Smaller stern-drive tug proves it has the power

The beauty of Signet Magic is its power-to-size ratio. “This boat is great,” said Capt. Grant Taylor. “We can get in a lot of tight spots with the same power as the big boats.”

The 80-foot ASD tug was built at Signet Shipbuilding & Repair in Pascagoula, Miss. It was delivered to the yard’s parent company, Signet Maritime, at the end of July 2013. Signet Magic is deployed at Signet’s International Operations Center at Ingleside, Texas, next door to the Kiewit Offshore Services facility, where the tug does much of its work.

The oil rigs under construction at Kiewit tower above the little tug, but its small size and 61.4-ton bollard pull are put to great advantage, moving barges in and around the behemoths. “We do that as well as multiple shifts of the platforms themselves,” said Taylor.

The 80-foot vessel assists with oil rig construction in Ingleside, Texas.

Robert Allan Ltd. designed the RApport class, AZ (advanced z-drive) tug. The Vancouver, British Columbia, company created the RApport class to define their small but powerful tug designs, specifically intended for assist and escort work with large containerships and tankers in tight ports. Add oil rigs to that resume.

Signet Magic is powered by a pair of EPA Tier 3 Caterpillar model 3516C diesel engines producing a total of 5,150 bhp at 1,600 rpm with two fixed pitch Rolls-Royce model US 205 z-drives connected by carbon fiber shafts.

The vessel’s Burrard Iron Works model HE bow hawser winch with 600 feet of Saturn-12 line. The accompanying boat is the 4,400-hp Signet Enterprise.

“Two guys can pick up a shaft and bring it aboard,” said Loren Smith, chief engineer. “And they don’t need any line-shaft bearings because there’s no weight, so there is a lot less maintenance.”

On the bow is a Markey DEPCF-48 electric bow hawser winch wound with 150 feet of Samson Saturn-12 line, backed with 445 feet of Samson’s Quantum-12 rope. A DEPC-32 stern winch is primarily used for tie-up work and light tows. Two John Deere 60-Hz, 480-V generators provide 125 kW each. On the bridge deck is a remotely operated, 1,000-gpm, Akron Brass 3678 fire monitor powered by an AMPCO ZCH pump with a Baldor electric motor.

Signet Maritime has collaborated with Robert Allan Ltd. on eight ASD tugboats in the past five years. The 105-foot, RAmparts 3200-class tugs, Signet Arcturus and Signet Polaris, are under construction at Patti Marine Enterprises in Pensacola, Fla.

Taylor, deck hands Andy Gamez and Matthew Bolligner, and Smith muster on Signet Magic’s port bow.

Capt. Grant Taylor at the controls of Signet Maritime’s tug Signet Magic in Corpus Christi Bay.

Signet Magic’s Markey DEPCF-48 electric hawser winch is wound with 150 feet of Saturn-12 line and 445 feet of Quantum backer line.

Chief Engineer Loren Smith keeps tabs on performance at Signet Magic’s main electrical panel.

One of the vessel’s two 2,575-hp Caterpillar 3516C Tier 3 diesel engines.


By Professional Mariner Staff