Harley Marine pulls industry into Tier 4 era


Some tugboats are built for long-distance ocean towing, while others are nimble and powerful enough to dock big ships. Harley Marine Services’ Earl W. Redd is the rare vessel that performs both jobs equally well.

Diversified Marine built the 5,350-hp z-drive vessel at its Portland, Ore., shipyard using a design from Jensen Maritime Consultants. Upon delivery in January, Earl W. Redd became the first U.S. tractor tug with EPA Tier 4 engines. It’s also the first using a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system to meet tougher federal emissions rules.

Earl W. Redd has been assigned to Harley subsidiary Olympic Tug and Barge, and it is expected to work on the West Coast. Harley Marine’s Chief Operating Officer Matt Godden likened the versatile new tug to a Swiss army knife. “For us, it’s an exciting tool because it can go anywhere and pretty much do anything,” he said during an interview at the company’s Seattle headquarters.

“With the fuel capacity at almost 130,000 gallons, there aren’t a whole lot of places she can’t go and the combined bollard pull and horsepower is exceptional for this kind of activity,” Godden continued, noting the estimated 75-ton bollard pull rating.

Earl W. Redd is based on plans Jensen developed almost two decades ago. Over the years, the Seattle naval architecture firm has modified the design to accommodate higher and higher horsepower. This time around, the design evolved to accommodate heavier and slightly larger engines, SCR aftertreatment units and stainless steel urea holding tanks.

 Earl W. Redd’s bridge is outfitted with a Furuno electronics and navigation suite.

Kurt Redd/Diversified Marine

Jensen placed the roughly 100-cubic-foot side-mounted SCR units above each engine to save space. The units can be accessed from the fidley. Twin 4,000-gallon urea tanks are located in the center of the tug, aft of the mains. Ballast water tanks that formerly occupied those spaces are now located under the engine room.

“It’s a challenge, to be honest with you,” Jensen Vice President Johan Sperling said, describing the shift from Tier 3 to Tier 4. “The technology, though widely available, hasn’t been completely and fully rolled out and tested … to know all the kinks have been worked out.”

There are also changes from a shipyard perspective. As the lead Tier 4 tractor tug and the first with an SCR system, there is no established playbook for installing new components, said Kurt Redd, president of Diversified Marine.

“You have to build the stainless-steel tanks and all this equipment that has to go into the engine room that is already packed full of stuff,” he said, adding, “there is definitely some effort to figure out where you put the tanks and those kind of things.”

Earl W. Redd is named for Kurt Redd’s late father, who was an affable presence around the yard for many years. He considers the vessel an honor to his father’s legacy.

The 120-foot Earl W. Redd is outfitted with twin Rolls-Royce US 255-P30 FP z-drives.

Harley Marine Services

Propulsion aboard the vessel consists of next-generation Caterpillar 3516E Tier 4 Final engines each producing 2,675 hp at 1,600 rpm. The mains are paired with twin Rolls-Royce azimuthing stern drives turning 102-inch stainless-steel props. Ship service power comes from two John Deere gensets each producing 150 kW.

Cat’s Tier 4 engines use an SCR exhaust aftertreatment to meet tougher nitrogen oxide emissions regulations. Urea is injected into the exhaust system to convert NOx to nitrogen and water. Caterpillar separated the engine from the SCR, thereby avoiding big changes to its proven line of engines. Jason Spear, the company’s marine product definition engineer, said differences compared to 3516 Tier 3 mains are mostly limited to engine timing.

Godden acknowledged the Caterpillar Tier 4 system has its challenges. Urea is a harsh ammonia-like chemical that requires additional crew training. It’s another consumable not yet available in every port. But, he said Caterpillar has offered extensive support and training to ensure the process goes smoothly. Harley also has a decades-long relationship with Caterpillar.

Engine makers are generally projecting operators will use between 5 and 10 percent less fuel with Tier 4 mains, depending on the application. It’s too soon to know how these predictions will align with actual results.

Harley isn’t expecting windfall fuel savings. In fact, any reduction in fuel usage will likely be offset by urea costs, Godden said. Caterpillar projects Earl W. Redd will burn about 135 gallons of urea a day, requiring a new supply every seven weeks or so. Those estimates are based on 5,000 operating hours a year at a 60 percent load factor.

Propulsion aboard Earl W. Redd comes from twin Caterpillar 3516E Tier 4 engines with the aftertreatment system installed above the mains.

