Dann Marine shows off impressive new wire towing vessel: Treasure Coast

Treasure Coast. (Brian Gauvin).

Dann Marine Towing, a mid-Atlantic family-operated company that has been in the tug business for some five generations, recently introduced the 16th tug in its fleet, a 104-footer delivered from Rodriguez Boat Builders of Alabama.

This 3,000-hp, twin-screw tug, Treasure Coast, with elevated pilothouse, was designed and built specifically for towing oil barges on the Eastern Seaboard. Once it was let loose from the shipyard in February, it immediately went to work on term charter for Penn Maritime, handling oil barges out of New York. The tug’s pilothouse provides its operators with a 50-foot height of eye.

Treasure Coast is expected to be followed this summer by a sister ship, currently under construction at Rodriguez Boat Builders.

“We basically took the best features of all our tugs and tried to incorporate them into these two new tugs,” said J.C. Dann, operations manager and one of three brothers currently operating the company with their father, Robert Dann Sr. Two other brothers involved with the company are Robert Dann Jr. and Christopher Dann.

New tug Treasure Coast for Dann Marine Towing provides its watch officer with a 50-ft height of eye at the upper wheelhouse, shown at left and below. (Brian Gauvin).

Dann Marine Towing, based in Chesapeake City, Md., on the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, was founded by Robert Dann Sr., after he split apart from his brother, Rodney Dann. The two senior Dann brothers now operate separate tug companies: Dann Marine Towing out of Chesapeake City and Dann Ocean Towing out of Tampa, Fla.

Treasure Coast is the first new tug built for Dann Marine since 1982. At that time the company had two tugs to its name — Zeus and Gulf Coast, the latter being built by the former Modern Marine shipyard at that time. The company has built its fleet from available resources since then, with all tugs given a coastal name — except for Zeus, which retains its mythological name. The next new tug being delivered this summer is named Atlantic Coast. The company includes several push boats in its tug fleet, and it also operates four dry cargo hopper barges.

Treasure Coast was built with high-performance nozzles and linked triple-vane rudders provided by Rice Propulsion of Mexico. Propellers were built by Padgett-Swann. (Brian Gauvin).

The new tug Treasure Coast may be conventional in its overall design, but it incorporates the latest in propulsion technology meant for getting the most out of 3,000 hp.

Its engines are electronically controlled Caterpillar diesels with Reintjes gears, while at the driving end are four-bladed Padgett-Swann propellers, enclosed in high-performance nozzles with triple-vane rudders, all provided by Rice Propulsion of Mazatlán, Mexico.
On the stern is a double-drum Intercon towing winch with a full-width towing bar and deck sheaves for handling push gear.

Because it is new the tug may spend most of its time pushing oil and asphalt barges, but it could also get involved with Dann’s long-term contract with Constellation Energy, hauling coal barges to a power plant in Baltimore.

Treasure Coast struck a heroic pose, even as it was being built at Rodriguez Boat Builders. (Brian Gauvin).

“We work for practically every barge company on the East Coast, including plenty of our competitors,” said Robert Dann Jr. “We try to keep our boats and crews capable of handling all different products on any given day, but basically we handle all of our products as if they were oil. That’s the safest way.”

Treasure Coast is generally set up to operate with a five-man crew, according to Dann, but that can change with the towing assignment. Two alternating captains on the tug are Greg Buttry and Jeff Loveland.

By Professional Mariner Staff