGX-5222DC

u Auxiliary generators:

(2) 65-kW Cummins QSB7-DM u Propellers: (2) 66” x 54” Kahlenberg propellers; Aquamet 17 propeller shafts NAVIGATION/ COMMUNICATIONS:

u Radar: (2) Furuno

DRS6AX radars

u AIS: Furuno FA170 AIS

u Compass: Furuno SC30

GPS satellite compass u GPS: Furuno GP33 u Autopilot: Furuno FAP7001 u Depth sounder: Furuno DFF1 u (2) Icom M604A VHF radios



tow motor

u Coastal Marine

Equipment towing winch with 1,200’ of 1.25” wire u (2) Nabrico DF-156-4011-HE facing winches with 84’ of 1” wire u M&M Bumper Service fendering CAPACITIES:

u Fuel: 12,000 gallons

u Water: 6,000 gallons

u Lube oil: 350 gallons


u Pumps: Griswold 3” w/

10-hp motor

u Onboard fire suppres-

sion systems: Fixed C02 installed by Hiller

wear. All deck connections, handrails and stern cap rail are stainless steel, and all interior water piping is welded/flanged stainless steel to prevent leaks. “We have designed a backup battery system powered by lithium ion batteries, which maintains the electronics,

Above, Coastal Marine Equipment provided the towing winch on the aft deck.

interior communication, and lighting,” O’Brien said. The interior lighting, half of which is on a backup system, are slim line LEDs manufactured by Macris Industries. Propulsion comes from two Cummins QSK19-M main engines coupled to Twin Disc MGX 5222 gears with a 6.10:1 reduction ratio for 1,500 total horsepower. The 66-by-54-inch stainless steel, four-bladed Kahlenberg wheels are pitched for torque rather than speed. Electrical power comes from a pair of Cummins QSB7DM-powered 60-kW generators. “It’s really nice having an all-Cummins package for lower maintenance and operating costs,” Tuck said. Crew comfort and crew endurance were a consideration throughout design and construction, according to O’Brien and Peterson. Accommodation is for six crew members in three staterooms. The interior cabinetry is custom built with hardwood panels and Perko hardware and the countertops are granite. The floors are a .75-inch Dex-O-Tex system with a rubberized overlay. “This flooring is robust, reduces engine room noise, and American Tugboat Review 2021

FROM 40kW TO 350kW

via KVH V7 and TV 5 domes. The appliances in the galley are commercial grade with stainless exteriors. Weeks Marine, one of the largest marine contractors in the United States and Canada, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019. The company’s dredging division owns and operates a large and diversified fleet of dredging and support equipment. A few recent new builds include the suction dredge C.R. McCaskill, provides a comfortable walking surface,” said O’Brien. The practical reward for attending to the comfort of crew members is less fatigue and higher morale. To that end, all of the bunks are fitted with a pillowtop twin XL mattress and television sets. Channels can be selected separately from all four cabins and the galley. Satellite internet and television are connected


Above, Jack K. left the Rodriguez shipyard in Alabama in spring 2021. Right, crew comforts extend from the wellappointed galley to the flooring system designed to reduce noise and vibration.

built at Weeks Marine’s yard in Houma, and the trailing suction hopper dredge Magdalen, built at Eastern Shipbuilding. The 78-foot triple-screw dredge tender under construction at Rodriguez, with greater tankage capacities and a larger aft winch, will be capable of larger and longer tows. Meanwhile, Weeks expects to have a good sense of Jack K.’s prowess in short order. “We’re leaving tomorrow morning for a dredging project in Tampa,” O’Brien said during the April 16 christening in Houma, La. “We should have a very good idea of the capabilities in the next few weeks. We designed these boats to be rugged and have a long career with Weeks.” •

American Tugboat Review 2021

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Kyle Armstrong

North Arm Tempest | North Arm Transportation, Vancouver, B.C.

B.C. operator welcomes first z-drive tugboat Story by Alan Haig-Brown



Above, North Arm Tempest adds versatility for the B.C. tugboat operator. Right, North Arm Transportation crews speak highly of the tugboat’s Veth controls.

Kyle Armstrong


orth Arm Transportation has added a versatile z-drive tugboat to its fleet of coastal towing vessels – and it’s already earning acclaim from captains. “I love these Veth controls,” Capt. Ryan Scott said of the intuitive z-drive control system on North Arm Tempest, the first z-drive in the North Arm tugboat fleet. Scott recently retired after 32 years with a large towing company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. North Arm officials hired him to train two crews on the new tugboat that will operate along the

B.C. coast. “For the last 15 years, I drove tractor tugs. I found this boat responds quickly, handles nice and walks very well,” Scott said in a recent interview. He commended the quiet of the vessel’s design, courtesy of A.G. McIlwain, and the twin Cummins 1,000-hp KTA38 main engines. The Veth VZ-900 z-drives, with their 67-by-60-inch props in Veth VOB50 nozzles, are a first for British Columbia and are being praised for their simple but robust design. The drives aren’t the only innovation on the new tugboat. North Arm Transportation tows fuel and general cargo barges along the B.C. coast. This can involve maneuvering barges into upcoast wharves and beaches with no assist boats. While B.C. skippers are noted for their abilities working in tide and handling barges at difficult landings, the z-drives introduce a whole new level of safety. The new tugboat, built by North Vancouver’s ABD Boats, is an evolved cousin to the boatbuilder’s McIlwain-designed tug Renegade, delivered in 2012 for Standard Towing Ltd. At 64.9 by 27 feet with a 13.9-foot draft, the two boats have the same hull dimensions. They also

First z-drive in company’s tugboat fleet O Outfitted for barge handling and ship assist O Flying bridge improves visibility in close quarters American Tugboat Review 2021

Left, North Arm Tempest has a flying bridge that offers superior visibility when maneuvering in close quarters.

Alan Haig-Brown


OWNER/OPERATOR: North Arm Transportation BUILDER: ABD Boats


DIMENSIONS: 64.9’x 27’x13.9’

MISSION: Towing barges in coastal British


CREW SIZE: Accommodations for 6 ................................................................................................... PROPULSION:

u Satellite Compass:

KTA38M, 1,000 hp u Vessel speed: 11.7 knots u Z-drives: (2) Veth VZ-900 u Shaft line: Vulkan couplings and carbon fiber shafting u Auxiliary generators: (2) 65-kW John Deere 4045TFM85G24V w/ Stamford Marine alternators

u GPS: Furuno GP39


u Fuel: 22,200 gallons

u Bow winch: Burrard

Iron Works HBW split drum anchor and hawser winch u Towing winch: Burrard Iron Works HD u Cordage: 2,200’ of 1.75” steel wire aft; 400’ of 2.25” Samson AmSteel-Blue line forward u Fendering: Schuyler Cos.

Furuno SC70

u AIS: Furuno FA170 u Autopilot: Simrad


u Bridge alarm: Furuno



u Radio: (2) Icom M506


u Satellite phone:



u Water: 1,800 gallons

u Lube oil: 230 gallons


u Alarms: Honeywell


u Pumps: (2) MP Pumps


u Onboard fire suppres-

sion systems: Kidde CO2



u AdvanTec windows

with MFD; Furuno FAR1518BB u Compass: Dirago

searchlights u International coatings

u Radar: Furuno TZT3

u Carlisle & Finch

American Tugboat Review 2021

Alan Haig-Brown

u Engines: (2) Cummins

share the same Cummins KTA38 engines. North Arm’s fleet supervisor, Paul Kruse, has had extensive experience with the KTA38 engines. “These are mechanical engines, and have worked well in the Renegade. To address environmental and economic concerns, we have fitted them with optional fuel monitors,” he explained. North Arm Tempest differs from Renegade with the choice of the Veth z-drives. This was done after careful and deliberate research – which included discussions with the owners of Seattle-based Western Towboat,

Above, Burrard Iron Works supplied both winches aboard North Arm Tempest.

who use z-drives on their long-haul boats, and Capt. Jack Davis, who had Renegade built to operate from Port McNeill on the north side of Vancouver Island. North Arm Transportation has several boats, including ramp, fuel and flat barges serving the coastal communities and the logging, mining and tourist camps along the B.C. coast. The company was founded by the Stradiotti brothers in 1958, and this is their first new boat in many years – and, it is their first z-drive. Success has come through versatility and the ability to adapt to evolving needs on the islands and inlets that make up the rugged B.C. coast. With that in mind, North Arm Tempest has a large Burrard Iron Works single-drum towing winch on the aft deck. The winch is loaded with 2,200 feet of 1.75-inch wire, plus two 400-foot pendants with links to allow up to three barges to be towed in tandem. There is a Burrard Iron Works combination anchor and hawser winch on the foredeck. With controls on the wheelhouse console, the hawser winch is primarily designed for making up to barges but is also ready to be operated in shipdocking mode if required. For optimum situational awareness, a full set of controls – with a clear view of both the hawser and the towing winches – are included on a flying bridge over the wheelhouse. This will be an invaluable asset when landing a ramp barge on a beach, or handling a fuel barge on the hip and alongside a pier. The mast is also equipped with hydraulics that enable it to be lowered for bridges. In the wheelhouse, a set of aftfacing controls with an open view of the aft deck and Western Machine Works tow pins allow for control of the aft deck towing winch. The forward console, in addition to the two Veth z-drive controls, has a full slate of Furuno navigation tools, Icom communications, Veth engine controls and a Simrad autopilot. 29

companionway leads forward in the raised fo’c’sle to four bunk rooms: two doubles and two singles. Additional stores and a washer and

Below, Cummins main engines occupy a prominent place in North Arm Tempest’s engine room. Right, extensive piping runs through the machinery space. Kyle Armstrong

The operator has access to other controls and switches from the helm chair, including two Carlisle & Finch searchlights mounted atop the flying bridge. Down from the wheelhouse, a watertight door is mounted at the base of the companionway. When fully opened, it can pivot into the port-side galley, which is separated by a companionway from the starboard-side mess. The

Kyle Armstrong

dryer are fitted into available spaces. Aft of the accommodation area, a ladder leads to the front of the engine room. The space is well laid out, with plenty of room to access the two Cummins KTA38 mains and the two John Deere auxiliaries. Additional piping and controls allow for the hydraulics – powered by the two auxiliaries – to operate the winches, tow pins and other devices, including a man-overboard davit. A pair of large circular “donut”

Harco exhaust silencers are mounted between the engines and the deckhead to provide efficient noise reduction. Aft of the engine room, a door and companionway lead to port and starboard drive rooms. The drives contain the clutches and are connected to the mains with carbonfiber drive shafts and torsional couplings. On the foredeck, the massively fendered bow and bulwarks are capped by a stainless-steel wear strip. The anchor chain leads down a hawsepipe to the anchor, mounted in a pocket in the hull. The Schuyler Cos. fendering extends all around the tug to a heavily fendered transom. Sea trials proved North Arm Tempest to be comfortably quiet and, thanks to the Veth drives, well mannered and responsive. This is a boat that will be getting the welldeserved attention of other Pacific coast operators looking to update their barge towing fleet. •

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American Tugboat Review 2021

Cooper Marine & Timberlands photos

Gretchen V. Cooper | Cooper Marine & Timberlands, Mobile, Ala.

