Smith Brothers to christen new tug built in Maryland

The following is the text of a news release from Smith Brothers:

(GALESVILLE, Md.) — On Oct. 10, Kenneth Smith, 99, the last of the original Smith Brothers, will christen the tug Captain Kenneth. The vessel was designed by the late Oliver Bryant and Parfait Designs and constructed at the company's yard on the Chesapeake Bay. Captain Kenneth is 49.5-by-19-by-7.5 feet with an operating draft of 6 feet.

The boat, designed for both towing and pushing barges, with a model bow and push knees can operate in any part of the Chesapeake in most sea conditions.

Power is supplied by twin John Deere 6125 engines rated 341 hp at 1,800 rpm turning Kaplan 40-by-42-inch props in CNF Kort nozzles through ZF 325W marine gear.

“We call this a 'Bayworthy' tug," said Preston Hartge, Smith Brothers' general manager who supervised the design and construction process. "Our rental fleet operates all over the bay and we need both the shallow draft and the power of the Kenneth to handle our barges and also the ability to handle rough weather when we are light boat." Hartge says the vessel does exactly that while providing comfortable accommodations for a three-person crew. "It is great to be able to build a boat exactly how we want it."

Smith Brothers operates a fleet of deck, spud and crane barges, sectional barges and truckable tugs. The company was founded in 1918, over the years, Smith Brothers grew to be a regional pile driving and general contractor in Maryland and the mid-Atlantic. Kenneth Smith joined the company in 1933 and honed his specialty as a crane operator in the years before and after World War II where he served in the Army Air Force in the Pacific theater. Ultimately, Kenneth was the last of the seven Smith Brothers and gave up contracting and put the company equipment to work as a charter fleet. Kenneth continued to work in the yard alongside his son, Jeffrey, now the president, well into his 80s and maintains an active interest in the business, coming to the office each day.

"My father worked very hard for many years to build Smith Brothers and it is an honor to name this new boat for him," said Jeffrey Smith. Of the new boat Smith said, ”Smith Brothers has always attracted a remarkably talented and committed workforce and this boat, built right here in Galesville is a tribute to the history of Smith Brothers and the skill of our current team in the yard."

By Professional Mariner Staff