Eastern launches second in z-drive series for Bisso Offshore


The following is text of a news release from Eastern Shipbuilding Group:

(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) — Eastern Shipbuilding Group has launched the second of two 80-foot, 5,100-hp z-drive tugs, A. Thomas Higgins, for Bisso Offshore LLC, a division of E.N. Bisso & Son, Inc. Launched on Jan. 31, the RAL RApport 2400 ship-handling tug design was provided by Robert Allan Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia. A. Thomas Higgins is currently under construction at Eastern’s Allanton facility. C.D. White, the first vessel of the series, delivered in January of this year.

The launch ceremony was held at Eastern’s Allanton facility hosted by Patrick D’Isernia, Eastern’s project manager. Brian D’Isernia, Eastern’s owner and CEO, and Joey D’Isernia, Eastern’s president, along with several of Eastern employees and guests in attendance. E.N. Bisso & Son attendees included A. Thomas “Tommy” Higgins (sponsor’s spouse and namesake), Colin Macpherson (executive vice president), Casey Willis (CFO), Mike Killelea (port captain) and Dwayne Brady (port engineer). The Rev. Kevin McQuone of St. John’s the Evangelist Catholic Church of Panama City blessed the vessel. Elizabeth “Liz” Higgins christened A. Thomas Higgins as the vessel’s sponsor.

E.N. Bisso & Son has taken delivery of five previous z-drive ship assist tugs from Eastern starting in 2007. This sixth vessel and second new Robert Allan RApport 2400 design tug has been customized by the designer, the builder, and owner to provide specific operational features including 65-plus ton bollard pull, enhanced maneuverability and escort performance, better fuel economy, crew comfort, safety under the new U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter M requirements, and reduced emissions meeting the new EPA Tier 4 emissions regulations.

Macpherson spoke about their customers onboard reactions and being very impressed with each vessel’s construction quality and ongoing maintenance.  “I think it is of particular note, that these two vessels have been built at a period in time when you all have come through that bad storm, Michael, and have been impacted by it. We are very well aware of that. We want to thank each and every one of you for the travails you have endured while remaining dedicated to the project on hand. We really, really appreciate that.”

The RApport 2400 tugs features the following characteristics:

Dimensions (molded): 80’ by 38’ by 13’2”
ESG designation: Hull 226
Fuel oil: 28,000 gallons
DEF/urea: 1,700 gallons
Potable water: 8,750 gallons
Total horsepower: (2) 2,549 hp a 1,800 rpm
Bollard pull (predicted): 65 tons

Main engines: (2) Caterpillar 3512E EPA Tier 4/IMO III marine propulsion diesel engines
Main propulsion: (2) Kongsberg/Rolls-Royce US205 P20 z-drives
Main generators: (2) John Deere 4045AFM85 Tier 3 EPA certified, each rated at 99 kW at 1,800 rpm

Firefighting: Counterfire ES-125-400, 1,500 gpm at 100 psi, diesel engine driven and 4-inch Stang remote-controlled fire monitor
Forward hawser winch: Markey DEPCF-42 HS, single drum 40 hp
Aft capstan: Markey CEPB-40 5-hp tow bitt capstan
Tow hook: Washington Chain & Supply 90-ton SWL tow hook, electric-air remote control, manual or remote release

Regulatory: USCG Subchapter, Certificate of Inspection (COI) (Oceans), Designed and Built to ABS Class standards (but not classed under ABS rules)
Flag: United States of America



Robert Allan Ltd. is a firm of internationally recognized Naval Architects in Vancouver, Canada. Since 1930, Robert Allan Ltd. has built a reputation for innovative designs for vessels of almost all types, from high-performance tugs to ferries to sophisticated research vessels. Robert A

By Professional Mariner Staff