Blessy Marine: Building Bigger On The River

Wednesday, September 01, 1999
While they continue to grow their fleet with the February delivery of a 1,600 hp retractable wheelhouse towboat, Blessy Marine also now have their most powerful tug under construction at Kody Marine. With the conventional shallow water draft of the river wheelhouse towboat, it will have an adjustable air draft. To meet requirements of the Upper Mississippi and other small and bridged rivers where she will work, she was designed by Design Associates of New Orleans, with a telescoping three stage hydraulic ram to lift the wheelhouse from a low position with a clearance over the wheelhouse once the antenna has been retracted, of just 18 ft. Fully extended the top of the wheelhouse has an eye level view of 32 ft. In the lowered position the wheelhouse nestles into a space cut away in the forward part of the main deck house. With a 75-ft. overall length, the tug has accommodation for up to eight people. Pushing power comes from a pair of 12-cylinder Cummins KTA38-M2 engines generating a total of 2,400 hp driving through Reintjes WAF673 gears with a 6.4:1 ratio. Electrical power is supplied by a pair of Cummins 6BTR 5.9/75 kW Gensets. Blessy Marine's Executive Vice President Steve Proehl, reports, while unclassed, the boat is being built to ABS load line specs to allow the company to run it out into Lake Michigan to go from Chcago to Whiteing, Ind. The new tug is powered by a pair of Cummins KTA50 M2 engines, delivering a total of 3,200 hp (2,388 kW) for continuous duty at 1,800 rpm, and scheduled for an August 1999 delivery. Naval architect on the 90 x 30 x 12.6 ft. vessel is Matt Kawasaki of Design Associates in New Orleans. Territory Sales Manager for Cummins Mid-South, Al Heisler said, "Cummins engines have been enjoying a steady growth in popularity among the operators on the inland waterways. We have a large number of KTA19s and KTA38s in service now. This boat represents the first installation of the new generation M2 in service in a towboat. Thanks to our current customer's acceptance of K and KV products, we are looking to continued growth in this market." The new vessel, with crew accommodation for eight, will work the inland waterways pushing three or four 297.5 x 54 ft. barges with capacities of 30,000 gallons each. The 16-cylinder main engines are equipped with Cummins' CENTRY electronic engine control systems and will drive through Reintjes WAF 772 marine gears with a reduction of 7.01:1 turning 86 x 76 in. propellers. The vessel will be equipped with four flanking and two steering rudders. Auxiliary power will be provided by a pair of Cummins 6BT5.9 powered gensets at 99 kW each.
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