US tugboat owners have expanded their fleets for towage and barge transportation with new vessels
Vane Brothers welcomed new towing vessel Rock Hall into its fleet operating on the US east coast. This 2,240-kW push tug is part of the Salisbury class of vessels with a shallow draught for operating in inland waterways. It has a moulded depth of just 3.2 m.
Rock Hall is the sister vessel of Salisbury, which was delivered in 2019 and Annapolis, completed in 2020. These were built by Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland. All three push tugs were constructed in compliance with US Coast Guard-enforced Subchapter M safety standards.
Vane Brothers president C Duff Hughes said the highest standards are demanded by its clients. “Powerful, practical and purpose-built to maximise manoeuvrability where it is needed most, Rock Hall is another exciting addition to the Vane fleet,” he said.
Chesapeake Shipbuilding is building a fourth of these push tugs to be named Charles Hughes for Vane, and this is scheduled to be delivered in Q4 2021.
To create the Salisbury class design, Chesapeake naval architect John Womack worked in close collaboration with Vane Brothers port captain Jim Demske, who has overseen construction of nearly 50 tugboats for Vane over the last two decades.
These tugs have an overall length of 28.6 m, width of 10.4 m, moulded depth of 3.2 m and operating draft of 2.6 m. Propulsion comes from two Caterpillar Cat 3512 engines that each develop 1,120-kW of power and comply with US Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 3 emissions requirements.
US-based dredging group Weeks Marine has started operating two new lugger tugs this year and expects a third to be added in Q4 2021. Rodriguez Shipbuilding is building this fleet of tugboats at its shipyard in Coden, Alabama.
The first of these, Jack K, was delivered in March this year and William O commences operations at the end of July. A third tug, to be named James K, is due to be ready at the end of October.
These 19-m, 95-gt tugs are built for a range of duties including towing, dredging support, and fluid transport along the US Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Each have two Cummins QSK 19-MRCS diesel engines developing 560 kW of power, turning Kahlenberg 4-bladed propellers through Twin Disc MGX-5222 gears with 6.0:1 ratios.