Notable newbuilds


Ted C. Litton

Robert Allan Ltd.


Ted C. Litton
Suderman & Young Towing Co. is bulking up its fleet of z-drive tugboats to handle ever-larger containerships and tankers calling Gulf of Mexico ports.

The first in a series of five newbuilds is Ted C. Litton, delivered in March by Gulf Island Shipyards. Robert Allan Ltd. (RAL) of Vancouver, B.C., designed the 98-by-42-foot Z-Tech 30-80 tugboats with a sponsoned hull for improved escort capabilities, particularly when traveling at speed.

According to RAL, the tugs are designed to work in major ports and marine terminals visited by big ships with extreme flares. “Emphasizing the need to work in either a push or pull mode under the flared ends of large containerships and car carriers, the Z-Tech has a relatively low forward sheer and a wide, heavily fendered bow,” the firm said in a release announcing the new tug.

Propulsion comes from twin Caterpillar 3516E Tier 4 engines generating 3,386 hp each at 1,800 rpm. The engines drive Schottel SRP 510 FP z-drives turning 110-inch props in nozzles. Two John Deere 6068AFM85 125-kW gensets provide electrical power. The tug’s bollard pull is 81.5 metric tons ahead, and its free-running speed is 13 knots.

Off-ship firefighting comes from two FFS 6,200-gpm fire pumps each driven by a Cat C18 engine. Foam proportioner valves allow the vessels to dispense foam as well. Ansul Sapphire supplied the engine room fire suppression system. The vessel carries a FiFi-1 rating.

New York
Vane Brothers’ sixth Elizabeth Anne-class tugboat underwent sea trials in February ahead of joining the company fleet.

The 4,200-hp model-bow tugboat New York, built at St. Johns Ship Building of Palatka, Fla., is a sister to five other tugs in the Elizabeth Anne series. It’s also a distant cousin to Jacksonville and Charleston, two similar vessels modified into articulated tug-barge units.

Its propulsion package includes two 2,100-hp Caterpillar 3516C Tier 3 engines, 105-inch Hung Shen propellers and Reintjes WAF 873 reduction gears at a 7:1 ratio. Two John Deere 4045 engines driving 99-kW gensets provide ship service power.

Other tugs in the Elizabeth Anne class have primarily performed ship bunkering and coastwise barge towing along the East Coast. New York has been working in Baltimore, where Vane Brothers is headquartered.


Vane Brothers


Vane Brothers continues to expand its fleet of articulated tug-barges, this time by converting two model-bow tugs for service as ATBs.

Jacksonville is the first of two 100-foot Elizabeth Anne-class tugs redesigned as pusher tugs at St. Johns Ship Building of Palatka, Fla. As of this spring, the shipyard was nearly finished building Charleston as well. The vessels are the final two in an eight-boat order based on a hull design by the late naval architect Frank Basile.

The 4,200-hp Jacksonville, delivered in 2018, is paired with the 50,000-bbl Double Skin 504 and assigned to Vane Brothers’ Bravo fleet in New York. Charleston will be paired with Double Skin 506, and its home port has not been released.

Lyon Shipyard in Norfolk, Va., modified the decade-old barges for ATB work, according to Vane Brothers. Vane’s project manager, Paul Leonard, oversaw the work at Lyon and St. Johns Ship Building.

Propulsion on the new tugs consists of twin 2,100-hp Caterpillar 3516C engines turning 105-inch Hung Shen props through Reintjes WAF 873 reduction gears at a 7:1 ratio. Electrical power comes from twin John Deere 4045 engines driving 99-kW gensets.

Other changes between the two conversions and six other Elizabeth Anne-series tugs include the elimination of the double-drum towing winch and the addition of Beacon Finland JAK-400 Hydralok couplers forward. Schoellhorn-Albrecht custom built an accommodation ladder for access between the tug and barge.

The conversion represented a new challenge for St. Johns. Jacksonville was not only the yard’s first ATB, it was the first such vessel for anyone working at the yard. Further complicating the job, Jacksonville was nearly ready to launch when the change order came.

Steve Torok, the shipyard’s project manager, said Beacon Finland provided engineering support for the coupler system. Entech Designs was also assigned with re-engineering the vessels.

Ultimately, he said, the project worked out. Charleston has gone more smoothly in part because of the yard’s new expertise in ATBs. “By all reports we’ve gotten, the vessel is doing very well,” Torok said of Jacksonville.


Vane Brothers

Conrad Shipyard finished construction on Wachapreague, the third of three ATB tugboats for Vane Brothers, in early 2019.

The vessel, measuring 110 by 38 feet, is “a true sister to her two predecessors,” Assateague and Chincoteague, delivered in 2018, according to Capt. Jim Demske, who manages tugboat construction for Vane Brothers. Castleman Maritime designed the vessels.