Cooper Marine embraces cleaner-burning Tier 4 engines Story by Casey Conley


ooper Marine & Timberlands is now operating one of the most environmentally friendly linehaul towboats on the inland waterways. The company, based in Mobile, Ala., took delivery of Gretchen V. Cooper this spring from Blakeley BoatWorks. It is one of the first linehaul towboats in the United States with engines that meet EPA Tier 4 emissions standards, and the first with Caterpillar highspeed engines. James Fowler, managing director of marine and stevedoring operations for Cooper Marine & Timberlands, considers the vessel an investment for the future.


Cooper Marine vessels, it can work virtually anywhere within the inland river system. Gretchen V. Cooper is the 20th towboat in the Cooper Marine fleet, which also has more than 400 dry cargo barges. The company is a division of the privately held Cooper/T. Smith. The 115-year-old company has multiple maritime businesses that include pushboat operator Plimsoll Marine and ship-assist company Crescent Towing. Blakeley BoatWorks is another subsidiary. Cooper Marine’s newest, most environmentally friendly towboat is named for the wife of company President Angus R. Cooper III. Gretchen V. Cooper joins a small number of towboats that meet the most stringent EPA emissions regulations. The deadline for meeting Tier 4 for marine engines exceeding 804 hp took effect in 2017. Even so, grandfathering provisions within the

Gretchen V. Cooper is one of the most powerful towboats working on the TennesseeTombigbee Waterway. It’s also one of the few towboats working the inland waterways with Tier 4 engines.

First linehaul towboat with Cat Tier 4 engines

American Tugboat Review 2021


“And clearly the future is reduced carbon emissions,” he said in a recent interview at the company’s headquarters. With 3,400 total horsepower, Gretchen V. Cooper is one of the fastest and most powerful towboats operating on the TennesseeTombigbee Waterway. “It has exceeded our expectations in performance, speed and safe handling in our river system,” Fowler said. Farrell & Norton Naval Architects developed a new design for the 110-by-33-foot towboat. It tows up to eight barges, the limit for locks on the Tenn-Tom. It has primarily worked on that waterway since delivery; but, like other

One of most powerful vessels working the Tenn-Tom

regulation have allowed shipyards to deliver one Tier 3 towboat after another over the past four-plus years. The emissions reductions required under Tier 4 are significant. Engines that meet the standard nearly eliminate nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (black soot) emissions. Caterpillar and most other major engine makers use an off-engine selective catalytic reduction (SCR) module requiring urea to meet these standards. GE, which


20th towboat in Cooper Marine fleet 31

uses an on-engine system to cut emissions, is the lone exception. All options were on the table as Cooper Marine launched the Gretchen V. Cooper project. The company has experience with different engine makers across its maritime businesses and has experienced pros and cons with many of them. “In terms of this project,” Fowler said, “Cat was the best fit for us as we jumped off into Tier 4.” There are several reasons why operators have been slow to embrace Tier 4 technology. Higher building costs are one, and the cost of buying urea in perpetuity is another. Sourcing urea also can be difficult in some smaller ports, and crews must be trained to handle the chemical as well. These hurdles, as Cooper Marine has learned, can be overcome. The company partnered with its existing Mobile bunker supplier, Radcliff/Economy Marine Services, to supply urea to Gretchen V. Cooper. Caterpillar and local Cat dealer Thompson Tractor provided support before, during and after construction. Caterpillar also helped train Cooper’s crews, who have since passed along that knowledge to


other companies, Fowler said. Richard Tremayne, marine business manager for Thompson Tractor, said Tier 4 engines are more efficient than their Tier 3 counterparts, reducing overall fuel consumption. The fuel savings more than offset the cost of urea. Many other challenges often associated with Tier 4 engines similarly have been addressed, he said. “The Cat Tier 4 engine has the same dimensions and weight as the prior tier engines, so the installation is the same as before,” Tremayne said. “Speaking to our shipyard customers, the early challenge each of them faced was conceiving where to locate the emissions module for each engine. The naval architects fairly quickly conquered that challenge for each vessel design.” Cooper Marine had some important performance objectives for Gretchen V. Cooper that went well beyond the propulsion package. The vessel had to be maneuverable and responsive when navigating the narrow, winding Tenn-Tom, Fowler said. It also needed sufficient power to make those voyages quickly and safely in all river conditions. And, it had to maintain an 8.5-foot working draft.

Cooper Marine & Timberlands partnered with its fuel supplier to deliver diesel exhaust fluid for the Caterpillar Tier 4 engines.

The vessel is equipped with four flanking rudders and two steering rudders on each side. Its typical tow configuration is two rows of three barges ahead of the towboat, and one on its port and starboard sides. The 33-foot beam allows for flush lines along the entire tow, naval architect Tom Farrell explained. Farrell & Norton’s design contains some attributes of the firm’s existing 120-foot platform. But the overall plans were redrawn for the 110-foot envelope. The main engines are in the lower engine space, and the SCR modules are in the upper engine space, along with twin 2,050-gallon urea tanks. The ceiling in the upper engine space was raised by two feet to accommodate the SCR module and other equipment. “We pretty quickly realized we’d have to step up that aft 01 deck to get all the equipment in GRETCHEN V. COOPER SPECIFICATIONS

OWNER/OPERATOR: Cooper Marine & Timberlands BUILDER: Blakeley BoatWorks DESIGNER: Farrell & Norton

DIMENSIONS: 110’ x 33’ x 11’

MISSION: Transporting barges

CREW SIZE: 8 ................................................................................................... PROPULSION:

u Engines: (2) Tier 4

Caterpillar C3512E, 1,700 hp u Gearbox: (2) Twin Disc MGX5600 at 6.04:1 ratio u Shafts: (2) J&S Machine Works 9” ABS grade u Propellers: (2) four-blade 88” Southeastern Propeller u Rudder bearings: Thordon u Auxiliary generators: (2) Tier 3 Caterpillar C4.4, 99 kW u Keel coolers: (6) R.W. Fernstrum Gridcooler DECK EQUIPMENT:

u Winches: (2) Patterson

40-ton deck winches u Fendering: Schuyler Cos.

u GPS: Furuno GP39 u Compass: Ritchie

HB845; Furuno SC70

u AIS: Furuno FA170

u Bridge alarm: Furuno


u Controls: Twin Disc


COMMUNICATIONS: u Radio: Standard

Horizon 6X6000S

u Loud hailer: Standard

Horizon VLH-3000


u Fuel: 44,200 gallons

u Water: 10,000 gallons u DEF: 4,400 gallons


u Pumps: Griswold HL

3” x 2” coupled with 15-hp TEFC motor u Alarms: Mircom detection system supplied by Hiller Systems


u Radar: Furuno 1935

American Tugboat Review 2021

there and have room for the crew to work on it,” Farrell said. The propulsion package on Gretchen V. Cooper consists of twin Cat 3512E engines producing 1,700 hp at 1,800 rpm. The main engines turn 88-inch, four-blade stainless-steel Southeastern Propellers through Twin Disc reduction gears. Ship service power comes from two 99-kW Cat C4.4 gensets installed forward of the main engines. Interior spaces aboard the new vessel were designed with crew comfort in mind. The main deck has a storage area, a laundry room and a crew lounge with a large TV and leather furniture. There is an open-concept mess and galley with stainless-steel appliances. The engineer’s cabin, with connected head and a separate half-bath, also is on this level. The 01 deck has four cabins in all, with two on each side separated by shared baths in the center of the tug. The 02 deck has the captain’s cabin and head. A Mitsubishi split system provides heating – and, more importantly, cooling that’s plenty robust for the blistering Alabama heat. “For the crew, it is a very spacious vessel,” Fowler said. “The break room is really a theater room and a place for them to relax when they are off watch. In terms of accommodations, it really sets the bar for us and other linehaul operators.” The 03 deck contains the wheelhouse with floor-to-ceiling windows facing forward and a 33.5-foot height of eye. The space is equipped with Furuno navigation electronics, a Furuno bridge navigation watch alarm, a Ritchie compass and Twin Disc controls. There are two Patterson 40-ton deck winches on the bow, while the hull and push knees are protected by fendering from Schuyler Companies. Blakeley BoatWorks, formerly C&G Boat Works, built the vessel at its 26-acre shipyard along the Mobile River. Cooper/T. Smith acquired the yard in 2015 and has since used the facility for fleet upgrades and new construction, including an ongoing series of 70-foot fleet boats for Plimsoll Marine. One of those vessels, the 1,600-hp Virginia, was the first newbuild in the American Tugboat Review 2021

United States to earn a certificate of inspection (COI) under Coast Guard Subchapter M in early 2019. Farrell & Norton designed that vessel and its three sister tugs, including Mary Lynn Cooper delivered in fall 2020. Fowler, whose duties include overseeing the shipyard, said it has shown a knack for innovation and problemsolving during these complex builds. The yard has stayed busy building and repairing vessels for Cooper/T. Smith, but it

could build vessels for other operators sometime down the road. “We want to specialize in high quality,” Fowler said. “Especially with these sorts of jobs that require a special touch and level of attention, that is Blakeley’s sweet spot.” It’s also possible the yard will find itself building a sister to Gretchen V. Cooper before long. Based on early reviews, it will be a tough act to follow. •


Left, Wanchese has a model bow with an inlandstyle deckhouse perched atop the hull. Below, Coastal Marine Equipment provided the towing winch.

ferries make approximately 200 trips per day, covering 1,200 miles over water. Since 2020, NCDOT has upgraded a large chunk of its workboat fleet. Conrad Shipyard built three smaller workboats, and Metal Shark delivered Wanchese using a design from DeJong & Lebet of Jacksonville, Fla. Wanchese has a 71-by-30-foot model bow with a boxy inland-style deckhouse rising above the deck. Its large forward-slanting glass wheelhouse provides superb visibility in all directions from a 32-foot height of eye. Named for a small town on the southern tip of Roanoke Island, Wanchese will replace the 58-foot conventionally driven tugboat Albemarle built in 1977. The biggest change between the two vessels can be found in the engine

Wanchese | N.C. DOT, Manns Harbor, N.C.

