Genesis Marine adding to strength of inland fleet

1 Elizabeth Robinson

Genesis Marine has launched another towboat to join Shannon Mary and Robert Anthony.
Launched in February 2015, Elizabeth M. Robinson is part of a planned fleet built by John Bludworth Shipyard LLC at its Corpus Christi yard, and is part of Gensesis’ plan to expand its inland fleet with a newbuild program. The ambitious schedule is to deliver a vessel every two months with eight of the vessels being built by Bludworth. Conrad Industries in Morgan City, La., is building the remaining two.

The 110-foot, 372-ton Elizabeth shares the same specifications as Robert Anthony and is docked at the Harbor Island facility of Port Aransas.

The hull was designed by John L. Bludworth III with engineering provided by Advanced Fabricating. 

A 99-kW John Deere generator on Elizabeth M. Robinson.

A quick scan of the second pantry below deck displays the crew’s love of Gatorade and soft drinks. Cans and boxes of vegetables, beans and other food fill the spacious stowage area.

Elizabeth boasts comfortable accommodations for eight people with a large galley and dining area.

Amenities like granite countertops and the nice touches of etched glass and door-frame corners with the Genesis logo make the boat look more like a place in the suburbs. The 60-inch flat-screen television with a stack of Arnold Schwarzenegger Blu-rays and surrounding soft leather couches make for a comfortable marine man cave.

“For the crew that will spend two or three weeks on a boat at a time, features like that make (being on board) homier and more comfortable,” said Gasper D’Anna, president of Bludworth Marine.

The Caterpillar 3512C engines on Elizabeth M. Robinson and Robert Anthony were provided by Mustang Power Systems.

More things that look and feel like home will make the crew less likely to be preoccupied with life off the boat and on land, according to Capt. Herb Walling, assistant professor of the practice of marine transportation at Texas A&M-Galveston.

“The company is providing these amenities so that the crew is not thinking that the difference is not too great when they’re going back on the boat,” Walling said.

Beside the radar, compass, chartplotter and communication equipment, the captain or relief captain has something more compelling than even a microwave or coffee pot behind him: a toilet tucked away from plain sight behind some hinged wood paneling. The days of using a 5-gallon bucket when nature calls on a tugboat have gone the way of hardtack and scurvy. 

On the bow, the Patterson WWP40E-7.5-14-208-G-R winches, incorporating self-aligning roller chocks, make catching lines safer and more secure with their powerful and fast operation.

The wheelhouse of Robert Anthony includes two Furuno arrays, a Ritchie compass and a Furuno satellite compass.

Patterson CEO David Grapes said building such winches is part of the mission “to help simplify our customers’ processes through increased efficiency and safety.”

The new vessels push mostly heated products, as the barges are able to maintain the higher temperature required to sustain the viscosity point. This base product goes into consumer products as well as automotive gasoline and is a key component of asphalt, which has grit and gravel added as well.

As important as its cargo, this inland pushboat cranks at 3,150 bhp powered by Caterpillar 3512C, Tier 3 main engines provided by Mustang Power Systems. Below deck, the quiet of the engine area evaporates in an instant as the Cat engine roars.

One important feature is the use of redundant auxiliary generators by John Deere, which will not miss a beat if failure occurs thanks to the automatic generator start and transfer feature provided by RIO Marine. Power comes from John Deere 99-kW gensets supplied by Stanley Parts and Equipment Co.

The crew lounge area features leather couches and a 60-inch television.

Sewart Supply contributed the Twin Disc MGX5600 marine gears with internal shaft brakes. The continuous duty model is built for vessels such as tugboats and towboats, as well as fishing trawlers and ocean-going vessels for use in continuous operation with little or no variation in engine speed and power setting. 

The gears are connected to four-blade Sound Propeller Systems stainless-steel propellers provided by Texas Wheel Works.

Genesis inland vessels could be anywhere on the inland waterways system delivering or picking up product at refineries and storage terminals along the Great Lakes and Western river systems of the United States.

In April, Genesis took delivery of Ashley Danielson, a sister vessel to Robert Anthony and Elizabeth M. Robinson. According to public documents, Genesis owned 62 inland barges and 24 inland pushboats last year. The plan is to add an additional eight vessels (towboats and barges) through 2015.

By Professional Mariner Staff