Harley Marine Services

Outside the engine room, Earl W. Redd closely resembles its sister vessel Bob Franco. Diversified Marine built the ice-class tug in 2013, and it currently performs ship docking in Nikiski, Alaska. The two vessels are not identical, however. Earl’s hull is not ice-strengthened and it lacks the Rapp Marine crane installed aft of Bob’s pilothouse. Bob has Schottel z-drives instead of Rolls-Royce. Both tugs are 120 feet by 35 feet with a 19.3-foot draft fully loaded.

Like its predecessor, Earl W. Redd has electric-driven Markey winches at the bow and stern that share a 100-hp drive panel below deck. The space-saving system maintains separate controls and can dedicate maximum power to the stern winch or 50 hp to the hawser.

The TESD-34 100-hp double-drum tow winch on the stern can hold 2,500-feet of 2.25-inch wire rope in its starboard drum and 1,500 feet in its port drum. The brake’s holding capacity maxes out at 645,000 pounds, and an emergency “come home” drive motor can activate during a power failure.

The 50-hp DEPC-48 hawser winch on the bow — slightly smaller than Bob Franco’s hawser — is spooled with 500 feet of 9-inch synthetic HMPE line. Brake capacity is greater than 610,000 pounds and line speeds range from 100 to 291 feet per minute. The hawser also offers Markey’s render/recover system to maintain consistent line tension and a freewheel for rapid line payout, said Markey sales engineer Mark Jessup.

Earl W. Redd will operate with up to 13 crew. It has accommodations spread across six bunkrooms with two heads and two showers. Floating floors absorb engine vibration, while insulation in crew spaces keeps noise at manageable levels.

“It’s one of the quietest boats I have been on,” Brian Appleton, director of engineering/special projects, said of Bob Franco, which is outfitted similarly to Earl W. Redd. “There are a lot of creature comforts.”

Auxiliary power comes from two 125-kW John Deere 6068 gensets.

Harley Marine Services

The wheelhouse consists of Furuno navigation and communications supplied by Radio Holland USA, Rose Point Navigation Systems software and a Cobham SAILOR satellite connection. The Llebroc helm chair and windows offer 360-degree views.

Earl W. Redd has extensive IT infrastructure built in that rivals some offices. There are computer and Internet ports installed in key spaces, and the tug has wireless Internet connectivity. The KVH IP-MobileCast entertainment service is available in every bunkroom. Twelve closed-circuit cameras installed throughout the vessel transmit to a wheelhouse display.

“All of our newbuilds have been coming out with camera systems to monitor the integrity and safety of the engine room, so if there is a fire or some sort of issue they have the ability to monitor that from the bridge,” Godden said.

Schuyler Cos., based in nearby Woodinville, Wash., provided fendering on the bow and stern. Up front, there is 126 square feet of upper bow fender welded to the hull and 84 square feet of conical lower bow fender, Schuyler regional salesman Ben Beierle said. Schuyler Model 114 fenders were applied around the stern. The entire ship set is made from post-consumer rubber, which kept 350 tires from the landfill and saved more than 4,500 gallons of oil.

Those details no doubt appeal to Harley Marine. The company has long focused on reducing its environmental footprint. For example, it retrofitted several of its tugs working in the Alaska trade with Tier 3 engines despite the lack of tier requirements there. Having the first Tier 4 tractor tug is a real point of pride.

Earl W. Redd can perform long-distance towing or ship docking work, offering Harley Marine maximum flexibility.

Harley Marine Services

“I’d like to distinguish ourselves as a green leader,” Harley Franco, chairman and CEO, said in a video marking the tug’s delivery. “From all of our research and discussion with Cat, we felt that we chose the right engine to give us both the horsepower and cleanness we wanted in our air.”

“We’re doing things other companies just don’t do,” he added.

These efforts go beyond altruism. Harley, which moves oil along the East and West coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico, has found being environmentally friendly makes good business sense.

“It’s been part of our commitment to our customers and part of the marketing and growth strategy to move toward greener technologies,” Godden said. “As Harley (Franco) always describes, he wants to be a green, emissions-focused, environmentally friendly operator, and we found it to be a good commercial selling point for us.”

Earl W. Redd is one of 11 vessels Harley will take delivery of this year. These include two Tier 3 and two Tier 4 articulated tug-barge units. Conrad Shipyard of Morgan City, La., has delivered the tug Bill Gobel and is building the 116-foot tugs Min Zidell, OneCURE and Todd E. Prophet, which will be powered by GE engines.

Highlights: First Tier 4-rated tractor tug to enter service • First Tier 4 tug outfitted with urea aftertreatment system • Designed for harbor, towing work
By Professional Mariner Staff