When Harley Marine Services acquired MGI of Houston in 2011, the Seattle-based company spawned its 10th subsidiary, Harley Marine Gulf, and established itself on all of the U.S. coasts and the country’s commercial inland river system. In December 2013, the fifth in the series of six new 75-by-30-foot pushboats, Fury, was on the Atchafalaya River on sea trials and delivery to the Harley Marine Gulf fleet from Conrad Industries of Morgan City, La. Capt. Joe Goette was at the helm.
“This boat design handles very well,” said Goette. “She turns very well and has plenty of power for this size of boat. The boat is not wider than similar boats, but the wheels are set farther outboard, which gives you more leverage when you’re turning.”
Preceding Fury were Thunder , Lightning , Silver and Stardust. The sixth boat, Alamo, joined the fleet in January. All of the boats are designed to push two 230-foot tank barges on the Inland River System and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, or a bunker barge in the harbor along the Houston Ship Channel.
Propulsion is provided by a pair of Tier II, K38-M Cummins engines rated for 1,000 hp at 1,800 rpm, with Twin Disc MGX5321 gears rated at a ratio of 5.96:1. The two 74-by-53-inch four-blade Hung Shen propellers were supplied by Johnny’s Propeller Shop, a close neighbor of Conrad Industries situated along the flood wall in Morgan City. There are two main and four flanking rudders.
Auxiliary power is provided by a pair of Cummins 6BTA5.9-DM, 85-kW generators. On the bow are two Nabrico barge winches, port and starboard, wound with 150 feet of Amsteel Blue face wires.
“The boat handles very well in a sea, light boat, because of the higher bow,” said Goette. “And the higher bow and bulwarks enable you to run a lot faster and make better time. It’s a safer arrangement in a rough sea.”
The Harley Marine Gulf boat and barge fleet is increasing at a fast clip and currently consists of 12 pushboats, seven bunker barges and 14 230-foot tank barges.