Nimble Wanchese supports critical N.C. ferry operations Story and photos by Will Van Dorp


orth Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) welcomed the arrival of its all-purpose tugboat, Wanchese, to the Outer Banks. NCDOT oversees a diverse infrastructure portfolio for rail, aviation, bus, motor vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian transportation. The department maintains 80,000 miles of road and 13,000 culverts and bridges, the longest being the five-



mile Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge over Croatan Sound between Roanoke Island and Manns Harbor, headquarters for NCDOT’s North Carolina Ferry System (NCFS). North Carolina operates the second-largest publicly owned ferry system in the United States. Its fleet includes at least 20 ferries and nine support vessels. Each year, the state ferries carry 850,000 vehicles and 2 million passengers on seven routes from 13 terminals. State

Z-drive propulsion for enhanced maneuverability


Supports North Carolina state ferry fleet

room: Wanchese is propelled by Schottel SRP 210 z-drives turning 57-inch propellers. Two 600-hp Caterpillar C18 engines provide the muscle. NCDOT tug operators noticed Wanchese has greater maneuverability and reduced fuel usage compared to its predecessor. In addition to better maneuverability and power, Wanchese has a spacious deck with updated deck machinery — including a stern towing winch


Replaces 43-year-old workboat American Tugboat Review 2021

Albemarle lacked. The Coastal Marine Equipment hydraulic towing winch is essential on Wanchese, which serves as a first responder for ferries or other large vessels should they become disabled. The Wintech KR-series “push gear” deck winches on the stern are also hydraulic, replacing

the manual winches found on Albemarle. Crews have been pleased with power equipment on a roomier deck with a larger workspace than the previous tug. Wanchese is generally a day boat, but it is equipped with a FLIR system to assist with nighttime rescues for the ferry system or other operators. Wanchese’s intercom, another tool lacking on Albemarle, enables the wheelhouse to communicate with crew in the galley, bow and stern. The Garmin chartplotter/sonar combination with touch-screen technology provides a leap forward as well. One imperative of the tugboat


OWNER/OPERATOR: N.C. Department of Transporta-

tion Ferry Division BUILDER: Metal Shark Boats DESIGNER: DeJong & Lebet Inc. & Metal Shark DIMENSIONS: 70.5’ x 30’ x 11’ MISSION: Towing marine assets for NCDOT; emergency towing CREW SIZE: 4

Above, Wanchese performs a wide range of towing work to keep the N.C. ferry system running. Below, the vessel has Garmin and Furuno navigation electronics.

design process was a shallow draft, not to exceed 7 feet. This is necessitated by occasional conditions of low water, especially during blowout tides – a phenomenon that occurs when strong, sustained seaward winds blow water out of a waterway, causing unusually low tides. Furthermore, the shallow draft allows the tug and equipment to move into protected areas designated as “shelters,” such as Stumpy Point, N.C., during hurricanes and other strong storms. Moving NCDOT marine assets wherever they are needed is Wanchese’s primary mission. These assets include Manteo, a 115-by-36-foot hydraulic pipeline cutterhead dredge built in 2016, and the crane barge Skyco, a 136-by-40-foot vessel with a 3-foot draft built in 2008. Support craft like the dredge and crane are essential to safe and reliable movement of the ferries because their routes cross sounds and rivers inside the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Silting and shifting sandbars occur in all seasons but more acutely as a result of hurricanes and tropical storms. Without dredging equipment, the

................................................................................................... FLIR M-Series thermalPROPULSION:

Caterpillar C18, 600 hp u Bollard pull: 13 tons (est.) u Vessel speed: 10 knots u Thrusters: (2) Schottel SRP 210 R/R u Auxiliary generators: (2) John Deere 4045AFM85, 99-kW

imaging camera

u Compass: Ritchie

u AIS: Icom MA-500TR

u E-nav software: Garmin

BlueChart G3


u Radio: (2) Icom M506


u Loud hailer: Standard

Horizon VLH-3000A


u Towing winch: Coastal

Marine Equipment 1 T35-300 D4 w/ 150’ of 3” synthetic line u Deck winches (2) Wintech KR Series double-drum u Fendering: Schuyler Cos. NAVIGATION GEAR:

u Radar: (2) Furuno


u Electronic chart dis-

play: Garmin 8616xsv w/ integrated AIS and


u Fuel: 8,200 gallons

u Water: 4,000 gallons


u Pumps: Goulds


u Onboard fire suppres-

sion: Hiller Cos.


Subchapter Mcompliant u PPG coatings u

American Tugboat Review 2021


u Engines: (2) Tier 3


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Stock diameter range: ¼" to 4"

waterways would become impassable in short order. Currituck Sound and Hatteras Inlet need constant attention, as do parts of the Albemarle-Pamlico Sound, the second-largest estuary in the U.S. after the Chesapeake with a north-south orientation. Within the AlbemarlePamlico Sound, there is 80 miles of fetch encompassing six river basins, eight sounds and 3,000 square miles of open water. The state ferry system operates year-round, but ridership surges in warmer months when tourists travel between the Outer Banks and the mainland. The island of Ocracoke on the Outer Banks is accessible only by ferry or private vessel. Wanchese is the prime mover in projects besides dredging. For instance, it

Easy handling. Superior abrasion resistance.





The galley aboard Wanchese functions as a recreation space during crew downtime.


Very high strength with low weight to diameter ratio.





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saving us time while getting better fuel economy on a bigger, safer platform,” he said. Wanchese was built at Metal Shark Alabama, the former Horizon Shipbuilding yard located in Bayou La Batre. Wanchese is one of the first newbuild tugboats to leave the facility, which is focused on building and repairing steel-hulled vessels. “We are honored to deliver this highquality, purpose-built vessel to NCDOT,” said Doug Barrow, Metal Shark Alabama’s vice president and manager. “I am very proud of our team and all of our vendors for pulling together to make this delivery happen despite a very active tropical season on our Gulf coast, not to mention a worldwide pandemic.

moves equipment used to maintain ramps and gantries at terminals, as well as piling clusters, bulkheads and seawalls. The area served stretches from the northernmost ferry terminals supporting the CurrituckKnotts Island route to the terminals for the Southport-Fort Fisher route, more than 250 miles to the south. The four-person crew of Wanchese operate the dredge and crane, keeping a 0600-to-1800 schedule on a seven-dayson/seven-days-off rotation. The tugboat has berthing for four crewmembers in two cabins. The galley, equipped largely with stainless-steel appliances, doubles as a recreation room. Spring, summer and fall are busy times for the ferry system and the support crews. Lance Winslow, assistant director of NCFS marine asset management, is thrilled with the new boat. “Upgrades on Wanchese will make us more efficient,

“The challenges of social distancing and other safety and sanitation measures undertaken at our facility were met headon and embraced by the entire team,” Barrow continued. “The result of these efforts can be measured by the fact that our facility did not have an outbreak, meaning that production – while impacted by COVID-19 protocols and materials delays – was able to continue.” The Metal Shark team in Louisiana assisted with the prefabrication of aluminum deckhouse panels. The company’s engineering team met task deadlines adeptly while working in a remote environment, coordinated by onsite engineers in Alabama, he said. The effective working relationship with NCDOT helped make the project a success. “The positive impact of NCDOT and its partnering approach cannot be overstated,” Barrow said. • American Tugboat Review 2021


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Q-LNG Transport photos

Q-Ocean Service | Q-LNG Transport, New Orleans

World’s first LNG bunkering ATB enters service Story by Daniel Connolly


f you want to understand the special role Q-Ocean Service and its liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering barge play in the maritime industry, start by imagining a cruise ship. The massive vessel’s passengers are frolicking on decks, surrounded by the sun and a turquoise sea. Over their heads, giant stacks belch exhaust that can tarnish this idyllic environment. “People are stepping on, feeling and breathing that black soot all day,” said Shane Guidry, the owner of Q-LNG Transport LLC, which built the first articulated tug-barge (ATB) specifically designed to bunker LNG. “When you convert to liquefied natural gas, that completely goes away because you no longer have black soot and smoke coming out of the smokestacks polluting the air … which is why the cruise ship



Q-Ocean Service, the world’s first ATB designed to bunker liquefied natural gas, has completed multiple fuel transfers since entering service in early 2021.

World’s first bunkering ATB for LNG fuel


industry was the first one that turned to it.” Guidry, also the chairman and CEO of Harvey Gulf, was an early adopter of LNG as a marine fuel. Harvey Gulf in 2015 became the first U.S. maritime company to own and operate an LNG-fueled marine service vessel with the delivery of Harvey Energy. These days, the company has five LNG-powered offshore supply vessels working in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere. It also operates an LNG fueling terminal in Port Fourchon, La. LNG’s place as a cleaner-burning and often lower-cost alternative to heavy marine fuels has attracted the attention of cruise lines and big shippers alike. Most large ships built in the United States and elsewhere are equipped with engines that can run on LNG. As a result, demand for vessels that can deliver LNG fuel has

Tug powered by GE Tier 4 engines


risen sharply over the past five years. Q-LNG was an early entrant into the market to supply LNG to U.S.- and foreign-flagged ships calling on the southeastern U.S. The 128-foot Q-Ocean Service pairs with the 324-foot Q-LNG 4000, sometimes referred to as Q-4000, through an Articouple pin system. The barge can carry 4,000 cubic meters of ultra-cold liquefied natural gas. LNG offers some notable emissions advantages over traditional marine diesel — a factor that is increasingly relevant and attractive to ship operators. In round numbers, LNG releases 99 percent less sulfur dioxide, 80 percent less nitrogen oxide and 40 percent less carbon dioxide compared to diesel. LNG exhaust contains no soot particles or heavy metals. Safety equipment on the barge

Advanced Wartsila dynamic positioning system American Tugboat Review 2021

includes sophisticated gas detection systems, and the tug and barge are each equipped with a fire monitor capable of blasting 2,500 gallons of water per minute. The barge is full of equipment meant to keep the liquefied natural gas cold, including four type-C vacuum-insulated double-walled tanks — each capable of holding 1,000 cubic meters of gas — and a system that keeps the gas in a liquid form at minus 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Wartsila supplied the tanks and the cooling system. Q-4000 is the first natural gas bunkering vessel built in North America to use a pressurized gas tank containment system, and it’s also the first natural gas bunkering vessel worldwide to be constructed as an ATB, said Adi Aggarwal, director of the Global Gas Solutions team at the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). The ATB has a Wartsila dynamic positioning system and is the first

American Tugboat Review 2021

With a Wartsila dynamic positioning system, z-drives and bow thruster, the ATB is extremely maneuverable.

