Gemini Warrior builds on tradition of B.C. coastal tugs


In British Columbia, most tugboats built within the last decade were designed by A.G. McIlwain Ltd. Noted for their broad beam-to-length ratio, these versatile tugs perform ship docking, ship assist, log towing and barge handling.
In October 2019, the latest iteration of a McIlwain tug left Sylte Shipyard on the Fraser River for Gemini Marine Services of Bowen Island. The tug will primarily tow barges carrying feed and other supplies for coastal salmon farms.
McIlwain designed the powerful log-towing tug Inlet Crusader a few years ago. Soon after, another customer ordered a tug built to the same hull dimensions with an added top house for improved visibility. This evolution of the proven design caught Gemini Marine’s attention.

The company does general marine transport with a landing craft, two tugs and a variety of barges. In an ever-changing business environment, flexibility is important. The addition of the 60-by-26-foot McIlwain-designed Gemini Warrior will help the firm stay ahead of emerging coastal towing needs.

Like other boats designed to Canadian regulations that require all accommodations to be above the waterline, Gemini Warrior has the distinctive raised forecastle. The floor of the four individual staterooms is above the waterline and nearly the same level as the after deck. The head, shower and laundry rooms are forward in the main cabin. Aft in the main deck house, the galley is set to the port side with a mess to starboard.
Gemini Marine installed Caterpillar C32 main engines, each generating 750 hp at 1,800 rpm. These turn 72-inch propellers in Kort-type nozzles through Twin Disc MGX-5321 gears. Sylte manufactured the nozzles at its yard.

The engine room is a celebration of redundancy. In addition to the C32s, there are four 125-hp Cat engines. The two port-side engines power 93.25-kW generators, each of which can meet the vessel’s electric needs on its own. The two on the starboard side provide hydraulic power, with either one capable of meeting nearly 100 percent of the hydraulic draw of the 26-inch bow thruster and the towing winch at the same time. Pumps on the main engines provide power to the hydraulic steering. There are four rudders behind the two nozzled props, all four of which can be run by the steering pump on a single engine.
Gemini Warrior’s aft deck is well equipped for towing barges. A single-drum Bracewell Marine Group towing winch is set aft of the cabin with a good reach to the stern transom. The winch drum is loaded with 2,400 feet of 1.5-inch-diameter wire rope. Towing pins manufactured by Western Machine Works of North Vancouver are mounted in the aft bulwarks.
—Alan Haig-Brown

Kapena Bob Purdy, delivered last summer, is the fourth and final Kapena-class tugboat built for Young Brothers.

Conrad Shipyard

Kapena Bob Purdy
Young Brothers has completed an $80 million upgrade to its fleet of oceangoing tugboats that haul cargo barges between the Hawaiian Islands.
Kapena Bob Purdy, delivered in mid-June 2019, is the fourth and final Kapena-class tug. The four vessels share the same 123-by-36.5-foot Damen design. Conrad Shipyard of Louisiana built the tugs. Kapena Bob Purdy is the lone tug in the series equipped with an oily water separator to facilitate longer-distance rescue tows.

The propulsion package consists of twin 3,017-hp GE 8L250 MDC Tier 4 engines turning four-blade 126-inch props in nozzles through Reintjes WAF 3455 reduction gears. Three Caterpillar C7.1 gensets each deliver 118 kW of electrical power.
Towing equipment aboard Kapena Bob Purdy consists of a Markey double-drum TESD-34 winch on the stern and Markey WESD-16-16-26 winch at the bow. Smith Berger Marine supplied the towing pins and shark jaws, while Schuyler Companies provided the fenders.

Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland put the finishing touches this spring on Pennsylvania, the fourth in a series of Subchapter M-compliant tugboats built for The Great Lakes Towing Co.
The 64-foot 2,000-hp tugboat is a sister vessel to Cleveland, Ohio and Michigan, all delivered within the last three years from the company’s shipyard on the Cuyahoga River. Propulsion comes from two 1,000-hp MTU 8V 4000 Tier 3 engines turning 71-inch Kaplan-style props in nozzles through Twin Disc MGX-5321 reduction gears. Bollard pull is 30 short tons.

The Logan Clutch diesel-electric propulsion package on Pennsylvania relies on two 99-kW John Deere/Marathon diesel gensets to produce electrical power for motors installed on the Twin Disc reduction gears. These motors turn the gears, which in turn spin the shaft.
The system adds about 200 more horsepower when maximum output is needed. It also allows the vessel to transit to or from jobs without the main engines, thereby reducing fuel consumption, engine wear, noise and vibration.
Pennsylvania has Furuno and Simrad navigation electronics, Schuyler Cos. fendering and a 15-hp capstan. The engine room is equipped with an Ansul Sapphire FM-200 system.
Pennsylvania has been assigned to the Port of Toledo. The fifth tug in the series, Wisconsin, will be launched in June and enter service later this year.

Charleston is the eighth Elizabeth Anne-class tugboat delivered by St. Johns Ship Building, and the second converted into an ATB pusher tug.

Glenn Raymo

Baltimore-based Vane Brothers has completed two milestones with the November 2019 delivery of the articulated tug-barge tug Charleston from St. Johns Ship Building.

Charleston is the eighth and final Elizabeth Anne-class model-bow tugboat built for Vane by the Palatka, Fla., shipbuilder. The tugs are based on plans from Entech Designs. It is also the second of two tugs within that class modified as ATB pusher tugs after Jacksonville, which left the shipyard in 2018.
The 4,200-hp Charleston is paired with the 50,000-bbl barge DS-506, while Jacksonville is paired with the 50,000-bbl DS-504. Lyon Shipyard in Norfolk, Va., modified the existing decade-old barges for ATB work. Both units operate in the Northeast.
“The success of our ATB retrofit program has afforded us the ability to improve the operational performance of our existing fleet of Elizabeth Anne-class tugs and 50,000-barrel barges,” said Capt. Rick Iuliucci, Vane’s vice president for operations. “The recent addition of these tug-barge combinations has been well received by our customers, crews and regulators.”

Propulsion comes from twin 2,100-hp Caterpillar 3516C engines turning 105-inch Hung Shen props through Reintjes WAF 873 reduction gears at a 7:1 ratio. Electrical power comes from twin John Deere 4045 engines driving 99-kW gensets. M&M Bumper Service supplied fendering.
Capt. Jim Demske, Vane’s port captain, said the project modifications to Jacksonville and Charleston primarily involved the elimination of the aft double-drum towing winch, tow span and deck sheaves in favor of a Beacon Finland coupler.

“The vessels are fitted with an innovative Beacon Finland JAK-400 Hydralok coupling system that allows each ATB tug to be securely paired with a modified 500-series barge,” Demske said. “The Vane crews are loving the way the tugs handle the barges.”

Vane Brothers’ fleet of 130 vessels now has seven ATBs, including three 4,400-hp Assateague-class tugs pushing 80,000-bbl barges, and two 6,000-hp Brandywine-class tugs paired with 144,000-bbl barges.

By Professional Mariner Staff