Kirby Offshore Marine commits to order optional ATB tug with Nichols Brothers

(FREELAND, Wash.) — Kirby Offshore Marine has committed to order an additional 136’ x 44’ 19’ 10,000 hp ATB tug with Ice Floe LLC dba Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB). Nichols and Kirby entered into contract for one ATB tug with an option of one additional tug back in January of this year.

Both vessels will be built at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders' Freeland facility in Washington state. These complete articulated tug-barge units are a Guarino & Cox LLC of Covington, La., design. NBBB will be building the tug portion, which is intended for handling oceangoing barges in full ocean service in both pushing mode and towing astern. The main engines are two EMD 20-710G7C-T3 diesels with continuous rating of 5,000 bhp @ 900 rpm each. Engines are coupled to Reintjes WAF 5666 reduction gears and are configured with two fixed-pitched propellers with nozzles. The tugs will be interconnected to 578’-1” x 78’ x 30’-2” 185,000 barrel tank barges. The ATB units has the flexibility to reach and maneuver in ports that restrict larger vessels.

Construction of the first vessel began in May 2014 followed by the second in September, with delivery in summer and fall 2015.

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders has been building boats on Whidbey Island in Washington for 50 years, and specialize in steel and aluminum vessel construction, repair and major conversions. NBBB continues to strive for quality craftsmenship, on schedule and within budget, and excellend vessel performance. Visit for more information.

Kirby Offshore Marine is a premier tank barge operator in the United States, servicing the Mississippi River, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, all three U.S. coasts, as well as in Alaska and Hawaii.

By Professional Mariner Staff