Tug newbuild deliveries in the US demonstrate a thriving market for fleet expansion and modernisation
Shipyards in the US completed a series of tugs and towboats for domestic owners in April.
Tug owner Florida Marine Transporters restarted its fleet expansion 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.
This John W. Gilbert Associates-designed tug is a 36.5 m welded-steel river towboat with a breadth of 10.6 m and power of 3,000 kW.
Stephanie Pasentine is the first of three towboats FMT ordered from Metal Shark in 2018. That order followed Metal Shark’s acquisition of financially strained Horizon Shipbuilding in 2018. FMT’s contract also signalled Metal Shark’s entry into the inland towboat market.
Stephanie Pasentine has two Caterpillar-built Cat 3512C marine diesel engines, each delivering 1,500 kW of power at 1,600 rpm.
These turn stainless steel propellers through Twin Disc model MGX5600DR reverse reduction gears with a 6.56:1 ratio.
Metal Shark is building two more towboats for FMT and a 21-m steel Z-drive tugboat for North Carolina Department of Transportation.
On the other side of the US, Foss Maritime has started operating its new azimuth stern drive (ASD) escort tug Jamie Ann in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California.
This tug is the first of four new ASD-90 tugs under construction by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders for Foss.
It has combined power of 5,200 kW and 90 tons of bollard pull.
This comes from two MTU main engines that comply with US Environmental Protection Agency’s tough Tier 4 emissions requirements.
Jamie Ann has a Selective Catalytic Reduction system for removing nitrogen oxide and particulates emissions and sound abatement in the engineroom and accommodation.
Tug Technology & Business profiles Foss’ Jamie Ann in its upcoming Q2 2020 issue.
Foss expects delivery of three other ASD-90, to be named Sarah Averick, Leisa Florence and Rachael Allen, later this year.
Near the end of April, Crowley Fuels passed a technical milestone as a new articulated tug-barge (ATB) unit entered service.
Bollinger Shipyards built an Alaska-class ATB with a 5,220-kW tugboat linked to a 122-m long oceangoing oil transportation barge.
Tug Aveogan was linked to barge Oliver Leavitt using an Intercon C-series coupling system. It has a patent-pending closed-loop, freshwater ballast water management system, whereby the tug’s ballast will be transferred to and from a retention tank on the barge to account for fuel burn.
Canal Barge Co took delivery of new towboat H. Merritt ‘Heavy’ Lane Jr from Conrad Shipyard in April.
This 50.5-m vessel was built to a MiNO Marine design, with two main EPA Tier 4 compliant engines.
It tows barges on the Mississippi River with a hullform specifically designed to maximise water flow to the propellers and minimise vibrations.
Meanwhile, Canada-based workboat owner Harken Towing is upgrading more of its fleet with new tailshaft bearings from Thordon Bearings.
Harken has installed Thorden’s RiverTough bearings on four vessels so far, including the first on 14.5-m twin-screw tug Granny Hutch. It plans to convert the remaining vessels working on the Fraser River in British Columbia at subsequent drydockings.