Treasure Coast: Twin-screw power, central-stair comfort

Dann Marine Towing (DMT) is housed in an historic cluster of buildings called Canal Place on the north bank of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, in Chesapeake City, Md. The company, founded by Robert Dann Sr., grew out of family-owned tugboat operations on the Florida coast, five generations ago.

Built in 2007, Treasure Coast is a 104-foot-long, twin-screw vessel designed to tow barges along the East Coast. A 50-foot height of eye from the tug’s elevated wheelhouse gives the crew commanding views. (Brian Gauvin photo)

Treasure Coast, built in 2007, is the company’s 15th tug. It was followed by Atlantic Coast later that year. All of the company’s tugs are named for specific coasts, except for Zeus, DMT’s oldest working vessel, built in 1974.

“We basically took the best features of all our tugs and incorporated them into these two tugs,” said J.C. Dann, who operates the company along with his brothers, Robert Dann Jr. and Christopher Dann, and father, Robert Dann Sr. All concerned, especially the crew, are happy with the result.

“This boat has great visability,” said Capt. Greg Buttry, who brought Treasure Coast out from the Rodriguez Boat Builders yard in Bayou La Batre, Ala. “You can do a lot when you can see.”

The 104-by-34-foot, twin-screw vessel has a 50-foot height of eye from the elevated wheelhouse that is accessed via a steep but enclosed circular stairway. “It sure beats going outside on a cold winter’s day,” said Buttry. “It’s a very comfortable boat and it handles great. It’s a good all-round boat.”


Above, Capt. Greg Buttry climbs the spiral staircase leading to the elevated wheelhouse.
Below, Capt. Buttry at the controls. (Brian Gauvin photos)

Two Caterpillar 3512B diesels driving Reintjes 6:1 gears turn four-bladed Padgett-Swann propellers in high-performance nozzles augmented with triple-vane rudders. The stern package, provided by Rice Propulsion of Mazatlán, Mexico, extracts the maximum useful power out of the 3,000-hp propulsion system.

On the stern deck is a double-drum Intercon towing winch, a full-width (Texas) towing bar and deck sheaves for handling the push gear when barges are lashed to the model bow.

Chief Engineer John Willis in the engine room. (Brian Gauvin photo)

Both vessels were built specifically to tow barges on the Eastern Seaboard.

One of the two Caterpillar 3512B diesels which produce a total output of 3,000 hp. (Brian Gauvin photo)

Two more tugs are under construction at Main Iron Works in Houma, La., and are due out in the first quarter of 2011, bringing the fleet up to 18 tugs.

The crew gathered on the stern, from left to right, Capt. Buttry, bargeman Henry Solomon, Chief Engineer Willis and bargeman Bruce Bodden. (Brian Gauvin photo)
By Professional Mariner Staff