in the U.S. to earn the IMO’s DP-1 Plus notation, according to Q-LNG President Chad Verret. In another first, Verret said, the LNG bunkering ATB supplied fuel to the 820-foot Gagarin Prospect — the world’s first LNG-fueled Aframax crude tanker. Ther ship-toship transfer occurred in March near Port Canaveral, Fla. Q-Ocean Service was designed by Seattle-based Jensen Maritime Consultants, now known as Crowley Engineering Services. Houstonbased Waller Marine designed the

barge with input from Q-LNG. VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Miss., built the ATB, which launched in March 2020 and was delivered in late December 2020. Building Q-4000 took “a big checkbook,” Guidry said. “I mean, look, if you went and built a barge that delivered diesel fuel, like the one I just built, it would probably cost you about $60 million,” he said. “To go build one like I built is $100 million.” Guidry is convinced the ATB will pay off in the long run. The cruise


ship industry’s desire to rid its decks of soot isn’t the only factor pushing the shipping industry away from heavy oil, which throws off a large amount of pollution in its exhaust. “In 2020, that law changed where you can only run ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel,” Guidry said, citing new standards imposed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Starting Jan. 1, 2020, the rules reduced the global upper limit on sulfur content in ships’ fuel oil from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent. Some areas have adopted even stricter limits that put pressure on shipping companies to install “scrubbers” to reduce pollution, or find a new source of fuel — such as LNG. When it’s not delivering liquefied natural gas to vessels, the ATB is based out of Elba Island, Ga., near Q-OCEAN SERVICE/Q-4000 SPECIFICATIONS


TUG DESIGNER: Jensen Maritime Consultants/

VT Halter

BARGE DESIGNER: Waller Marine/Q-LNG DIMENSIONS: 128’ x 42’ x 21’

MISSION: Coastwise LNG bunkering

CREW SIZE: 8 ................................................................................................... u Ballast water treatPROPULSION: u Engines: (2) Tier 4 GE

6L250 MDC, 2,550 hp u Vessel speed: 12 knots max, 10 cruising u Z-drives: (2) Wartsila WST-21-FP u Auxiliary generators: (2) 150-kW Cummins QSM-11DM, (2) 99-kW Cummins QSB 7 DECK EQUIPMENT:

u Capstan: Schoellhorn-


u Coupler system:


u Cranes: Techcrane

2,000-pound knuckleboom u Fast rescue craft: Palfinger RSQ 450A w/ 40-hp motor BARGE EQUIPMENT:

u Engines: (5) Cummins

QSK-19DM, 600 hp u Bow thruster: (1) 1,207-hp Wartsila u Cranes: (2) Techcrane model T-60 w/ 70’ telescoping boom


ment: Wartsila

u Winches: Coastal

Marine Equipment


u Radar: (2) Wartsila

SAM X-band

u Electronic chart

display: (2) Wartsila Platinum u Dynamic positioning: Wartsila Platinum 641-DP 1, Wartsila SceneScan u Compass: (2) Anschutz Standard 22 gyrocompass u AIS: Sailor u Autopilot: Simrad AP70 COMMUNICATIONS:

u Radio: (4) Sailor 6210

VHF, (1) Sailor SSB

u Satellite connection:

Sailor Inmarsat C


u Fuel: 105,000 gallons

Savannah, or at Port Canaveral, which is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. The cruise ship industry shut down due to COVID-19 but is looking to rebound as more people travel postpandemic. Shell has signed a long-term charter for the ATB. Its bunkering customers include two new ships for Carnival Cruise Line and two dualfuel ships for SIEM Car Carriers that are under charter to Volkswagen for transporting vehicles from Europe to North America. Q-Ocean Service is 128 feet long by 42 feet wide, with a molded depth of 21 feet. Its accompanying barge is 324 feet by 64 feet. The combined ATB is 378 feet long. Propulsion comes from twin GE Tier 4 engines delivering 5,100 total hp through Wartsila z-drives. Two 150-kW Cummins QSM11-DM gensets and two 99-kW Cummins QSB7 engines provide electrical and emergency power to the tugboat. Q-4000 gets power for its complex electrical system from five 450-kW Cummins QSK19-DM engines. Coastal Marine Equipment supplied mooring winches installed fore and aft on both sides of the barge. Wartsila supplied a 1,207hp bow thruster for enhanced maneuverability in close quarters. ATBs have increasingly replaced traditional tugboats towing tank barges off the stern. One key reason is the robust connection that allows the ATB to operate in rougher weather without the risk of snapping a towing wire. ATBs also have an advantage over tankers by having the capability to operate with a much smaller crew. Q-Ocean Service operates with a crew of eight, compared to 17 for a similarly sized ship. That leads to about $7,000 a day in reduced personnel costs, Guidry said. The first LNG bunker barge purpose-built in North America was Clean Jacksonville, constructed by Conrad Shipyard for TOTE

In round numbers, LNG releases 99 percent less sulfur dioxide, 80 percent less nitrogen oxide and 40 percent less carbon dioxide compared to diesel. LNG exhaust contains no soot particles or heavy metals.

Maritime and launched in 2018. Clean Jacksonville stores liquefied natural gas in a containment system designed by the engineering company GTT. Known as a membrane system, it’s a lining for the ship’s hull that seals the LNG and keeps it cold. By contrast, Q-4000 has pressurized storage tanks akin to the oversized propane tanks you might find on a grill, said Aggarwal of ABS, which was involved with the Q-LNG project before naval architects had even finished their plans. The classification society worked with the U.S. Coast Guard on regulatory requirements, took part in the engineering design review and surveyed shipyard construction. ABS will continue to inspect the barge, and more LNG bunkering vessels are expected for delivery in coming years. “Each vessel is going to be in some ways a more mature version of the previous one,” Aggarwal said. One major area of development is LNG carrying capacity. With 4,000 cubic meters, Q-4000 holds nearly twice as much LNG as Clean Jacksonville. Q-LNG is exploring building another bunkering ATB that will hold up to 8,000 cubic meters of LNG. LNG has come a long way in the U.S. and around the world compared to a decade ago. But it hasn’t gained total acceptance in the shipping industry, and the fuel isn’t yet readily available in every port. The transition away from diesel is gaining steam, however. “What I can tell you is that today, all the new orders that have been placed, they’re either burning LNG fuel or they’re LNG fuelready,” Aggarwal said. Guidry said he’s comfortable with his company’s big bet on liquefied natural gas technology, and he expects it will pay dividends based on changes led by industry and regulators around the world. • American Tugboat Review 2021

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Breaker II | N.Y. Power Authority, Buffalo, N.Y.

Breaker II helps New York utility keep the lights on

By Casey Conley


he New York Power Authority (NYPA) has added a new icebreaking tugboat that supports hydropower generation on the Niagara River. The 56-foot Breaker II typically works in far eastern Lake Erie and along the Niagara River as far north as Niagara Falls. Its

Above, Breaker II passes the Statue of Liberty on its way to Buffalo, N.Y. Below, the tug can handle ice and slush in the Niagara River.




Ice-hardened model bow hull


primary function is the placement and retrieval of a 9,000-foot ice boom that blocks ice sheets from entering the Niagara River. The tug also works as a secondary icebreaker. Blount Boats of Warren, R.I., delivered the 750-hp tugboat last fall, and it spent the 2020-21 ice season working from its home port of Buffalo. Bristol Harbor Group of Bristol, R.I., designed the tugboat and a sibling, Joncaire II, built six years ago by Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland. “Breaker II’s main function is to pull the 500-foot spans of the ice boom onto Lake Erie near the mouth of the Niagara River in the late fall, and pull them back to the shore up the Buffalo River in early spring,” said Kenneth

Removable side rail for ice boom deployment


Burgio, general maintenance supervisor at NYPA’s Niagara Power Project. “The boat’s best attributes are that it has a fortified hull for icebreaking capabilities, power to maneuver through the Niagara River, and low air draft to allow the vessel passage under area bridges,” he continued. Plans for Breaker II started coming together more than six years ago when NYPA hired Bristol Harbor Group to design two tugboats. The 45-foot Joncaire II, which entered service in 2016, primarily pushes NYPA’s 80-foot crane barge Havasu II. Breaker II represents something of a new design that melds different aspects of the original Breaker and William H. Latham, NYPA’s primary icebreaker. The 500-hp Breaker was built in 1962. Bill Jordan, senior naval architect with Bristol Harbor Group, said the firm held extensive discussions with NYPA captains and crew to better understand their goals and objectives for the second vessel. Those conversations highlighted the value of a tugboat with shallow draft, low air draft, low freeboard and excellent visibility in all directions. Towing and icebreaking capabilities were other must-haves. “We went to a complete redesign for the second one,” Jordan said of Breaker II. “In the end, we were able to give them a multipurpose boat that does a pretty good job of everything they need it to do.” The lines on Breaker II are reminiscent of its namesake tugboat, Breaker, with the high forepeak and bulwarks that get shorter as they move aft. Unlike the knife-edge bow stem on the older tug, Breaker II has a flattening of the keel that narrows as it approaches the forepeak.

“Snorkels” supply outside air to main engines American Tugboat Review 2021

levels in the river, threatening property and infrastructure along the banks and output at the hydropower stations. Utility crews install nearly 9,000 feet of ice boom to block the largest sheets from entering the river. The floating boom consists of 244 interconnected steel pontoons anchored to the riverbed. Ice can, and still does, form in the Niagara River. Some ice gets past the boom and some forms

Breaker II is equipped with “snorkels” that draw air into the Caterpillar engines from outside the engine room. The system is a fail-safe in

on cold winter nights. NYPA uses its icebreaking vessels to clear paths in the river, allowing currents to push the ice harmlessly downstream. NYPA dispatches tugs to clear ice and slush from massive intakes that ensure a steady supply of water to the hydropower station. “Keeping electricity flowing means keeping the Niagara River running,” the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has said of ice management efforts overseen by

case of an engine room fire when the tug is operating near Niagara Falls.

Blount Boats

“The bow is based on an existing boat in that fleet that (NYPA) liked (for) clearing a path,” Jordan said. “You would rather have a knife-edge bow for icebreaking, but this does let the bow ride up on the ice to act somewhat like a full-scale large icebreaker.” Ice management in the Niagara River is an ongoing concern for NYPA crews. NYPA’s four-tugboat fleet exists in large measure to facilitate electrical production from the 2,675-megawatt Niagara Power Project and the Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Generating Stations on the Ontario side of the Niagara River. NYPA’s Niagara facility alone generates enough electricity for more than 2.6 million homes. Left unchecked, ice sheets from Lake Erie would blow into the Niagara River and create dams. These dams alter water

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American Tugboat Review 2021


Casey Conley

from stainless-steel ductwork that runs up the stacks. This system could prove invaluable if Breaker II had an engine room fire upriver from the falls. The snorkels would allow the operator to deploy the Kidde Novec 1230 fire suppression system while continuing to run the engines and steering away from danger. Breaker II is equipped with a sturdy H-bitt on deck, aft of the engine room trunk, that facilitates towing off the stern. This bitt is often used when towing the ice boom from storage along the Buffalo River out into Lake Erie. The wheelhouse has large 360-degree windows equipped


OWNER/OPERATOR: New York Power Authority BUILDER: Blount Boats Inc.

