There’s A Lot New in Reinauer’s Boathouse

After a brief pause, Reinauer Transportation Co. is at it again. This time the New York based company has introduced the first of a new series of articulated tug-barge units, with both tugs and barges built by the company’s own shipyard in Rhode Island.

Reinauer Transportation recently introduced the first of a new line of tugs for ATB service, built at its Senesco shipyard in Rhode Island. The newest tug is skippered by Marty Golden, Reinauer Transportation recently introduced the first of a new line of tugs for ATB service, built at its Senesco shipyard in Rhode Island. The newest tug is skippered by Marty Golden.

Reinauer’s last series of new tug-barge units was introduced in 2003 with completion of Meredith C. Reinauer and her dedicated barge. Since then, Reinauer has busied itself with double hulling some of its barges and transformation of existing conventional tugs into articulated tug-barge combinations.

But now, Reinauer is enjoying the spotlight once again, with a new series of four 116-foot, 4,700-hp, ATB tugs, beginning with the recently delivered tug Ruth M. Reinauer. Each tug in the series will be coupled to a new dedicated barge, built at the same shipyard.

It’s the new shipyard that is making all the difference. Having his own shipyard is what keeps a smile on the face of Chris Reinauer, manager of new construction for the family-operated company.

The Senesco shipyard was acquired by Reinauer in 2006 after the shipyard was forced to default on construction of the first of a series of 140,000-barrel oil barges for U.S. Shipping LLC. All that is past, however, and the shipyard today seems to be thriving under new ownership.

Senesco, founded in 1999, had already constructed a barge or two for Reinauer before the acquisition, and since then the shipyard has also repaired and retrofitted tugs. But Ruth M. Reinauer is its first new tug to be built from the keel up.

Although Senesco will continue to build barges for other companies, Reinauer now has a priority position in the queue. The situation would seem to put Reinauer in a good position, with its own waterfront shipyard and 25 acres, to develop a tug building division. The delivery of Ruth M. Reinauer is a start in that direction.

This new tug is named after the wife of company president Craig Reinauer. The new series, designed by Bob Hill’s Ocean Tug & Barge Engineering (OTB), is the first application of the designer’s “Facet Tug” concept. Tugs in the series will be coupled to 414-foot, raised trunk, 100,000-bbl barges, beginning with RTC-102.

Hill has a long history with ATB design concepts and with Reinauer Transportation as well as with numerous other companies involved with development of new oil barges. Hill, working with Intercontinental Engineering of Kansas City, Mo., helped to develop and promote some of the original ATB combinations in America. He describes his company as having had a hand in the creation of more than 70 percent of operational ATBs in U.S. service.

“This is a whole new way to do the hull shape for a tug, especially for an ATB tug,” said Hill, in reference to Ruth M. Reinauer. “There are no curved plates; there is no faired hull shape at all. We call it the Facet Tug concept, using a combination of planned angular, flat plates with each angle of each plate chosen based on computational fluid dynamic studies to provide optimal water flow and displacement for the finished hull.”

The Facet Tug concept, according to Hill, originated with his company’s Provider class ATB platform supply vessel (PSV) design, which we developed to allow for construction in relatively small and unsophisticated shipyards worldwide. That concept included a tug that did not require extensive plate forming and pulling, he said.

Engineer Sean Fogarty shows off electronic features at the main electrical switchboard. Below is a view of the entire engine room. <

For his part, Chris Reinauer said he has grown rather fond of the new look of his latest tug. “There are not many round corners,” said Reinauer. “It has a stealth look, like a stealth tugboat. We didn’t want it to look like a shoebox, but the yard is used to building barges. This is their first tug.”

“Given that this was a new, novel, design, Reinauer was brave to try this,” said Hill. “They had to take our word for it, as there was no vessel out there that they could refer to before making a decision. But she did amazingly well on sea trials, with her light tug speed up over 13 knots at well under full power. She seems to have good sea-keeping capabilities and she handles almost like a z-drive boat with the NautiCan nozzles and triple rudders.”

Ruth M. Reinauer is equipped with the Intercon C coupling system, with a 34-inch pin, a system incorporated in recent retrofits including the Morgan, Austin and Craig Reinauer retrofits.

“The new barge has the same notch and pin capabilities as the retrofits, so all of the converted tugs and the new tugs will fit the same notch and all are interchangeable,” said Hill.

Both designer and builder made efforts to enhance crew comfort for Ruth M.

Represented in the tug’s spacious engine room are two engine manufactures that seem to be doing very well in the workboat world these days: MTU and John Deere. The two main engines are MTU-16v4000 M60 engines rated at 2,360 hp each at 1,800 rpm. The gears are Lufkin RS2850HG reduction gears at a ratio of 7.5:1. John Deere supplied the three 99-kW generators with Marathon electric ends.

Reinauer reported that the tug turned in 13-knot light cruising speed during sea trials and should average 10 knots when pushing a loaded barge.

A pair of V-16 MTU diesels provides 4,700 hp worth of pushing power. The tug turned in 13-knot light cruising speed during sea trials.

“The engines are rated at 4,700 hp, but we’ll run them at 4,000 hp continuous,” he said. “We were pleased with the sea trials where she demonstrated the required speed, excellent steering, backing and turning. She even walks easily sideways.”

The wheelhouse is well outfitted with Furuno electronic gear, including radars, gyro repeaters, sounder, AIS, loudhailer and intercom. Raytheon Anschütz supplied the gyrocompass, Simrad the autopilot system and Icom the VHF radios.

Reinauer explained that the stability of the tug was improved by the use of aluminum for the superstructure and tower, keeping the bulk of the tug’s weight low at the steel hull. The raised steering compartment on the stern deck also adds stability, lends itself to easier construction, and encloses the steering gear in a more accessible location, even though it may present a slight impediment to towing gear.

The barges for the current building program at Senesco were designed by Guarino & Cox in Covington, La.

“The tugs and barges are married up because the runs are long enough to justify that,” said Reinauer, “but they can be switched out.” The reason that Ruth M. Reinauer and the subsequent tugs in the series have a 35-foot beam, rather than the more usual 40-foot beam for an ATB, is to match the tug up to the notches of barges that Senesco had built for the recent conversions in the Reinauer fleet.

Another Reinauer engineer, Lonnie Jay Farber, helps to make sure everything is in its place in the machinery spaces on Ruth M, Reinauer.<

Senesco is also working on other Reinauer projects including two 80,000-bbl barges, and a number of 60,000-bbl barges to follow.

Reinauer Transportation Co., as well as owning the Senesco shipyard, also owns Boston Towing with its growing fleet of ASD tractor-style tugs, and the Reicon Group, a Staten Island based marine construction company.

With the addition of Ruth M. Reinauer and RTC 102, Reinauer now operates 21 tugs, 10 of them dedicated ATBs, and 34 barges, 14 of which are double hulled. “In five years our single hulled barge fleet will be gone,” said Chris Reinauer. •

By Professional Mariner Staff