On Maneuvers: Corps of Engineers towboat has unique rudder configuration

We were drastically underpowered,” said Don Fogel, project engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District. Fogel was referring to the 1,200-hp Raymond C. Peck, which was moored with its replacement, MV Evanick, named for George Evanick Jr., captain of Peck for 20 years.

The 124-by-34-foot Evanick was delivered from Orange Shipyard (Conrad Industries), Orange, Texas, in March. It has two 1,500-hp Caterpillar 3512B mains, Falk gears and Aqualloy propellers in Rice CT-28 Kort nozzles. The increased horsepower is needed to move the 750-foot tow, comprising several barges carrying equipment and cranes used for maintenance and navigation projects on the lakes and rivers within the Pittsburgh District, which covers the area within about 200 miles of Pittsburgh.

The usual rudder configuration, four flanking and two steering rudders, was changed by designer Corning Townsend, owner of CT Marine. “Our boat is fitted with four flanking and four steering rudders for two reasons,” Fogel explained. “One: increased maneuverability. We are ‘line-haul’ when moving from work site to work site, but we use our boat for fleeting when we are on a job site at our locks and dams, and good maneuverability is key. Two: dual steering rudders provide cleaner flow through the Kort nozzles, reducing cavitation and increasing efficiency.”

Fogel said he had never seen that arrangement on a towboat before.       

By Professional Mariner Staff