DESIGNER: Bristol Harbor Group

DIMENSIONS: 56’ x 18.5’ x 6’9”

MISSION: Breaking ice, deploying boom

CREW SIZE: 4-8 ................................................................................................... PROPULSION: u Engines: (2) Tier

3 Caterpillar C9.3, 375 hp u Vessel speed: 10.5 knots u Propellers: (2) 38” x 34” Michigan Wheel 4-blade stainless steel u Gearbox: (2) Twin Disc MGX5114C, 3:1 u Auxiliary generators: (2) 27-kW Cat C2.2 u Engine cooling: R.W. Fernstrum WEKA box coolers u Engine controls: Twin Disc EC300 NAVIGATION GEAR:

u Radar: (2) Simrad

HALO 24 radar kits

u AIS: Simrad V5035

u Compass: (2) Simrad

HS60 GPS compass; Ritchie B-453-5N24 Steelboat


u Radio: (2) Icom M506



u Loud hailer: Standard

Horizon VLH-3000A


u Fuel: 800 gallons

u Sewage: 300 gallons


u Pumps: Goulds


u Onboard fire sup-

pression systems: 3M Novec 1230


u (3) Carlisle & Finch

12” remote-control searchlights u (8) Nabrico DF-528 closed chocks u (4) Nabrico DF-2 double bitts u Thordon shaft bearings u International coatings

“When we fortified the hull, we also increased the grade of the steel we utilized for the hull from grade A to grade D to allow us to operate in low temperature conditions,” said Mike Doyle, a NYPA project manager. “This allows you to work in ice conditions and below-zero conditions.” Breaker II primarily functions as a day boat. Doors on the main deck open to a companionway and the split-level layout of the deckhouse. Stairs lead up to the wheelhouse and down to a crew area with head and a settee. Stairs leading aft from the companionway access the engine room. The vessel is outfitted with heating units in every compartment. It has an air conditioning system in the pilothouse for hot summer days. The propulsion package on Breaker II consists of twin 375-hp Caterpillar C9.3 engines turning 38-by-34-inch Michigan Wheel stainless-steel props through Twin Disc reduction gears. Breaker II will occasionally work close to Niagara Falls, a location where any loss of propulsion could be catastrophic. As a fail-safe, the vessel is equipped with “snorkels” that draw outside air into the engines

Above, Breaker II has port and starboard helm stations that provide good visibility when crews are working over the sides. Right, removable side rails facilitate the deployment of ice boom each fall and spring.

Bill Jordan

utility tugboat crews. Breaker II’s hull is reinforced with thicker steel to safely operate in ice. The bottom plate that runs up the bow is .75-inch steel, while the keel is made from 5/8-inch segments and the sides are made from half-inch plates.

with heaters to melt ice and snow during the winter months. Port and starboard helm stations give the operator better views when crews work over the sides. “That is what I was most impressed with (about) the vessel, the full 360-degree view it creates,” said Mike Asklar, NYPA’s superintendent of general maintenance at Niagara. Bob Pelletier, vice president of Blount Boats, praised the yard’s working relationship with Bristol Harbor Group. The two Rhode Island firms worked together to ensure a successful project. “NYPA did a very thorough job to make sure they got what they wanted,” he said. • American Tugboat Review 2021

Brendan Byrne

Janice Ann Reinauer | Reinauer Transportation Co., Staten Island, N.Y.

Reinauer updates original ‘facet tug’ for Tier 4 era

By Casey Conley


Janice Ann, named for a Reinauer family member, has earned praise for its crew comforts and maneuverability. For an ATB, the tug and barge are surprisingly nimble in close quarters. “They can turn on a dime pretty well for what they are,” said Chris Reinauer, vice president of the family-run company based in Staten Island, N.Y. “She has independent rudders (and) independent steering. She can twin-screw better than tugs with conventional rudders.” Reinauer Transportation operates nearly two dozen ATBs in the coastwise trade, half of which feature the faceted hull form that runs from the bulwarks to the keel. Janice Ann Reinauer is the company’s fifth new ATB pusher tug since 2016.

Updated Ruth-class “facet tug” design

American Tugboat Review 2021


Above, Janice Ann Reinauer is an updated version of the original “facet tug” design. Below, the vessel meets IMO SOLAS requirements.

Casey Conley


einauer Transportation Co. has redesigned its original “facet tug” articulated tugbarge (ATB) for a new era. Reinauer subsidiary Senesco Marine in North Kingstown, R.I., delivered the 120-foot Janice Ann Reinauer in March 2021. Since leaving the shipyard, the tugboat has paired with several Reinauer tank barges on delivery runs along the Eastern Seaboard. Janice Ann Reinauer has the same faceted hull design as the original Ruth M. Reinauer built in 2009 but with GE Tier 4 engines requiring a new engine room design. Larger fuel tanks, enhanced steering and numerous smaller tweaks distinguish this ATB tugboat from its six Ruth-class predecessors.

The facet tug design utilizes a straight steel section in the hull and the deckhouse, creating a hard-edged contrast to tugboats and ships with curved hulls. Some have likened the shape, abounding with hard angles, to stealth aircraft. Robert Hill of Ocean Tug & Barge Engineering developed the facet tug design in the mid-2000s based on a concept that emerged during World War II. The timing coincided with Reinauer’s acquisition of Senesco, prompting a search for a “shipyard-friendly” tugboat design to launch the

Modified engine room to accommodate Tier 4 engines


classed for international transits 45

Right, Janice Ann Reinauer has a towing bitt and JonRie capstan aft of the house.

Casey Conley

company’s fleet renewal program. The extensive use of flat paneling shortens construction time and reduces costs. Subsequent design changes yielded two new facet tug classes, the Twins class and Franklin class, both of which are similar to Ruth M. and its sister tugs but are SOLAS classed. Reinauer operates 12 facet tugs including Janice Ann. “With the shape of the facet boat, it is not a matter of taking a round hull and carving off hull sections so they are all flat surfaces,” Hill explained. “We try

Casey Conley

to design the angles between the flat surfaces to optimize them so that we have good water flow over the hull. We have model-tested that until the cows come home.” Facet tugs are surprisingly capable on their own, Hill said. But they were designed to pair up with tank barges through a pin coupling system. Their performance underway while pushing a barge from the notch is virtually identical to a traditional ATB pusher tug with a curved hull. “We spent a lot of effort getting this right,” he said in a recent interview. The engine room on Janice Ann Reinauer marks the most significant break with prior Ruthclass tugboats. Propulsion on the older vessels consisted of twin MTU mains generating about 4,700 hp. Those high-speed


Above, the engine room aboard Janice Ann Reinauer was completely redrawn to account for larger, heavier GE Tier 4 engines.

engines left enough space in the engine area for three 99-kW gensets. Not so on Janice Ann: It is powered by two 2,250-hp medium-speed GE 6L250 mains that are heavier and larger than the MTU units. Just one 99-kW John Deere genset fits between the mains. Two others gensets were installed in the fiddley on the main deck. The 65-kW emergency genset is located halfway up the tower. Accommodating the larger GE engines was a lot more involved than just swapping out the mains. “It required a complete redesign of the engine room,” Reinauer said. “Everything changes. Your space allowance, your systems on a medium-speed engine are typically off-engine, so it was a completely different boat. “The rest of the boat is pretty much the same,” he continued. “But let’s face it, a tugboat is basically an engine room with a house wrapped around it.” Janice Ann and its rotating slate of 100,000-barrel barges pair up through an Intercontinental Model 34 coupler with a starshaped helmet. The unit is intended to “walk” up the barge ladder as the barge loads or offloads cargo, Reinauer said. It is the first such Intercon helmet system of its kind in the Reinauer fleet. The full propulsion system

on Janice Ann Reinauer, aft of the GE mains, consists of Lufkin reduction gears turning four-blade Pronasa propellers within 104inch Nautican nozzles. Crews at Senesco Marine assembled the Nautican system. The tug makes at least 9 knots JANICE ANN REINAUER SPECIFICATIONS

OWNER/OPERATOR: Reinauer Transportation BUILDER: Senesco Marine

DESIGNER: Ocean Tug & Barge Engineering DIMENSIONS: 120’ x 35’ x 18’

MISSION: Coastwise ATB trade

CREW SIZE: 7 ................................................................................................... PROPULSION:

Globemaster FB-500

u Engines: (2) Tier 4 GE

u Gyrocompass: Simrad

u Bollard pull: 72.5

u AIS: Furuno FA170

6L250, 2,250 hp short tons

u Vessel speed: 9.5-10


u Propellers: (2) four-

blade stainless-steel Pronasa props in 104” Nautican nozzles u Gearbox: (2) Lufkin RS2450HG 4.5-1 ratio u Auxiliary generators: (3) 99-kW John Deere 4045, (1) 65-kW John Deere 6065 DECK EQUIPMENT:

u Capstan: JonRie Series

427 25-hp electric u Coupler system: Intercon Series 34 u Fendering: Morse Rubber NAVIGATION GEAR:

u Radar: (2) Furuno

FAR3210BB u Electronic chart display: Rose Point Navigation u Compass: Ritchie


u Autopilot: Simrad AP70


u Radio: (4) Standard

Horizon GX6000 VHF

u Satellite connection:

Boatrax and GMDSS

u GMDSS: Furuno RC1815


u Fuel: 127,000 gallons u Water: 5,000 gallons

u Lube oil: 2,000 gallons u Gear oil: 800 gallons


u Onboard fire suppres-

sion systems: FM-200


u SOLAS certified

u Ameron coatings u SiriusXM marine

weather service u Pairs with existing Reinauer 100,000-bbl barges

American Tugboat Review 2021

Ann from Morgan Reinauer, a converted ATB pusher tug on which he worked for nearly three decades. The wheelhouse on the new ATB tug has a 53-foot height of eye, roughly 13 feet higher than on Morgan. “The visibility is outstanding,” Whitney said. The wheelhouse has three forward steering stations and one facing aft. The navigation electronics include a mix of Furuno and Simrad equipment with a Ritchie compass and Standard Horizon VHF radios. The tug also is equipped with a Furuno GMDSS, as required under SOLAS rules. Eight CCTV cameras are installed throughout the vessel. The operator can toggle between different views, from the engine room to the aft deck. The latter camera functions like a vehicle backup camera when the tug is moving astern, Whitney said.

Reinauer chose Simrad and Furuno navigation electronics for Janice Ann Reinauer.

On deck, Janice Ann has a staple at the bow forward of an H-bitt. Aft, the tugboat has another H-shaped towing bitt alongside a JonRie InterTech capstan. The second deck has a SOLAS-mandated rescue boat that is raised and lowered by a Global Davit system. Morse Rubber supplied the hull fendering.

