G&H Towing completes 8-boat Z-Tech order

Ocean Taiga

Following delivery of Laura B and Poseidon in late 2016, G&H Towing of Texas completed an eight-boat order of advanced Z-Tech tugboats. G&H is the operating company for Texas-based Suderman & Young Towing and Bay-Houston Towing, and each company received four tugs.

Eastern Shipbuilding of Panama City, Fla., built the 80-by-38-foot vessels based on a Robert Allan Ltd. design. The Z-Tech 2400 has a wide bow with aggressive fendering and low forward shear, allowing tugs to work in the flare of large ships.

“The wheelhouse is set well aft and inboard, offering excellent visibility over the entire working deck and to the sides. With the low bow, the tug is designed to make transit or open-water voyages stern-first in ‘tractor mode,’” Robert Allan Ltd. said of the design.

Propulsion on these tugs consists of twin Caterpillar 3516 Tier 3 mains producing 5,150 hp at 1,600 rpm linked with Schottel SRP 1215 FP stern drives with 94-inch props in nozzles. Ship service power comes from two 99-kW John Deere generators.

The wheelhouse is equipped with Furuno electronics and navigation equipment. On the bow is a 50-hp Markey DEPCF-48S hawser winch with a 36-inch drum and mid-drum brake strength of 300,000 pounds.

Suderman & Young took delivery of the lead boat in the series, Triton, in December 2015, and H. Douglas M was delivered to Bay-Houston in February 2016. Over the next 10 months, Eastern completed Neptune, Zyana K, David B and Oceanus followed most recently by Laura B and Poseidon

Bering Titan
Between 1997 and 2012, Western Towboat built six Titan-class tugboats designed for long-haul ocean towing. In December, the Seattle company welcomed the 5,364-hp ASD Bering Titan, the seventh tug in its vaunted Titan class.

Western Towboat built the 120-by-35-foot vessel at its Seattle shipyard based on an in-house design developed with Jensen Maritime Consultants. Bering Titan has averaged about 10 knots while hauling a 420-foot barge loaded with rail cars and cargo containers between Seattle and Whittier, Alaska.

“Since she is our 7th Titan tug we have built, we have perfected each one to our needs to work in the challenging Alaskan environments,” said Western Towboat Vice President Capt. Russell Shrewsbury. “Our captains and crews have gave us input on each boat we have built to better suit the needs of the jobs we are performing.”

Bering Titan is powered by twin Caterpillar C175 Tier 3 engines linked with Schottel SRP 1515 z-drives. Electrical power comes from dual John Deere generators supplied by MER Equipment in Seattle. On deck is a double-drum Rapp Marine towing winch. It also has stainless steel handrails, bulwark caps, pin box and plating on the stern to minimize long-term maintenance.

Western also has begun construction on the 80-foot, 4,000-hp harbor tug Mariner. This Westrac-class tug outfitted with Tier 3 Caterpillar engines is scheduled for delivery in March 2018. 

Ocean Taiga
Ocean Group President Gordon Bain describes the company’s 8,160-hp tugboat Ocean Tundra as “the Beast.” Ocean Taiga, a nearly identical sister vessel delivered in late October 2016, deserves an equally formidable nickname.

Bay-Houston’s Laura B.

Eastern Shipbuilding

The Quebec City-based company built the 118-by-42-foot ice-class tug at its Isle-aux-Coudres, Quebec, shipyard from a Robert Allan Ltd. design. The tug works in Quebec City where it breaks ice and performs ship-assist work in the St. Lawrence River. But as Ocean spokesman Philippe Filion points out, the vessel can do just about any job around the world.

“It is built to do hard work,” he said. “De-icing, docking, undocking, marine salvage, ship assist, pilot transfer and supply services. Those are the things it does … but we can do more than that. We wait for occasions to use this one and Ocean Tundra for bigger jobs.