Wachapreague is paired with 80,000-bbl barge Double Skin 803. The 405-foot barge is equipped with heating elements needed to transport asphalt, according to Vane Brothers, which is based in Baltimore. Similar barges paired with Assateague and Chincoteague haul clean oil and black oil. Bristol Harbor Group of Bristol, R.I., designed the barges that were built at Conrad.

“Over the course of these three units, as well as many other barges in the past, we have forged a strong relationship with the builder,” Steve Magdeburger, Vane’s special projects manager for barge construction, said in a news release. He added that Conrad has “been very responsive to our needs.”

Propulsion across the ATB class comes from twin 2,200-hp Cummins QSK60 Tier 3 engines turning 102-inch Hung Shen props through Reintjes WAF 873 reduction gears. Twin 125-kW Cummins gensets provide electrical power, while a single 65-kW Cummins unit provides emergency power. These ATBs are designed to run at 13 knots light or up to 10 knots pushing a loaded barge.

The tugs and barges pair up through Beacon Finland JAK-700 coupler systems located 38 feet aft of the bow. That placement was intentional to reduce load on the pins.

Evening Breeze

Bouchard Transportation

Evening Breeze
Bouchard Transportation of Melville, N.Y., has taken delivery of an articulated tug-barge unit built by two large Gulf Coast shipyards.

VT Halter of Pascagoula, Miss., delivered the 112-foot Evening Breeze in March 2019. The 4,000-hp vessel has twin 2,000-hp EMD Tier 4 engines turning bronze Hung Shen props through Reintjes WAF 1563 reduction gears at a 4.429:1 ratio. Electrical power comes from three John Deere 99-kW gensets.

Evening Breeze is paired with the 317-foot, 55,000-bbl B. No. 252 built by Bollinger Shipyards and delivered in early 2019. The tug and barge pair up through an Intercon pin system, and they are designed to move clean petroleum products in the Jones Act coastwise market.

The tug has berthing for 12 crew and a Panasia clean water ballast system. Its capacities are 87,000 gallons of fuel, 5,000 gallons of potable water and 1,850 gallons of lube oil.

Island Regent
As of mid-May, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders was nearly finished building the z-drive ATB tugboat Island Regent for Island Tug and Barge (ITB). The 82-by-41-foot vessel is a sister tug to Island Raider delivered last fall from ITB’s temporary shipyard along the Fraser River near Vancouver.

Robert Allan Ltd. of Vancouver designed both tugs to push 25,000-bbl tank barges. They are paired with the barges ITB Resolution and ITB Reliant, respectively. Both barges were built about a decade ago and underwent modifications at Vancouver Drydock. The barges are fitted with 500-hp Schottel omnidirectional pump jets at the bow.

“The vessels are performing exceptionally well,” said Ferdi van de Kuijlen, ITB’s vice president of operations. “The maneuverability is outstanding, as is the efficiency. The unit can basically turn on a dime. The crew is very pleased with the operation of the vessel, as well as the accommodations.”

Propulsion aboard the tugs consists of twin 850-hp Cummins KTA38 engines rated for IMO Tier II. The mains turn Rolls-Royce US 105-P9 z-drives through carbon-fiber shafts that reduce weight and vibration. Ship service power comes from two John Deere 4045AFM85 engines paired with Stamford generators.

The tugs pair up with their barges through Articouple FRC-35S couplers made by Taisei Engineering Consultants. Alphatron Marine designed an integrated wheelhouse layout for optimal situational awareness. The system also has advanced data-logging capabilities.

Schuyler Cos. supplied fendering for both vessels, while the E3W aft-mounted anchor winch aboard each tug was made by Burrard Iron Works. Kidde supplied the FM-200 engine room fire suppression system.

ITB has long been based out of Burnaby, B.C. Since September 2017, the company has been owned by Tidewater Transportation of Vancouver, Wash.

Cape Ann

Master Boat Builders

Cape Ann
Kirby Offshore took delivery in July 2018 of the ATB tugboat Cape Ann from Master Boat Builders of Bayou La Batre, Ala. Guarino & Cox of Covington, La., designed the tugboat, which has a steel hull and aluminum tower.

Propulsion aboard the 109-by-36-foot tugboat comes from twin Caterpillar 3516E Tier 4 diesel engines. Those mains turn 120-by-78-inch, five-blade props through Reintjes WAF 1173 marine gears at a 7.429:1 ratio. Three John Deere 6068AFM85 gensets, each producing 150 kW, provide electrical power.

Cape Ann will connect with its barge via a Beacon Finland JAK-400PHL-L Hydralok coupling system. Coastal Marine Equipment supplied two 35,000-pound capstans for line handling. The tug, with its 48-metric ton bollard pull, has five stations with propulsion controls.

Inside the tug are six staterooms with berths for 10 crewmembers. Cape Ann is ABS classed Maltese Cross A1 and built to Coast Guard Subchapter M standards.


Jerry Jarrett
Marquette Transportation took delivery in September of the 160-by-50-foot triple-screw towboat Jerry Jarrett built by C&C Marine and Repair of Belle Chasse, La. The 6,600-hp z-drive vessel is the third vessel in a four-boat series that also includes Cindy L. Erickson and Chris Reeves.