Caseuy Conley

pushing a loaded barge, and its bollard pull exceeds 72 short tons. Its fuel tanks can hold 127,000 gallons, enabling the vessel to push a loaded barge from New York to Houston and make it at least halfway back without taking fuel. Reinauer worked with Engine Monitor Inc. (EMI) to develop an independent rudder system that improves maneuverability for the ATB unit. When one engine is moving astern, the rudder on that side centers to optimize thrust. The result is quicker movement and response in tight spaces. “It has a good power-to-weight ratio, and it seems to handle the barges really well,” Janice Ann Capt. Chris Whitney said. “We have had no issues there. It handles at least as well or better than anything else I have been on.” Whitney transferred to Janice

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Crew spaces on the tugboat’s first and second decks are designed to be comfortable and quiet. Whitney said the Intercon coupler, located forward on the main deck, is surprisingly quiet — even in rolling seas. Resilient-mounted engines and ample insulation further reduce engine noise and vibration. The deckhouse layout mirrors other ATB tugs in Reinauer’s fleet.

There are seven cabins on two decks, and three heads available to the normal contingent of seven crew. The galley and mess rely on stainless-steel surfaces and appliances for ease of maintenance. Elsewhere, the tugboat retains the character of Ruth M. Reinauer and its sister tugs. Reinauer has standardized the wheelhouse and accommodations spaces across its fleet as much as possible to

Final outfitting for Janice Ann Reinauer took place in March 2021. Senesco pipe foreman Ed Moretti (from left),Reinauer engineers Josh Trotta and Tom Sivert, and Senesco commissioning manager Mike Moore pause during an engine room tour.

Casey Conley

facilitate crewmembers moving seamlessly between vessels. Trial and error over many years has led the company to components and systems that reduce downtime. That means redundant systems throughout the vessel, from the third generator to a second wash-water pump to ensure a single fault won’t keep the ATB in port awaiting repairs. On deck, Reinauer uses stainless steel where possible to reduce rust. The company is always exploring new systems, components and equipment. Chris Reinauer said they look for products or systems offering an advantage. “Everything is a test,” he said. “We test the newest LEDs, different sanitation systems, different engine manufacturers and we eventually settle on things that give us good reliability and efficiency.” •

BREAKER II On her way up the Hudson to Buffalo, NY for delivery to NY Power Authority BUILT TO SERVE



401.245.8300 info@blountboats.com BLOUNTBOATS.COM 48

WARREN, RI American Tugboat Review 2021

Foss Maritime

Leisa Florence | Foss Maritime, Seattle

Foss builds flexibility into latest West Coast ship-assist tug

By Will Van Dorp


Above, Leisa Florence is the third of four Valorclass tugboats Foss Maritime has added to its West Coast shipassist fleet. Right, the wheelhouse features large windows offering impressive visibility.

Modified version of Foss ASD-90 class

American Tugboat Review 2021

tugboat. It shares the same 6,866hp MTU power plant delivering 92 tons of bollard pull ahead and 90 astern, and the same robust Markey hawser winch. The primary difference is the deck gear installed on the aft deck. Dan Cole, Foss’ project manager for the ASD-90 class, said the lead two tugs were

Foss Maritime/Facebook


oss Maritime Co. is nearly finished with a four-boat order from Nichols Brothers Boat Builders that has solidified its fleet of West Coast ship-assist tugboats. The company’s 100-by-40foot ASD-90 series consists of four Valor-class tugs designed by Jensen Maritime, now known as Crowley Engineering Services. The vessels carry the same proven legacy as other Valor-class workhorses, but with cleanerburning Tier 4 engines and a host of other upgrades. The lead boats in Foss’ ASD-90 series, Jamie Ann and Sarah Avrick, are working in San Francisco Bay escorting and docking tankers and other large ships. Leisa Florence left the Freeland, Wash., shipyard early this year and is a modified ASD-90 class

outfitted for ship assist and nearshore rescue towing. To that end, these vessels have a double-drum Markey TESS-34AS winch on the stern that can hold 2,600 feet of 2.25-inch wire, along with robust Smith Berger Marine towing pins. “The addition of this stern winch allows for additional opportunities to use our tugs, in particular rescue towing work when a ship near the U.S. West Coast experiences malfunction and needs to be towed,” Cole said of the winch arrangement on Jamie Ann and Sarah Avrick. “As a result, Foss has additional flexibility to manage how they dispatch vessels, so at least one


Outfitted for ship assist and barge handling


Bollard pull exceeds 90 tons 49

rescue towing-capable tug is available in any port we operate in.” Leisa Florence and its sister tug, Rachael Allen – scheduled for delivery in late spring 2021 – eschew the double-drum winch for a smaller Markey DEPC--32 barge-handling winch. The towing pins have been replaced by a sturdy staple on the aft deck.

Below, Leisa Florence is designed to escort and assist the largest ships calling on West Coast ports.


Foss Maritime/Facebook

Foss Maritime

The arrangement is well suited for towing a barge off the hip and other instances where it helps to have two lines out, Cole said. Otherwise, Leisa Florence is virtually identical to the lead two tugboats. In that sense, it is outfitted to safely and efficiently escort some of the largest ships calling on the West Coast. Leisa also joins a growing number of 90-ton bollard pull tugboats built within the last five years. Valor-class tugboats, used by multiple West Coast operators, are known for high horsepower, impressive bollard pull ratings and robust skegs under the keel. Foss built on these characteristics for the ASD-90 series and upgraded the design by enlarging the fuel tanks to 72,000 gallons for operational flexibility. The spacious, high-ceilinged engine room is a prevailing feature of the Valor-class tugboats. Leisa Florence and its sister tugs in the series put that space to good use with two 3,433-hp MTU

Above, Foss replaced the towing winch installed on two earlier tugs with a smaller unit on Leisa Florence suitable for barge handling and other general towing work.

Series 4000 engines paired with aftertreatment from selective catalytic reduction (SCR) units. Those mains are coupled with Kongsberg z-drives through a Vulkan carbon-fiber shaft. Tier 4 can be achieved in several ways. One option is exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), which is used in GE Tier 4 engines. Long-haul ocean tugs have operating profiles that often make EGR a better fit. The SCR units installed on the four ASD-90 Foss tugs achieve the Tier 4 rating by injecting urea into the exhaust and catalyst filters to clean the emissions. Nitrogen oxides (NOx), an air pollutant, are created by fuel combustion at high temperatures – and the hotter the temperature, the greater the production of NOx. The urea and catalysts break up the NOx and convert it to nitrogen and water vapor. Reducing particulate matter and NOx are essential to achieving Tier 4 emissions standards. Electrical power while underway comes from three generators installed forward of the main engines. Two 120kW Bollard gensets are the primary power plants. For periods when lower electrical loads are required, including when the tug is tied up, Foss installed a 65-kW Bollard harbor generator from MER Equipment that is inside a noise-mitigating enclosure. “You can be in the engine room and talk to one another without shouting to be heard while the generator is running,” Robert Allen, CEO of MER Equipment, said last year of the enclosed harbor genset installed on Jamie Ann. Hiller supplied the FM-200 fire suppression system installed

in the engine room. Firefighting equipment consists of a 100-hp Flowserve fire pump and forwardmounted Stang 2.5-inch monitor that can dispense 900 gallons per minute. The ASD-90 class incorporates other changes from the classic Valor-class tugs. Rescue doors, for instance, were built into the bulwarks to assist with man-overboard recovery. Noise and vibration from the engine compartment are reduced by a thick application of mineral insulation. The SCR units, while paired to the MTU main engines for emissions purposes, have an added benefit of dampening engine noise. The interior spaces on Leisa Florence mirror those on the preceding ASD-90 tugboats, as well as the forthcoming Rachael Allen. The main deck has the galley LEISA FLORENCE SPECIFICATIONS


BUILDER: Nichols Brothers Boat Builders

DESIGNER: Jensen Maritime / Crowley Engineering


DIMENSIONS: 100’x40’x16.5’

MISSION: Ship assist and barge handling

CREW SIZE: 3-6 ................................................................................................... PROPULSION:

u Engines: (2) Tier 4

MTU 16V 4000M65L, 3,433 hp u Bollard pull: 90 short tons u Z-drives: (2) Kongsberg US255 P30 u Auxiliary generators: (2) 122-kW Bollard; (1) 65-kW Bollard enclosed harbor genset DECK EQUIPMENT:

u Bow winch: Markey

DEPGF–52R u Stern winch: Markey DEPC–32 u Cordage: 525’ of 9” Cortland Plasma 12x12 (bow); 250’ of 6.5” synthetic (stern) u Fendering: Schuyler Cos./Shibata NAVIGATION GEAR:

u Radar: Furuno FR-8125

and FR-8065/4 u Compass: Furuno SC70 u AIS: Furuno FA170 u E-nav software: Rose

Point Navigation Systems u Autopilot: Simrad AP70 COMMUNICATIONS:

u Radio: (3) Icom M506


u Satellite connection:



u Fuel: 72,500 gallons u Water: 1,100 gallons

u Lube oil: 1,300 gallons u DEF: 5,600 gallons


2.5” Stang

u Pumps: 100-hp

Flowserve SLR19A

u Onboard fire suppres-

sion systems: Hiller Cos. FM-200


u ABS Load Line u Coast Guard

Subchapter M u International coatings

American Tugboat Review 2021

REDUCING EMISSIONS. EXPANDING OPERATIONS. With the launch of four new 90-ton tugboats, Foss Maritime is moving into the future. Pacific Power Group outfitted the new tugs with mtu Series 4000 engines, built to meet the most stringent emissions regulations in the world. The enhanced-performance Series 4000 offers impressively low fuel consumption, low cost of ownership along with reduced maintenance intervals and extended time between overhauls— making it the optimum solution for new tugs and repowers. For more, visit www.mtu-solutions.com.

and mess, a full head and two staterooms. Two other staterooms are located below deck, forward of the engine room. The vessel has accommodations for eight people, but normal operations require four crewmembers. The wheelhouse follows the industry standard of placing the helm chair between the port and starboard z-drive controls. Foss installed Furuno radars and AIS systems, Rose Point Navigation software and a Simrad autopilot system. Icom VHF radios and an Iridium satellite communications system are standard across the ASD-90 series. Sea Machines in May announced Foss installed its SM300 autonomous commandand-control system aboard Rachael Allen. It is the first application of the SM300 system on a tugboat with more than 5,000 hp, according to Sea Machines.

