L&L Marine takes delivery of towboat with Thordon package

(BURLINGTON, Ontario) — Amelia Ray, the 1,600-hp towboat Rodriquez Shipbuilding delivered to Mississippi operator L&L Marine Transportation in June, is now operational with a full range of Thordon oil-free and grease-free bearings designed to reduce a vessel’s lost charter days.

The 65-foot newbuild is the first vessel in the L&L Marine fleet to be specified with a Thordon propulsion package at the vessel design stage.

The decision to select the polymer pioneer’s RiverTough tailshaft bearings, shaft liners, TG100 seals, ThorPlas-Blue rudder bearings, ThorPlas-Blue self-aligning bearings (SAB), and SXL thrust washers for the newbuild follows the success of earlier retrofits across the owner’s fleet.

L&L Marine owner Lee LeBoeuf explained that all his vessels now operate with only Thordon bearings due to the “significant operational savings” experienced with the earlier installations. The Harvey, La.,-based operator owns a fleet of five vessels.

“We initially replaced all our rubber tailshaft bearings with Thordon’s RiverTough bearings and shaft liners and found we were able to extend drydocking intervals from three to eight years. We then started retrofitting ThorPlas-Blue bearings in the rudder stocks and installing TG100 seals, which reduced operational costs even further as there is less vessel down time and maintenance. This means we are more attractive to our customers, more dependable, and more reliable. We can better plan drydock schedules in line with the operational needs of our customers,” said LeBoeuf.

LeBoeuf said that while capital expenditure is more than a conventional tailshaft/propulsion bearing system, the Thordon application aboard Amelia Ray is expected to result in annual operational savings of $15,000.

“Compared to conventional propulsion and tailshaft bearings, which require regular maintenance, replacement and frequent dry-docking, the Thordon system results in threefold reduction in operational costs,” said LeBoeuf.

Designed by Entech, Amelia Ray is a twin-screw towboat purpose-built for the transportation of petrochemicals along all inland and coastal waters in the Southern states of the U.S.

A pair of Mitsubishi S6R2 diesel engines drive Kahlenberg screws through Twin Disc MGX5321 reduction gears. Two 60-kW Cummins generators provide power to among other consumers a Hydra Force electric-over-hydraulic steering system.

L&L Marine has an option for an additional vessel from Bayou la Batre, La.-based Rodriquez Shipbuilding, but “we will wait to see how COVID-19 plays out before making the decision,” said LeBoeuf.

By Professional Mariner Staff