CT Marine of Portland, Maine, designed the series. Propulsion comes from three 2,200-hp Cummins QSK60-M Tier 3 engines each turning Steerprop SP25D z-drives. Cummins gensets provide electrical power. According to the shipyard, the z-drives operate at lower engine loads while increasing power and maneuverability.

“We have been very pleased with the results. C&C Marine and Repair has exceeded our expectations on both quality and production,” Josh Esper, executive vice president of Marquette Transportation, said in a statement.

Jerry Jarrett has berthing for 13 crew in a superstructure laid over a bed of springs to improve crew comfort while underway.

Gianna Hull/Brent Ice
Florida Marine Transporters has kept shipyards across the Gulf of Mexico busy for more than a decade — including its own.

FMT Shipyard & Repair in Harvey, La., delivered Gianna Hull in late 2018. The 120-by-35-foot towboat is built to a design from Gilbert Associates of Braintree, Mass. It is a sister tug to Jesse D. Pasentine, delivered in late 2017. Three others are planned from the yard with the third vessel, Brent Ice, due for delivery in late May.

Propulsion comes from two Tier 3 Caterpillar 3512C mains delivering 2,000 hp each. Other components include Twin Disc MGX-5600DR reduction gears and 100-inch Sound props. Ship service power comes from two 175-kW John Deere gensets.

There are six staterooms with berthing for nine people, as well as seven bathrooms. Crew spaces also include galley, mess, lounge and workout areas. Deck equipment consists of two 40-ton Patterson deck winches and a Schoellhorn-Albrecht capstan.

Vessels in this series have the capacity for 56,000 gallons of fuel, 12,000 gallons of potable water and 1,000 gallons of lube oil.

Syble Fay

General Marine Services

Syble Fay
Intracoastal Iron Works of Bourg, La., delivered the 2,000-hp Syble Fay to General Marine Services of Baton Rouge.

The vessel measures 78 feet by 34 feet, and is powered by twin 1,000-hp Cummins QSK38 engines turning 78-inch, four-blade props through Reintjes WAF 563 reduction gears with a 5.947:1 ratio. Two Cummins QSB7 gensets provide ship service power. The steering system came from Pneumatic Specialties, while East Park Radiator supplied the Duraweld keel cooler. M&M Bumpers provided fendering. The deck features Nabrico deck winches.

Syble Fay has five cabins and three and a half bathrooms, along with a comfortable galley alongside the mess area and crew lounge. The towboat also is equipped with a workout room aft. “For the size of this boat, it’s the best laid-out boat I’ve ever been on,” Johnny Mazeika, captain aboard Syble Fay, said in a statement. “It’s the nicest boat I’ve ever been on.”

The open wheelhouse, designed as a collaboration between General Marine Services and the shipyard, has a height of eye just over 33 feet.

Syble Fay is the fourth towboat in General Marine Services’ fleet. It is named for company owner Gene Moore’s late mother, who he described as the “heart and soul of our family.”

For what seems like an eternity, Vane Brothers has been building versatile model-bow tugboats for bunkering and coastwise towing. Its new class of pushboats represents something of a new direction for the Baltimore company.

Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md., is building four 94-by-34-foot towboats based on its own design. The lead vessel, Salisbury, launched in April and is due for delivery this summer. The tugs have 10.5-foot molded depths, roughly 3 feet less than many of its model bow tugs.

“These new Subchapter M-compliant pushboats help ensure that we have the most up-to-date fleet to continue delivering the highest quality service in shallow waters and protected harbors,” Vane Brothers President C. Duff Hughes said in a statement.

Propulsion comes from two 1,500-hp Caterpillar 3512 Tier 3 mains turning conventional open-wheeled props through stainless-steel shafts. JonRie InterTech supplied a Series 427 25-hp electric capstan for the four towboats. Each capstan carries a 250,000-pound bollard rating and has a line pull of 25,000 pounds with a line speed of 30 feet per minute.

Rick Pemberton

Master Marine

Rick Pemberton
Waterfront Services Co. has taken delivery of a 67-by-28-foot fleet boat built by Master Marine in Bayou La Batre, Ala.

Rick Pemberton is the fourth tug in a four-boat order. Propulsion comes from two 803-hp S6R2-Y3MPTAW Mitsubishi Tier 3 engines paired with Twin Disc MG-5321 reduction gears at a 5:1 ratio and 70-inch, stainless-steel props from Sound Propeller. Twin 65-kW Northern Lights generators provide electrical power. R.W. Fernstrum & Co. supplied the engine keel coolers, and Schuyler Cos. fendering protects the hull and push knees.

Rick Pemberton can carry 10,400 gallons of fuel, 4,359 gallons of potable water and 9,500 gallons of ballast water. Its maximum working draft is less than 8 feet.

By Professional Mariner Staff