Former Navy tugboat gets updated again as a green z-drive

McAllister Towing of Baltimore has put a new spin on an old tug, Kaleen McAllister, with the installation of a single azimuthing stern drive (ASD). Actually it's the second single z-drive conversion by McAllister of a former U.S. Navy YTB in recent years. The two tugs are Donal G. McAllister and Kaleen McAllister, and it is Kaleen's second re-power since joining the McAllister fleet.

Kaleen McAllister shows off its abilities during a run in Baltimore. (Brian Gauvin photo)

In 2002, McAllister replaced the Fairbanks Morse engine in Kaleen McAllister with an EMD 16-645-E5 Turbo and a Schottel 1515CP z-drive. The conversion to a single z-drive was not without controversy, but despite the skepticism surrounding shoehorning a single ASD into a conventional YTB, the change proved successful. So why not do it again, only do it green this time?

Earlier this year, armed with an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant, Kaleen McAllister went to General Ship Repair in Baltimore, a venerable old shipyard in the heart of Baltimore's harbor. A Tier 2 EMD 12-710 diesel, and two Tier 2 John Deere generators were installed.

Capt. Jim Roof, who will be captain of Kaleen McAllister, at the controls of Robert E. McAllister, another converted YTB. (Brian Gauvin photo)

On a recent assignment assisting the bulk carrier Nord Sincere, the 109-foot Kaleen McAllister, at 3,000 hp, proved to be better than expected. A bollard pull of 50 tons was recorded, according to Vice President of Mid-Atlantic Operations for McAllister Towing, Mike Reagoso. McAllister's port captain, Bob Dempsey, said the tug responded quickly, and with power when necessary.

"These boats are very forgiving," said Dempsey. "They're very simple. They have plenty of power and they do everything the pilots ask them to do."

Later, on a test run and photo opportunity, Kaleen McAllister's single z-drive powered the vessel to 13.5 knots.

Thomas Krzyck, McAllister's port engineer in Baltimore, in the engine room of Kaleen McAllister. The tug has been repowered with a Tier 2 EMD 12-710 diesel and two Tier 2 John Deere generators. (Brian Gauvin photo)

The second tug on the assignment was Robert E. McAllister, a former conventional YTB built in 1970. McAllister converted the tug to a dual z-drive in 2005, installing two Caterpillar 3516B mains producing 4,000 hp and Schottel SRP 1012 drives. Capt. Jim Roof, who will be captain on Kaleen when she is fully tested, was at the controls.

Kaleen McAllister, made up to the bow of the bulk carrier Nord Sincere, while assisting the ship to a berth in Baltimore. Participating in the assist is Robert E. McAllister, a former YTB that was converted to a dual z-drive in 2005. (Brian Gauvin photo)

Josh Biebedeimer, a deck hand on Robert E. McAllister, gets a line up to Nord Sincere. (Brian Gauvin photo)

Kaleen McAllister accompanies Nord Sincere under the Francis Scott Key Bridge at the entrance to the Port of Baltimore. (Brian Gauvin photo)

Capt. Bob Dempsey, McAllister's port captain in Baltimore, in the wheelhouse of Kaleen McAllister. (Brian Gauvin photo)


By Professional Mariner Staff