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The SM300 system is capable of autonomous transits and remote access to the tugboat’s onboard machinery, Sea Machines said in a news release. The system also has navigation obstacle detection and avoidance capabilities. Foss will incorporate the technology in phases over six to nine months. “Foss is leveraging Sea Machines’ cutting-edge technology to take on the routine work and allow crew to focus on higher-level tasks and improve safety, while also increasing productivity and efficiency,” Will Roberts, Foss president and CEO, said in the release. Markey supplied the DEPC32 barge-handling winch on the stern, and the single-drum DEPGF-52R electric winch installed at the bow. The bow hawser is spooled with 525 feet of 9-inch Cortland Plasma line. Foss, part of the Saltchuk

Valorclass tugboats, used by multiple West Coast operators, are known for high horsepower, impressive bollard pull ratings and robust skegs under the keel.

family of tugboat companies, has long operated one of the sturdiest and most versatile tug fleets on the West Coast. Earlier this year, Saltchuk added additional capabilities with the acquisition of eight Centerline Logistics shipassist tugboats operating under the Starlight and Millenium brands in California. Saltchuk consolidated those vessels under the Starlight name, which continues to crew and dispatch its own tugs. Foss sold its California bunkering assets to Centerline as part of the deal. Leisa Florence has primarily operated in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Rachael Allen work in San Francisco or Los Angeles after leaving the shipyard, adding to Foss’ existing capabilities in those busy California ports. •

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American Tugboat Review 2021

Apollo | Crowley, San Francisco

Crowley boosts San Francisco fleet with powerful Apollo Story by Casey Conley | Photos by Kurt Redd


rowley is adding new muscle to its California ship-assist fleet with a new ASD tugboat delivering more than 90 tons of bollard pull. Diversified Marine in Portland, Ore., is on pace to deliver the 82-foot Apollo in June 2021. It will work in San Francisco Bay handling tankers and other large ships calling on the region. Apollo is a sister tug to Hercules, delivered last spring by Diversified. Crowley has chartered both tugboats from owner Brusco Tug & Barge of Longview, Wash. Both tugs share the same Robert Allan Ltd. RApport 2500 platform. But, the 6,300-hp Apollo has more powerful Caterpillar engines and larger z-drives, giving it an estimated 95 short tons of


Above, Apollo is a more powerful sister tug to Hercules delivered last spring. Right, the vessel is one of the most powerful tugboats of its size operating anywhere in North America.

Delivers nearly 95 short tons of bollard pull

American Tugboat Review 2021

bollard pull. Hercules, with 6,008 horsepower, pulled 89 short tons during sea trials last year. “What we are trying to do with Hercules and Apollo is get an escort boat that could pull double duty as a really good assist tug and a good escort vessel,” said Paul Manzi, Crowley’s vice president of asset management. “These boats pack quite a bit of bollard pull for their hull design.” Apollo is named for a Crowley vessel built in the 1960s that offered high horsepower in a relatively small package. The new tug replaces the 100-foot Valorclass Veteran in San Francisco Bay, which Crowley chartered soon after its construction in 2014. Hercules supplanted Veteran a year earlier in L.A./Long Beach. Crowley has not said what, if any, role Veteran will have in the fleet in the future. “We are in a continual drive to renew our fleet and revitalize our fleet. Apollo and Hercules are part of that plan,” Manzi said. “As we go into the future, we are looking to continue that process.”


Effective in ship-assist, escort roles


Chartered from Brusco Tug & Barge 53

Apollo is shorter and nimbler than Veteran, which should improve performance and safety while working alongside a ship, Manzi said. The tug also burns substantially less fuel, and its EPA Tier 4 engines produce less harmful emissions. The new tugboats align with Crowley’s goal to become the most sustainable maritime and logistics company in North America by 2025. “This ambition starts with continuing and enhancing our stewardship of the environment, protecting the world we serve and reducing our carbon footprint,” Crowley Chairman and CEO Tom Crowley said in a video released in late April. He referenced Crowley’s two existing cargo ships that run on liquefied natural gas. Crowley also noted the company’s new all-electric tugboat design and the company’s investments in offshore wind energy. The RApport 2500 design used in Apollo and Hercules is based on the RApport 2400 series of z-drive tugboats developed a generation ago by Robert Allan Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia. These early models were precursors to the advanced tugs the firm is now known for. Design characteristics of the 2400 series include a flush deck and a small house. The tugs gained a reputation as responsive, nimble and cost-effective to build and operate. According to

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Robert Allan naval architects, the 2400-series tugs have a “slippery” hull form that is “ideal for fast maneuvering, fast side-slip and rapid response.” The 2500 series, a nod to the 25-meter length, builds on the strengths of its predecessor. The tugs are 3 feet longer and 10 feet wider, giving them enhanced stability to accommodate larger engines and deliver more bollard pull. The small skeg under the keel is sufficient for escorting ships in the harbor without affecting maneuverability when docking ships. Apollo underwent some notable design changes to ratchet up the bollard pull. Most significant was the use of 16,000 pounds of scrap steel ballast within the skeg to improve its stability during escorts. “We did some work within our in-house computational fluid dynamics program to do the escort predictions, and that is where we found if we put some ballast in the skeg we could improve the escort capability,” said Henry Reeve, project director and senior naval architect at Robert Allan Ltd. Hercules did not require the extra weight to achieve its escort stability criteria. The larger z-drives and Crowley’s desire for an escort notation led to its inclusion on Apollo, which Reeve acknowledged is uncommon. “It is a little bit of diminishing return. The boat gets more stable but sinks down, and then deck

“These boats pack quite a bit of bollard pull for their hull design,” said Paul Manzi, Crowley’s vice president of asset management.

edge immersion can seep in,” he said. “It is all about striking the right balance.” Propulsion on Apollo consists of two Caterpillar 3516E engines, each generating 3,150 hp, paired with Berg Propulsion MTA 628 FP z-drives through Centa carbonfiber shafts. The Berg drives have 2.8-meter nozzles (9.2 feet), compared to the 2.7-meter drives (8.86 feet) on Hercules. Electrical power comes from two 118-kW Cat C7.1 gensets installed along the centerline between the two Cat mains. The gensets power the 75-hp Markey DEPC-52 electric hawser winch on the deck, and the 150-hp electric Baldor motor driving a 1,250-gpm Carver fire pump. The pump supplies water to a single forward-facing Elkhart Brass monitor. The winch, identical to the unit on Hercules, features Markey’s Render/Recover system to maintain steady line tension in dynamic conditions. “Safety features include e-stop and escape functions, both in the wheelhouse and on deck,” said Scott Kreis, Markey’s vice president of sales and engineering. “Energy efficiency is maximized through the use of a variablefrequency controller, using only as much power from the generators as needed to support winch performance at any given moment,” he continued. RApport 2400-series tugboats



Let’s make plans. Naval Architecture Marine Engineering www.JMSnet.com 860.536.0009

American Tugboat Review 2021

were typically outfitted as day boats, with limited crew accommodations. The 2500-series Apollo is a bit more generous, owing in large part to space created by the wider beam. The APOLLO



Tug & Barge/Crowley

BUILDER: Diversified Marine

DESIGNER: Robert Allan Ltd.

DIMENSIONS: 82’ x 40’ x 14’

MISSION: Ship escort and docking

CREW SIZE: 4 ................................................................................................... PPROPULSION:


Caterpillar 3516E, 3,150 hp u Bollard pull: 95 tons ahead (est.) u Vessel speed: 12 knots u Z-drives: (2) Berg Propulsion MTA 628 u Auxiliary generators: (2) 118-kW Cat C7.1

u Water: 3,500 gallons

u Engines: (2) Tier 4


u Bow winch: 75-hp elec-

tric Markey DEPC-52

u Fuel: 22,000 gallons

u Lube oil: 450 gallons u DEF: 2,500 gallons


u Monitors: Elkhart Brass


u Pumps: Carver Pump

driven by 150-hp Baldor electric motor u Onboard fire suppression systems: FM-200

u Fendering: Schuyler Cos.

main deck has a galley and mess, laundry machines and a head. Deck lockers on both sides of the house, one of which stores the FM-200 fire suppression system for the engine room, reduce the internal space. Below deck, there are three cabins forward of the engine space, each with two bunks. The head has a single shower rather than the two in Hercules, creating more storage space for the crew, according to Kurt Redd, Diversified’s president. Redd has plenty of experience building RApport-series tugboats for Brusco Tug & Barge. Between 2001 and 2017, the yard delivered seven 2400-series tugs to Brusco, which kept some for its own use and chartered some to other operators. Hercules and Apollo bring the number of tugs Diversified has built for Brusco to nine. A third

new vessel in the 2500 series, and the 10th overall in the ongoing partnership, is under construction. It will have more powerful engines and will deliver about 100 tons of bollard pull. “Our relationship with the Brusco organization has been phenomenal over all these years, and we look to keep building,” Redd said. Hercules arrived in L.A./Long Beach last spring and has handled all comers at the busy, high-traffic ports. It earned strong praise from the local pilots. “The guys love it,” said Capt. John Strong, vice president of Jacobsen Pilot Service in Long Beach. “It has everything we want, including lots of power. It’s short, which is a great advantage, and it has quick-reacting units on it.” Crowley expects similar performance from Apollo when it enters service later this year. •

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American Tugboat Review 2021

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5/5/21 4:48 PM


Robert Mihovil

Suderman & Young completes series of Z-Tech tugboats By Casey Conley

Mercury was the fifth in a series of five tugboats Gulf Island Shipyards built for Suderman & Young.



uderman & Young Towing of Houston has taken delivery of the final two vessels in its five-vessel order from Gulf Island Shipyards. The 98.5-by-42-foot Gemini and Mercury are built to the Robert Allan Ltd. Z-Tech 30-80 design. Tugs in the series deliver more than 80 metric tons of bollard pull and can hit 13 knots at full throttle. Gemini was completed in April 2020, while Mercury entered service in fall 2020. The two tugboats are powered by twin 3,386-hp Caterpillar 3516E Tier 4 engines paired with Schottel SRP 510 FP z-drives. Electrical power comes from two John Deere 6068AFM85 generators producing 125 kW each. Mercury is equipped with two 6,200-gpm FFS fire pumps, each driven by a Cat C18 engine, that deliver water to two FFS monitors. Its shiphandling winch on the bow is a 100-hp Markey DESF48A-100 unit. “We included this particular winch on Mercury

to give us additional capability when assisting our customers in near-shore environments where increased dynamic sea states are encountered,” Suderman & Young President Kirk Jackson said. Gemini is outfitted a little differently. It does not have the same off-ship firefighting capabilities, and it is equipped with a slightly different Markey DEPCF-52 winch on the bow. The robust unit is plenty suited for handling large containerships and tankers calling on Texas ports regularly. Tugboats in this series have an ergonomically designed wheelhouse with Furuno navigation electronics and Icom VHF radios. Tanks on the tugs can hold more than 42,000 gallons of fuel. Schuyler Cos. fendering protects critical sections of the tugboats during assist jobs.

