Custom designed for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to hydrographically map the mouth of the Mississippi River, the mission-specific marine survey vessel Tobin is the latest and largest marine surveying vessel of Silver Ships’ Endeavor series of multi-function workboats.
Tobin joins a fleet of vessels operating out of the USACE Venice Sub Office “that works year-round to provide river condition data to vessel operators,” says Jason Powers, Director of Business Development at Silver Ships. “This data is essential to the safe and efficient transportation of goods up and down the Mississippi River.”
According to the Alabama-based designer and shipbuilder, Tobin is equipped with a sophisticated Teledyne Marine EchoTrac E-20 survey system that allows researchers to acquire data quickly and prevent inconsistencies caused by changes in the river bottom.
The E-20 system uses a single-beam transducer that charts river depths and monitors water changes that could be potentially hazardous to marine navigation.
The 49-foot vessel is equipped with a DRS6AX radar, SC70 compass, global maritime distress and safety system, and automatic identification system, all provided by Furuno, and a Teledyne Marine depth sounder.
The deep-vee variable deadrise aluminum monohulled craft can reach a speed of 28 knots driven by twin Caterpillar C18 Tier 3 engines making 800 hp each. The single Caterpillar C2.2 Tier 3 genset provides electric power for Tobin’s Delta T Systems engine room ventilation and air conditioning system, and other electrical needs onboard.
Built to American Boat & Yacht Council and ABS standards, as well as USCG Regulations for Inspected Vessels, Tobin operates with enhanced features such as the MGX5136RV Twin Disc marine gears; and Michigan Wheel M500 propellers.
The communication system includes a Furuno IMO VHF, FM8900S and GMDSS single side band FS1575 radio, which will allow Tobin to monitor all VHF transmissions, as well as longer range communications.
The new craft is named to honor Thomas G. Tobin, an engineer and programmer who worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District for more than 30 years. He passed away in February 2016, at the age of 54.
“A part of the Engineering Division Channel Improvement team, he achieved success with their automated design functions that ensure successful operations of the Mississippi River,” according to the USACOE.
“Mr. Tobin dedicated his skills to the Corps mission and made a broad, lasting, and meaningful impact on the entire district and the citizens of south Louisiana.” •