After the earlier sale of the U.S. flag, ocean single skin petroleum
tank barges "B No. 120" and "B No. 130" from Bouchard Transportation of
New York and the Marshal Islands flag "450-2" from Crowley Maritime of
Seattle earlier in the year to overseas interests, Marcon International,
Inc. of Coupeville, WA is pleased to report the further sale of three
additional large tank barges and three ocean-going tugs. All nine of
the units are being purchased for coastwise oil transport and lighterage
in West Africa
. The project involved over six months of close
coordination, late hours and hard work here at Marcon to put it all
together - especially in working with multiple Sellers and equipment
scattered across North and Central America and obtaining U.S. Maritime
Administration approval for sales of the U.S. registered equipment
The 143', 3,280BHP twin screw tug "Mr. Dylan" (ex-A G Navajo, Navajo,
ATA-211) was purchased from Moby Marine of Fort Pierce, Florida
after closing departed across the Atlantic with the 400', 148,316bbl
barge "450-2" previously purchased from Crowley Marine Services of
Seattle. "Mr. Dylan" was originally built in 1945 as a single screw,
military, raised foc'stle ATA tug by Gulfport Boiler and Welding Works,
Inc. of Port Arthur, Texas. She was converted to twin screw by Burton
Shipyard of Port Arthur and repowered with twin EMD16-567C diesels and
twin 96" x 54" fixed pitch props in 1964. The re-built tug was operated
by Tidewater Marine
and Twenty Grand Offshore of Morgan City, Louisiana
for many years in the U.S. Gulf Coast "oil patch". In 1996 she was sold
to American Gulf who employed her towing a 17,000dwt dry bulk barge for
a number of years. Moby Marine purchased the tug in 2003 for Caribbean
At this same time, K-Sea Transportation Partners of New York sold their
ABS +A1 classed petroleum barges, the 400' x 66' x 27' "KTC-90"
(ex-Ocean 90 and now renamed "Rhea") and the "KTC-96" (ex-Ocean 96 and
renamed "Mnemosyne"). Both single side, double bottom oil barges were
built by Avondale Shipyard of Westwego, Louisiana in 1967 and 1969
respectively and retired in January 2005 due to OPA'90 regulations.
While in U.S. trade, the 12,900dwt "KTC-90" carried 97,200bbl of black
oil in 12 cargo tanks while the 14,500dwt "KTC-96" was in clean
petroleum service with a capacity of abt. 95,581bbl.
Marcon fixed a tandem tow of the barges "KTC-90" and "KTC-96" in
ballast, using the U.S. flag, 110' x 41' triple screw tug "Elsbeth II"
both built in 1987 and owned by Capt. Latham Smith of Smith Maritime in
Green Cove Springs, Florida. "Elsbeth II" is powered with three
Wartsila 8R22 diesels with 96" x 95" props in kort nozzles developing
5,100BHP and 72 tons of bollard pull. "Elsbeth II" picked up both tank
barges in New York and towed them to the Bahamas where they were
transferred at sea for the trans-Atlantic segment of the voyage to
another tug, the 5,750BHP "James Surveyor", also purchased from Moby
Marine through Marcon.
The massive 185' x 77' x 30' (18.5' max draft) "James Surveyor" (ex-Mac
Tide 66, Jaramac 66, L.E. Stewart) was, after several years of design
work, built in 1975 by McDermott Shipyards, Inc. in Morgan City,
Louisiana for their own account as the first-ever ocean-going catamaran
tug. At the time of her construction the individual hulls themselves
were about four times larger than any tugs that were normally built at
the yard. 24 separate modules were fabricated and welded together with
the above-deck structure fabricated in Harvey, Louisiana and floated to
Morgan City by barge to be placed on top of the hulls by one of
McDermott's derrick barges. Named in honor of the late L.E. (Lou)
Stewart, a Vice President for McDermott, the Panamanian flagged, ice
strengthened tug was transferred to Jackson Marine S.A. in 1993.
Although she performed well on her maiden voyage across the Atlantic
averaging 10.38kn with a tow, she did not become a trend-setter and has
been the only catamaran tug that we know of ever built. In 2001 she was
sold by Tidewater in Singapore to Moby Marine Corp.
and fitted with
dynamic positioning for a specific contract that never materialized.
The ABS +A1, Ice Class "C" tug is powered by a pair of EMD 16-645E7A's
totaling 5750BHP and producing a bollard pull of abt. 72.5 metric tonnes
through two 126" controllable pitch props in kort nozzles. Tug is
fitted with a 300,000lb line pull Victoria triple drum tow winch, two
450HP Schottel bow thrusters and dynamic positioning. After receiving
the tow of the two ex-KTC petroleum barges, "James Surveyor", now
renamed "Coeus", started on her long voyage across the Atlantic where we
hope she will finally find her niche and perform valuable service for
the new Owners in West Africa.
While all of this was happening on the East Coast and in the Caribbean,
Marcon was also busy on the West Coast with yet another tug and
petroleum barge. The 430' x 80' x 27' "Barge 102" was purchased from
Crowley Marine Services of Seattle, Washington and renamed "Demetra".
This ABS classed, 130,000bbl single skin, clean product barge was built
in 1970 by Kelso Marine of Galveston, TX and had operated in Crowley's
fleet for all of it's life. Due to OPA'90 regulations, she was placed
on the surplus list and Marcon arranged for her sale. Now the only
problem was to mobilize the barge the 9,230 plus nautical miles from
Tacoma, Washington to West Africa. Although they still had work for the
boat, Marcon managed to talk the Owners, Island Tug and Barge, also of
Seattle, out of their 3,600BHP tug "Norman S" (ex-Chilkat Chief, Natoma,
Ellen Foss, LT-57). The 123' single screw tug was originally built in
1943 by Calumet Shipyard in Chicago, Illinois as a 1,225HP LT class tug
for the Army Transport Service for coastwise and ocean towing. At the
conclusion of her Army service she was placed in the reserve fleet
before being purchased in 1962 by Foss Maritime of Seattle, Washington.
Foss employed the tug, making year-round regular trips between the U.S.
West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii plus a 14,000nm run with two ferry boats
from Balboa, Panama to Vung Tau, South Vietnam in 1967. Initially
scheduled during the Vietnam war to help out towing coastwise in the
South China Sea for Alaska Barge and Transport, she was released after
the AB&T fleet of Miki and other World War II tugs completed their
overhaul in Hong Kong and returned to service. In 1968 Foss repowered
the "Ellen Foss", replacing the old Fairbanks Morse diesel with her
present EMD 20-645E5 which now produces 3,600BHP and about 80,000lbs. of
bollard pull through a 4.5:1 reduction gear and five-blade stainless
steel, 120" open wheel. After her sale from Foss in 1986, the ABS
loadlined tug was operated by several West Coast companies and fitted
with a bow thruster before being purchased by Island Tug and Barge and
renamed "Norman S" in 1996 to tow along the U.S. West Coast and between
Seattle and Alaska. Tug was in very good condition at the time of
purchase and we believe that she has many thousands of miles of towing
left in her long life.