Blount/Barker Shipbuilding launched a 55-ft. twin screw harbor tug on March 8 at the company’s shipyard in Warren, R.I.
Special features ordered by the purchaser, Tutor-Saliba/Koch/Tidewater JV of Sylmar, Calif., include push knee for towing jumbo barges. The vessel will be used in the seismic retrofit of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in northern California, which was damaged in a recent earthquake.
The twin screw tug is powered by two Caterpillar 3412C diesel engines producing 615 hp at 1,800 rpm each. The four-bladed bronze wheels measure 50 by 55 in. and are connected to the main engines through Twin Disc MG-5170 reduction gears with a reduction radio of 4.5:1. All aspects of the design and construction were aimed at a heavily built, powerful tugboat with extra heavy belted construction, similar to the railroad tugs used in New York Harbor.
The tug was scheduled for cross-country transit to its destination near San Francisco in early April. It will have its superstructure removed and be hoisted onto a trans-continental heavy truck carrier, which will transport it over road from Rhode Island to California. When it arrives there, the superstructure that was transported separately will be replaced and the vessel will be launched.