Crimson Victory

The 116-foot Crimson Victory, an ocean-towing tug owned by Crimson Shipping of Mobile, Ala. is expected to be delivered early summer from Main Iron Works in Houma, La.

Crimson Victory is a 116-foot ocean towing vessel built for towing roll-on/roll-off warehouse barges for Crimson Shipping of Mobile, Ala. (Brian Gauvin photo)

Crimson Shipping, formerly Maybank Shipping of Charleston, S.C., is a Cooper/T. Smith company that owns three U.S. flagged roll-on/roll-off warehouse barges, providing breakbulk bluewater transportation services throughout the Caribbean, and partial service to Central and South America.

René J. Cheramie & Sons of Broussard, La., will operate the tug for Crimson Shipping. The 4,750-hp tug is modeled after Ann T. Cheramie, also built at Main Iron Works, but owned by the Cheramie company. Another Cheramie boat, the 2,800-hp Edward Brusco also tows warehouse barges for Crimson Shipping.

Tony Cheramie, president of the three-generation family owned company, said he has been impressed with the fuel consumption history of Ann T. Cheramie, which is primarily employed towing the 320-foot warehouse barge, Crimson Tide (formerly with Maybank as Helen III). Ann T. Cheramie carries 120,000 gallons of diesel fuel on trips of about three weeks duration to the islands. Running at less than 70 percent load on the engines and averaging 9 to 10 knots, the fuel consumption averages about 3,200 gallons per day. “She’s very fuel efficient,” said Cheramie.

Both boats were designed by Frank Basile of Entech & Associates, of Houma, La. The deep-V, single chine hull design is credited for the tug’s good looks under way and fuel savings.

The tug is Caterpillar powered with 4,750 hp and a Markey double-drum towing winch. (Brian Gauvin photo)

Crimson Victory’s two Caterpillar 3516-B main engines are coupled to Reintjes gears turning 101-by-111-inch Rolls-Royce propellers in Type 37 nozzles which were built at the Main Iron Works yard. Although the boats are identical in design, Crimson Victory has John Deere generators instead of Caterpillars, and Tier II engines. Ann T. Cheramie has first-generation emission compliant Caterpillar engines, Tier I, the best technology at the time.

On the stern of Crimson Victory, as with Ann T. Cheramie, is a Markey TDSD-34 double-drum towing winch powered by a dedicated Caterpillar 3304 C6.6 turbo diesel running between 575 rpm and 1,800 rpm.

The winch has a capacity of 2,850 feet of 2.25-inch wire rope on the starboard towing drum and an additional 1,840 feet on the port auxiliary drum. At the barrel layer, rated line pull in first gear is more than 200,000 pounds (stall) and 84,300 pounds at 31 feet per minute (light line).

For reasons of crew safety and to prevent chafing, the towline is run through a roller on a towing bar that bridges the cap rails on the aft deck.

Depending on the towing assignment, the tug carries a crew of five to seven. “The Ann T. Cheramie was built to tow general cargo barges from U.S. ports to destinations throughout the Caribbean as well as ports in Central and South America,” said Cheramie. “The Crimson Victory will be doing much the same thing.”

Crimson Shipping is a 20-year-old company that merged with both Maybank Maritime Services and units of Cooper/T. Smith within the past decade. Based in Alabama, the company has strong links to the University of Alabama, which uses the moniker Crimson Tide for its athletic teams.

René J. Cheramie & Sons has a long history of towing service to both the Maybank and Crimson companies.

By Professional Mariner Staff