Jensen designs Tier 4 tractor tug for Vessel Chartering LLC

The following is the text of a news release from Jensen Maritime:

(SEATTLE) — Jensen Maritime, Crowley Maritime Corp.’s Seattle-based naval architecture and engineering firm, has designed a new high-performance tractor tug for Vessel Chartering LLC that features some of the first Tier 4 engines meeting higher federal air emissions standards among U.S. tugboats.

The multipurpose tractor tug, which is being built by JT Marine of Vancouver, Wash., was jointly developed by Vessel Chartering LLC and Jensen. The 110-foot-long vessel will feature the ship assist and escort capabilities of smaller harbor tugs, while delivering the improved towing performance and increased range of larger oceangoing tugs. The escort capability was enhanced to provide support for assisting large 18,000-TEU containerships due to an increased future demand in West Coast ports of call. The design offers the flexibility to support ship escorts, assists and towing.

The engines are designed to meet the federal Tier 4 standard, which incorporate the emissions-reducing performance requirements by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To meet the requirements, the two engines on this vessel use systems that clean exhaust gases after they have left the engines. This is the third tugboat designed by Jensen Maritime with engines meeting the Tier 4 requirement.

With new ballast water treatment requirements on the horizon from the EPA and U.S. Coast Guard, the tug was designed without any ballast tanks, thereby eliminating the need for ballast water discharge and the potential transfer of invasive species. In lieu of ballast tanks, the tug will transfer fuel, as necessary, in order to maintain proper trim. 

“The development of the Tier 4 engines for this tug demonstrates our commitment to innovative, environmentally friendly design while continuing to deliver powerful, high-quality performance,” said Johan Sperling, vice president, Jensen Maritime. “This tug will meet our industry’s demands for strong, yet nimble vessels with the quality design people expect from us.”

The tug is planned for delivery in the second quarter of 2017 to Vessel Chartering LLC, a wholly owned division of Baydelta Navigation Ltd. 

The vessel, which will be 40 feet wide, will be powered by a pair of 3,385-horsepower Caterpillar 3516 Tier 4 engines. With an electrically powered, double drum tow winch aft by Rapp USA and an electrically powered hawser winch forward by Markey Machinery as deck machinery, the vessel will be capable of a 93 to 95 short-ton bollard pull. Both winches’ electrical power will remove any chance of a hydraulic oil spill on deck.

The tug is designed to carry up to 123,000 gallons of fuel, 4,300 gallons of fresh water, and up to 4,500 gallons of urea, which is used for treatment of the main engine exhausts in order to meet Tier 4 emissions requirements. A water maker is being installed for potable water when out at sea. A large pilothouse will provide all-around visibility, and the deckhouse has an open feel with a large mess and lounge area along with accommodations for a 10-person crew.  

For more information, visit

By Professional Mariner Staff