Like its predecessor, Ocean Taiga has twin MaK 9M25C diesel engines turning Rolls-Royce z-drives. Markey supplied a 200-hp hawser winch and 125-hp towing winch on the bow and stern, respectively. Electrical power comes from three Caterpillar C9 engines each producing 250 kW. Bollard pull exceeds 100 metric tons.

Ocean Tundra is considered the most powerful tugboat in Eastern Canada, but with the arrival of Ocean Taiga it has some company at the top. 

Vane Brothers’ steady construction cycle shows no signs of slowing. Since September, the Baltimore towing firm took delivery of three 4,200-hp Elizabeth Anne-class tugboats built by St. Johns Ship Building and based on a design by naval architect Frank Basile.

Baltimore was delivered in September 2016, followed by Delaware in January 2017 and Philadelphia four months later. The Palatka, Fla., shipyard is expected to deliver the final three boats of an eight-boat order by early 2018.

These 100-by-34-foot tugs are outfitted with two Caterpillar 3516 Tier 3 engines generating 2,100 hp each. Two John Deere PowerTech 4045 generators each produce 99 kW, while a third John Deere 4055 powers the stern-mounted Intercon DD200 towing winch. The tugs also feature Simrad electronics and navigation equipment.

Baltimore and Delaware are assigned to Vane’s Philadelphia fleet where they primarily tow petroleum barges. Philadelphia has been assigned to Vane’s New York fleet.

Rich Padden/Dr. Hank Kaplan
Harley Marine Services of Seattle will take delivery later this year of two 80-by-36-foot ship-handling tugboats under construction at Diversified Marine in Portland, Ore.

The two 5,200-hp tugs are sister vessels to Michelle Sloan and Lela Franco, and upon completion will be assigned to Harley’s West Coast fleet for ship assist and escort jobs. The new tugs are named for longtime Harley Marine board member Rich Padden, and Dr. Hank Kaplan, a specialist at the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle.

Propulsion on the new ASD vessels will consist of two Caterpillar 3516 Tier 3 engines each producing 2,600 hp linked with Caterpillar stern drives — the first of their kind in the U.S. Ship service power will come from twin Caterpillar C7.1 generators. Bollard pull is estimated at 70 tons.

Markey winches will be installed on the bow and stern, and Shibata fendering will protect the steel hull. Closed-circuit cameras will let wheelhouse crew and shoreside staff monitor the engine room. 

Western Towboat’s Bering Titan.

Western Towboat

Gladys B
The 5,300-hp ship-handling tug Gladys B joined E.N. Bisso & Son’s fleet in December 2016 following delivery from Signet Shipbuilding & Repair of Pascagoula, Miss. Gladys B works on the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where E.N. Bisso is located.

The 80-by-38-foot tug is based on the RApport 2400 platform developed by Robert Allan Ltd. of Vancouver, B.C. The vessel is a sister to Signet Maritime’s Signet Magic, which was built almost four years ago. It is the first Robert Allan design in E.N. Bisso’s fleet.

The tug, named for the wife of company founder Capt. Edwin Napoleon Bisso, has twin MTU 16V 4000 M64 Tier 3 engines driving two Rolls-Royce US 205 FP z-drives. Electrical power comes from two John Deere 6068 marine generators producing 99 kW each.

The hawser winch on the bow is a Markey DEPGF-42S, while a Markey DEPC-32 towing winch is installed on the stern. Bollard pull is 63 metric tons ahead and 60 astern. The crew complement is five people. 

Arkansas/South Carolina
Steiner Shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Ala., delivered two more 5,300-hp ASD tugboats to Crescent Towing of New Orleans in early 2017. Arkansas is working in Savannah while South Carolina operates in the Mississippi River along with the lead boat in the series, Mardi Gras.

Jensen Maritime Consultants designed the 92-by-38-by-19.5-foot vessels, which rely on twin GE eight-cylinder L250 Tier 3 engines and Rolls-Royce US 255 FP z-drives for propulsion. John Deere 4045 gensets producing 99 kW supply electricity. Bollard pull is 75 metric tons. 

