Three US tugboat owners have put their new vessels to work in inland waterways and harbours
Maritime Partners, Marquette Transportation and Foss Maritime are expanding their fleets against a slowdown in demand for transportation services in the US due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In April, Maritime Partners took delivery of the first of a series of new towboats ordered from a Louisiana shipyard.
C&C Marine and Repair’s Belle Chasse shipyard delivered Paula M. Sperry as the first of what could become a 15-towboat construction campaign. This vessel will be leased to Centerline Logistics, which was rebranded from the Harley Marine Services in February 2020.
Paula M. Sperry has an overall length of 25.6 m and breadth of 10.4 m. It was designed by Entech Design and C&C Marine’ engineering department. In the engineroom are two Cummins QSK38-M1 main engines paired with two Reintjes WAF 665 reduction gears.
Rio Controls & Hydraulics supplied the steering system, hydraulic power unit and the alarms. Paula M. Sperry is handling barges along the lower Mississippi River system.
C&C Marine also built towboat Randy Mauer for Marquette Transportation. This triple Z-drive inland towboat has an overall length of 48.8 m, breadth of 15.2 m and QSK60-M main engines that drive three Steerprop SP25D azimuthing Z-drive thrusters.
Karl Senner supplied the thrusters and propulsion for Paula M. Sperry and Fernstrum supplied the keel coolers for these towboats. Randy Mauer was the fifth new towboat built by C&C Marine for Marquette.
During 2019 and Q1 2020, C&C Marine constructed cutter suction dredge General MacArthur, which will be used during a second phase of port development at Corpus Christi to widen and deepen the port’s channel in Texas.
In California, Foss Maritime’s new escort and harbour tug Jamie Ann assisted sister tugs to manoeuvre Military Sealift Command Hospital Ship USNS Mercy out of the Port of Los Angeles on 15 May.
This tug is the first of a new series of azimuth stern drive (ASD) vessels Foss has on order from Nichols Brothers Boat Builders. It has combined power of 5,200 kW and 90 tonnes of bollard pull from two MTU main engines that comply with US Environmental Protection Agency’s tough Tier 4 emissions requirements.
Jamie Ann assisted tugs Alta June, Bo Brusco and tug Michele Sloan, which is operated by Foss subsidiary Amnav, in handling USNS Mercy.
This was the Jamie Ann’s first job since arriving in Los Angeles near the end of April. It is profiled in the Q2 2020 issue of Tug Technology & Business.
Other US shipyards are delivering tugs and towboats this quarter. Tug owner Florida Marine Transporters restarted its fleet expansion this year with the first towboat delivered from Metal Shark’s shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Alabama.
Stephanie Pasentine is the first-ever steel newbuild and inland towboat built by Metal Shark, which has experience in building welded aluminium vessels. Metal Shark is building two more towboats for FMT and a 21-m steel Z-drive tugboat for North Carolina Department of Transportation.
In April, Canal Barge Co started operating new towboat H. Merritt ‘Heavy’ Lane Jr, after it was built by Conrad Industries’s Amelia shipyard. This 50.5-m vessel was built to a MiNO Marine design, with two main EPA Tier 4 compliant engines.
Last week, Conrad reported net income of US$414,000 for Q1 2020, compared with a net loss of US$307,000 during the same period in 2019.
The Louisiana-based shipbuilder attributed its turnaround to higher levels of vessel construction and repair. However, it is facing tougher market conditions due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has reduce demand for marine transportation.
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