Z-drive reports for duty on the lower Mississippi

The tug is designed primarily for escort work. Its bow is protected by 14-inch D-ring solid-rubber fenders from Schuyler Rubber. (photos by Brian Gauvin)

Josephine Anne, a 98-by-36-foot, 4,000-hp, z-drive tug, joined the E.N. Bisso fleet at the foot of Walnut Street in New Orleans in December.

She is the 14th tug designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants to be built at Eastern Shipbuilding, in Panama City, Fla. The tug is also the 17th in the Bisso fleet and the company’s first z-drive.

Designed primarily for ship-assist work, Josephine Anne is propelled by two Caterpillar 3516C Series II mains and two Rolls-Royce Aquamaster MK1 z-drives. They turn four-blade, fixed-pitch propellers in 92-inch nozzles. The bollard pull is 55 tons. Top speed is 14 knots.

On the foredeck is a Markey DEPCF-42 electric single-drum hawser winch with 500 feet of Amsteel Blue line. On the aft deck is a Markey CEW 60 electric capstan. An FFS fire monitor mounted on the house deck and a Nijhuis fire pump driven by a Caterpillar 3412D engine can handle 5,000 gallons of water per minute.

Capt. Luis Solano has worked for E.N. Bisso for 18 years and belongs to the fourth generation of his family to work for the company.

Schuyler Rubber provided 14-inch D-ring solid-rubber bow and stern fenders. The tire fender system along each rail is from M&M Bumper Co.

“I’m the fourth generation of my family to work for the company,” said Capt. Louis Solano. “I’ve been with them for 18 years, right out of high school.”

Based in Metairie, La., E.N. Bisso has worked the New Orleans waterfront since around 1880. The tug is named for Josephine Anne Bisso Moore, the granddaughter of Edwin N. Bisso and the daughter of his son, Joseph.

Josephine Anne will work 230 miles of the Mississippi River from its mouth to Baton Rouge.

Above, Engineer Todd Rabalais checks the main electrical panel.

Below, Dispatcher Mike Nappier and Assistant Dispatch Manager Tim Michel work out of E.N. Bisso’s modern operations center at the foot of Walnut Street in New Orleans.

Above, the Nijhuis fire pump can send water at the rate of 5,000 gpm to the FFS monitor on the wheelhouse deck.

Below, Josephine Anne, puts on a show off the French Quarter.

Above, the tug has a Markey DEPCF-42 single-drum electric hawser winch with Amsteel Blue line.

Below, Jeremy Smith, a deck hand, secures a mooring line.

By Professional Mariner Staff