Marcon Reports Sale of Tugs and Barges

Monday, August 29, 2005
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 abroad. 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 and 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 operations. 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.
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