Both tugs have JonRie 230 escort winches on deck spooled with 550 feet of 9-inch synthetic line and a JonRie 424 hydraulic capstan. Schuyler Cos. provided the vessels’ fendering, and the wheelhouse features Furuno electronics and navigation equipment.

“We are very pleased with the tug’s abilities, specifically when assisting the larger container vessels calling Savannah,” said Andrew White, Crescent’s Savannah operations manager. “The smoothness of operation even at high rpms is a testament to the design and execution by Jensen, Crescent and Steiner, and in turn will assure a long service life.”

Mr. Ruben
In September 2016, Bisso Towboat Co. of Luling, La., took delivery of Mr. Ruben, a 4,480-hp ASD tugboat built by Main Iron Works of Houma, La., with an estimated 60 tons of bollard pull.

Mr. Ruben, measuring 100 feet by 38 feet, has twin Caterpillar 3516 Tier 3 engines each generating 2,240 hp at 1,600 rpm. Those mains drive Rolls-Royce US 205 z-drives with 90-inch props in stainless steel nozzles. Ship service power is provided by two 99-kW Marathon generators powered by John Deere 4045 engines.

The JonRie Series 230 hydraulic bow winch is spooled with 500 feet of Samson 8-inch AmSteel Blue line. The wheelhouse is equipped with Simrad electronics and the engine room and four crew cabins have soundproof insulation. 

Jeffrey McAllister
McAllister has christened the final vessel in its line of 96-foot Tier 3 tractor tugs following the January 2017 delivery of Jeffrey McAllister. Eastern Shipbuilding of Panama City, Fla., built the tug and Jensen Maritime Consultants designed it.

Crescent Towing’s Arkansas.

Brian Gauvin

The ASD vessel features twin EMD 8-710 G7C engines producing 2,500 hp each at 900 rpm driving Schottel SRP 1215 FP z-drives. Ship service power comes courtesy of twin John Deere 4045 marine gensets rated for 99 kW each.

Jeffrey is equipped with a JonRie InterTech Series 250 hydraulic hawser winch on the bow and a JonRie Series 230 towing winch on the stern. A John Deere 6135 engine drives a 3,000-gpm FFS fire pump and two FFS monitors rated for 1,500 gpm each.

Jeffrey McAllister, named for a senior docking pilot based in New York, is assigned to McAllister’s Charleston operation. It joins roughly 60 other tugboats in McAllister’s fleet from Portland, Maine, to San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

Nicole Foss
Foss Maritime of Seattle is preparing to take delivery this summer of its third Arctic-class tugboat. The company is building the 123-by-41-foot Nicole Foss at its Rainier, Ore., shipyard, and will enter the tug into service this summer. Glosten Associates, also of Seattle, provided the design.

Propulsion comes from twin Tier 2 Caterpillar C280-8 engines generating a combined 7,268 hp. The mains are linked with Reintjes WAF 3455 reduction gears turning 126-inch Sound propellers in Nautican nozzles with triple rudders. Bollard pull is estimated at 110 tons.

Markey Machinery of Seattle supplied a double-drum TDSD-40 towing winch at the stern and a Markey WEWD-22 winch at the bow. Firefighting equipment includes a Flowserve 10-hp water pump.
Nicole Foss is virtually identical to its two predecessors: Michele Foss, delivered in 2015, and Denise Foss, built last year.

San Jose
Great Lakes Shipyard of Cleveland built the HandySize-class tugboat San Jose for harbor work in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. The Jensen Maritime-designed vessel was completed in September 2016 but was still in the shipyard in April 2017 pending final payment from the buyer.

Like its predecessors, the 74-foot-by-30-foot San Jose has twin Cummins QSK50-M1 Tier 3 diesel engines producing 1,700 hp each. Those Tier 3 mains turn 79-inch Kaplan-style props inside 80-inch nozzles through a Twin Disc MGX-5600 gearbox. Bollard pull is estimated at 50 tons.