George M. Bay-Houston Towing of Galveston completed its own five-vessel order of Robert Allan Ltd. Z-Tech tugboats

from Gulf Island Shipyards with the arrival of George M. in January 2021. The 98.5-by-42-foot George M. is a sister tug to Mark E. Kuebler, the first Z-Tech 3080 tug in the series delivered in late 2018. The propulsion package consists of two 3,386hp Caterpillar 3516E Tier 4 engines paired with Schottel SRP 510 FP z-drives with 110-inch propellers. Two John Deere engines provide electrical power. Bollard pull exceeds 80 metric tons. “We are extremely proud of the fifth Z-Tech tug built by Gulf Island Shipyards LLC for Bay-Houston Towing Co.,” Mike Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of Robert Allan Ltd., said in a prepared statement. “Of all the vessels built to our design internationally, the ones we are most proud of inevitably involve a high-quality builder and a knowledgeable owner (who) fully understands the way their vessels need to operate. We most definitely had both for the construction of these five tugs.” American Tugboat Review 2021

G&H Towing

Right, BayHouston Towing welcomed George M. to its fleet in early 2021.

George M. has two 6,200gpm FFS fire pumps and two forward-facing FFS monitors driven by two Caterpillar C18 engines. The hawser winch on the bow is a 75-hp Markey DEPCF-52 unit designed to work big ships calling on the Texas coast. The wheelhouse has modern Furuno electronics, and fendering form Schuyler Cos.

Geronimo Diversified Marine completed the second of two 128-foot oceangoing tugs for Sause Bros. of Coos Bay, Ore. The 4,000-hp Geronimo is a sister to Apache, delivered in mid-2019 using a design created by Sause Bros. engineers. Propulsion on the new

tugboat series comes from two 2,000-hp MTU 16V 4000 Tier 3 engines turning 104-inch propellers in nozzles through Reintjes WAF 873 reduction gears. Two John Deere engines drive 99-kW Marathon generators. The towing winch on the stern is a Rapp TOW-22031 carrying roughly 2,600 feet of 2.25-inch wire, while the bow is equipped with a Rapp TOW4002-BB winch. Schuyler Cos. provided the hull fendering. Geronimo, like Apache before it, is an updated version of Sause Bros.’ proven Mikiona class of oceangoing tugboats built in the late 2000s. The Sause Bros.’ oceangoing tugboat Geronimo is a sister to Apache completed in 2019.

Kurt Redd

American Tugboat Review 2021



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American Tugboat Review 2021

TUGBOAT ROUNDUP new vessels feature modern electronics, more powerful engines and enhanced crew comforts compared to earlier tugs in the class.

Cape Henry and Cape Fear Vane Brothers welcomed two more Sassafras-class tugboats to its East Coast fleet over the past year. The company, based in Baltimore, took delivery of the 94-by-32-foot Cape Fear in October 2020, followed by Cape Henry in April 2021. Chesapeake Shipbuilding & Naval Architects of Salisbury, Md., built the tugs based on a model bow design developed by the late Frank Basile. The 3,000-hp tugboats are the 15th and 16th vessels in the series, all built in Maryland. The newbuilds are powered by twin Tier 3 Caterpillar 3512 main engines turning 89-inch propellers through Twin Disc gears. Electrical power comes from three John Deere gensets. JonRie supplied the Series 500 hydraulic towing winch and Series 421 30-hp electric marine capstan. M&M Bumper Service provided the hull fendering. The wheelhouse on Cape Henry and its sister tugs has a 38-foot height of eye. The space is equipped with Simrad navigation electronics and Icom radios. “Vane Brothers remains committed to investing in thoughtfully crafted vessels that are highly efficient and reliable while also capitalizing on crew safety and comfort,” Vane Brothers President C. Duff Hughes said in a prepared statement. “Just like her smartly built predecessors, Cape Henry has been designed to deliver peak productivity when paired with the Vane fleet of coastwise tank barges.” Tugboats in this series are typically paired with 30,000- to 35,000-barrel tank barges engaged in the bunkering trade. Vane Brothers, which has steadily upgraded its fleet over the past decade, also plans to add two more 3,000-hp Salisbury-class pushboats to its lineup, bringing the total to four. The third boat in the series, Rock Hall, is slated for delivery this year. American Tugboat Review 2021

Wisconsin Great Lakes Towing Co. took delivery of the fifth 2,000-hp tugboat in a series of up to 10 vessels built at the Clevelandbased company’s shipyard along the Cuyahoga River. The 64-foot Wisconsin is a sister tug to Cleveland, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, built over the past four years

using the Damen Stan Tug 1907 ICE design. It entered service in November 2020 and performed its first ship-assist job early the following month. It is based in the consolidated ports of Detroit, Mich., and Toledo, Ohio. Propulsion comes from two 1,000-hp MTU 8V 4000 Tier 3 engines paired with 71-inch propellers in nozzles



Cape Henry is the 16th tugboat in a series built by Chesapeake Shipbuilding of Maryland. Vane Brothers

through Twin Disc MGX5321 reduction gears. Tugs in this series produce 30 tons of bollard pull. Wisconsin is equipped with


a diesel-electric FlexaDrive system from Logan Clutch that uses two 65-kW John Deere/Marathon gensets to produce electrical power

for motors installed on the reduction gears. Those motors can move the gears to turn the propellers. The hybrid system delivers

multiple benefits, including a 200-hp boost when maximum power is needed. It allows the tugs to transit to or from jobs without the main engines, which reduces fuel consumption, emissions, noise and maintenance. Tugs in the series are equipped with Furuno navigation electronics and Icom radios. The aft deck has a sturdy towing bitt and a 15-hp capstan. Schuyler Cos. supplied the hull fendering. Great Lakes Shipyard has begun construction of the sixth and seventh tugboats in the series. The sixth boat, for now known as Hull 6506, is scheduled for delivery later this year. Hull 6507 is expected in mid-2022. •

American Tugboat Review 2021


Greg Milliken

Hines Furlong Line addresses need for efficient, high-horsepower towboats By Casey Conley

Scarlett Rose Furlong is the first of three towboats in a series built by C&C Marine.

American Tugboat Review 2021


ines Furlong Line has added to its inland towboat capabilities with the new 6,600-hp triple-screw Scarlett Rose Furlong. The 170-by-50-foot vessel was built by C&C Marine and Repair in Belle Chasse, La., using a design from CT Marine of Portland, Maine. Scarlett Rose, named for the daughter of Hines Furlong Line founder Kent Furlong, entered service in late 2020. “The majority of inland towboats 6,000 hp and above in the barge industry are 40 to 60 years old. We built the M/V Scarlett Rose Furlong to fill the need for newer, more efficient, high-horsepower towboats, particularly in the petrochemical trade,” Furlong said in an email. It is the lead boat in a three-vessel series. The second boat, Bowling Green, is scheduled for delivery in

late spring 2021. The third and final boat, Zephyr, is due out in late 2021. Scarlett Rose Furlong primarily works between Paducah, Ky., on the Ohio River and Baton Rouge, La., on the Lower Mississippi River. Towboats of this size and horsepower typically can push dry cargo tows of 25 to 30 barges. Propulsion on Scarlett Rose and its sister towboats comes from three 2,200-hp Tier 3 Cummins QSK60-M mains. The engines turn 100-inch five-blade Sound propellers in Harrington Marine-supplied Kort nozzles through Reintjes WAF 1173 H/V reduction gears. High-performing double steering rudders are installed aft of the nozzles. The engines are cooled by Duramax grid coolers; Duramax also supplied the DryMax shaft seals, and Cooper and Thordon supplied the bearings.

EMI Marine provided the steering system and engine alarms. Towing equipment consists of six 65-ton Wintech electric winches and a single 12-ton Schoellhorn-Albrecht capstan. Solid and laminated fendering from Schuyler Cos. protects the vessel. Electrical power comes from three Cummins QSM11-DM engines paired with 275-kW Marathon generators. The forward deckhouse on Scarlett Rose Furlong and the other two vessels in the series sits atop a bed of springs to reduce vibration and deaden sound within the crew spaces. The towboat has accommodations for 11 people in nine cabins with 7.5 bathrooms, as well as a lounge. The vessel also has two laundry rooms and two dishwashers. Chief engineer 61


Florida Marine’s Mo Chiasson is the final boat in a series built by Steiner Shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Ala.

shipyard in C&C Marine and Repair, and our desire as the owner to spare no expense as it related to the design, size, scope, materials and finishes for the vessel.”

Mo Chiasson Steiner Shipyard built four 88-foot towboats for Florida Marine Transporters of Mandeville, La., that were designed by Sterling

Marine. The final boat in the series, Mo Chiasson, left the Bayou La Batre, Ala., shipyard in April. Its three sister tugs are Heath

Steiner Shipyard

Karl Morley, who oversees vessel construction for Hines Fulong, said those and other seemingly minor improvements throughout the vessel go a long way to enhance crew comfort while on board. Roughly six months after delivery, Scarlett Rose Furlong is “performing superbly,” Furlong said, adding that the vessel has not returned to the shipyard for any service or repairs. “These positive results,” he continued, “are a result of the combination of an excellent design by CT Marine, a professional



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the engine room. Heath McWilliams and Capt. Keith Lofton are similarly outfitted but with MTU engines, while Chad Douglas is essentially a true sister tug. Florida Marine also took delivery of the 4,000-hp Amy Pasentine from Metal Shark Alabama, and as of press time was close to adding a third vessel in the series from the Bayou La Batre shipyard.

Southern Towing’s The Judge is powered by twin ZF/HRP z-drives.

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service. The 120-by-34-foot The Judge was built in Bayou La Batre, Ala., by Steiner Shipyard. Propulsion comes from two MTU main engines generating 1,600 hp paired with ZF/HRP Marine Model 6111 WM z-drives. Electrical power comes from two John Deere 6068AFM85 generators.

Rock Solid Plimsoll Marine took delivery of the 67-foot Rock Solid from shipbuilder Master Marine in early 2021. Entech Designs provided plans for the pushboat. Rock Solid is the third vessel in a four-boat series for Plimsoll Marine, a subsidiary of Mobile, Ala.based Cooper/T. Smith. “The delivery of Rock Solid marks another milestone in our effort to build and maintain our industry’s most modern and capable fleet of pushboats,” Angus R. Cooper III, president of Cooper/T.

Rock Solid is the third pushboat in a series built by Master Marine.

Smith, said in a prepared statement. Propulsion on the new boat comes from twin 803-hp Mitsubishi Tier 3 main engines from Laborde Products, which turn 70inch Sound propellers through Twin Disc 5321 reduction gears and 7-inch J&S Machine ABS-grade propeller shafts. The keel coolers are from R.W. Fernstrum. The pushboat makes up to its tow through 40-ton Wintech deck winches, and Schuyler Cos. provided fendering that wraps the hull and push knees. New World supplied the suite of navigation electronics populating the wheelhouse, and heating and cooling comes from a Carrier minisplit HVAC system. The two other towboats in the series, Grain Express and Iron Lady, were also built by Master Marine. • American Tugboat Review 2021

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