Z-drives are most popular of the newbuilds


Nichols Brothers is building a 10,000-hp ATB for Kirby Offshore. The 136-foot boat is engineered by Guarino & Cox LLC of Louisiana.

Chem Carriers is scheduled to get delivery in July of Capt. Robert Banta Sr., a 2,000-hp z-drive towboat, from Main Iron Works. The two-decker has a retractable wheelhouse with an 18-foot lift and is 82 feet by 28 feet, with a 10-foot draft. “It should operate from all points west, Houston and below, up the lower Mississippi via the Atchafalaya River bypassing Baton Rouge, La. The vessel being retractable and having z-drives will help in negotiating these areas in the Old River Lock area,” said Warren Berthelot of Chem Carriers.

Bouchard Transportation has launched its 10,000-hp ATB Kim M. Bouchard, which is being paired with Barge No. 270 to carry liquid petroleum. The 150-foot boat was built by VT Halter Marine, which is also building a sister ATB, Donna J. Bouchard.

BAE Systems is building a 140-foot ATB (SEA-Vista) for Seabulk Tankers to tow a 185,000-barrel barge, for delivery in 2016.

Eastern Shipbuilding is building a 96-foot z-drive ship-assist tug, Peggy H, for Bisso Offshore LLC; a 15,662-hp ATB, Douglas B. Mackie, for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock; four 5,150-hp z-drive escort tugs for Suderman & Young and four for Bay-Houston Towing. Five 3,000-hp inland towboats are being built for Florida Marine Transporters.

Bay Shipbuilding is building a 6,000-hp tug for Moran Towing for delivery in September, a 5,300-hp tug for delivery in May 2016 and two 6,000-hp ATBs for Kirby Corp. for delivery in 2016 and 2017.

Crescent Towing has ordered two 5,360-hp ASD tugs from Steiner Shipyard, suitable for towing and escort. Delivery is in 2015 and 2016.

Brusco Tug & Barge has taken delivery of Bo Brusco, a z-drive ship-assist tug, from Diversified Marine of Portland, Ore.

Smit Marine of Canada is building an ASD tug for ABD Boats of Vancouver. The 71-foot, 5,364-hp tug is due for launching in August 2015 and is based on an A.G. McIlwain design.

Magnolia Marine is expecting a 2015 delivery for twin-screw towboat Deborah Miles. The 110-foot, 3,000-hp boat is being built by Nichols Boat of Mississippi.

Ingram Barge Company has begun offering containers-by-barge on inland waterways. The Nashville, Tenn., operator says standard pushboats are being used. “We didn’t need to make even one change to the boats,” said Chuck Arnold, vice president of business and strategic development, “which is a very big plus.” On the Ohio River, 4,000-hp boats are being used; 9,000-hp boats are being used on the Mississippi. On a standard hopper barge, a total of 54 20-foot containers can normally be stacked in two rows of nine by three.

By Professional Mariner Staff