(YONGES ISLAND, S.C.) — Metal Trades Inc. is close to delivering its first self-powered vessel in its 55-year history, and the company plans to compete for other tug and towboat projects in the future.
The Yonges Island, S.C., shipyard has long focused on barge construction and overhaul and repair work for commercial and government vessels. However, the yard is nearly finished building Capt. Cooper, a 50-foot by 24-foot towboat for Bald Head Island Ltd. LLC of North Carolina. The customer will use the vessel to push a vehicle barge between the North Carolina mainland and the resort community of Bald Head Island.
The vessel is powered by twin Tier 3 John Deere 425-hp engines turning props through ZF gears tuned to a 3.9:1 ratio. Capt. Cooper has four rudders and four flanking rudders and two Patterson winches on the bow. Although built to ABS standards the vessel is not classed. Capt. Cooper is slated to enter service next month.
The shipyard held a ceremony recently to christen and launch the vessel attended by shipyard owners, its leadership team and representatives from Bald Head Island. The crew that will operate the vessel also attended the event. During the event, Metal Trades executives said the project shows its capabilities as a boat builder.