Ship service power comes from one Kohler genset generating 65 kW, and a Cummins QSB6.7 marine diesel auxiliary engine driving a Bell & Gossett VSX off-ship firefighting pump delivering 2,000 gpm. The tug also has a forward-facing Akron Brass monitor.

On deck, San Jose has a JonRie 500 single-drum towing winch aft, and on the bow is a shipyard-built staple. The wheelhouse offers 360-degree views and is equipped with Simrad and Furuno electronics. 

Shaver building Tier 4 tug
Shaver Transportation didn’t have to look far for its first EPA Tier 4 tugboat. The longtime Portland, Ore., operator hired hometown shipyard Diversified Marine to build its 8,400-hp tractor tug. The vessel promises to be the most powerful tug on the Columbia Snake River System and one of the beefiest on the West Coast.

Jensen Maritime Consultants designed the 110-by-42-foot tug. It will come equipped with twin GE Tier 4 engines each producing 4,200 hp and twin Rolls-Royce US 305 z-drives. GE mains use an exhaust gas recirculation system to meet tougher EPA Tier 4 emissions standards, meaning they do not require urea.

“The boat is basically like the one JT Marine is building,” Shaver President Steve Shaver said recently, referring to Caden Foss, although he noted the Shaver tug will have a wider beam and about 1,700 more hp.

At this point, few shipyards understand Tier 4 better than Diversified, which in January delivered the first U.S. Tier 4 tractor tug, Earl W. Redd, to Harley Marine Services. The Shaver boat is expected for delivery by mid-2018. 

Young Brothers orders four new vessels
Conrad Shipyard is building four Tier 4 Kapena-class ocean towing tugboats for Young Brothers Ltd. of Honolulu, Hawaii. The first delivery is expected early next year. The $80 million order should be completed by early 2019.

The Damen-designed vessels will measure 123 feet by 36.5 feet and have twin GE 8L250MDC Tier 4 engines producing a total 6,034 hp. GE engines use an exhaust gas recirculation system rather than a urea-based system to meet stricter EPA emissions rules.

Young Brothers’ fleet hauls cargo between the Hawaiian islands seven days a week. The new vessels will be paired with barges delivered to Young Brothers within the last decade. The Kapena-class tugs will join Young Brothers’ seven-tug fleet. 

Chouest building 13 Damen-designed tugs
Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) of Cut Off, La., is building up to 13 Damen-designed ASD tugboats to support energy transport products in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. The work is being done at shipyards owned by Chouest.

ECO will build four escort tugs with the Damen ASD 3212 design to work at an LNG terminal under construction in Texas, according to a Damen news release. The vessels will have 80 tons of bollard pull.

The company also will build nine new tugboats to perform ship escort/response duties out of Valdez, Prince William Sound. ECO begins the contract in July 2018, taking over for Crowley.

Chouest will build four ASD 3212 tugs with 70 tons of bollard pull and five ASD 4517 design tugs believed to be among the most powerful ASD tugs ever built, according to the Damen release. Bollard pull is expected to exceed 150 tons.

Mount Baker
Nichols Brothers Boat Builders is building two tugboats for Kirby Offshore Marine using a Jensen Maritime Consultants design. The Freeland, Wash., shipyard launched the 120-by-35-foot Mount Baker on May 2 ahead of a scheduled delivery in late May. A sister tug, Mount Drum, is scheduled for delivery in November.

Both are powered by twin Caterpillar 3516C Tier 3 engines producing 2,447 hp at 1,600 rpm turning Nautican fixed-pitch props in nozzles through Reintjes reduction gears. John Deere generators provide electrical power. On deck, the tugs have a Markey TESD-34 towing winch and a Markey CEW-60 capstan.

By Professional Mariner Staff