Bollinger's Algiers repair and conversion yard has recently embarked on a major conversion project that
will convert eight 105-ft. single screw tugs to 4,000 hp twin screw boats. The conversion project is being carried out for Crescent Towing
When completed, each of the 3,500 hp tugs will be re-powered with two Caterpillar 3512B engines coupled to Reintjes WAF 673 reduction gears driving 83-in. Bollinger stainless steel propellers. They will be installed in 84-in. type 37 kort nozzles with stainless steel inner rings and leading and trailing edges. The boats will also have a 45-degree rudder angle for better maneuverability and their new 4,500 hp power packages are designed to generate 100,000 pounds or 50 tons of bollard pull. Their sterns will also be modified to accommodate the new propulsion systems
All eight tugs will also have their wheelhouses upgraded to a modern look. But the change will be more than skin deep, as they will also receive new radars
, GPS, depth sounders, hailers, VHF radios, fax machines, sound powered telephones, fuel emergency shut off systems, and remote control start and stop for the main engines. Their engine rooms will be equipped with Coast Guard approved oil and water separators and sanitary systems. Their channel coolers will be replaced with grid coolers.
It will take four years for all eight tugs to make their way through the Algiers facility, but it will hardly reduce the company's capability to accept new work. When asked if that would "tie up" the shipyard's capacity, Mark Detillier, executive vice-president of Bollinger smiled and said, "No way. We have over 35,000 sq. ft. of wet dock space and another dry dock at Algiers and 40 other dry-docks at our yards between New Orleans and Houston. We can accommodate up to 22,400 tons and service everything from small work boats to large ocean-going vessels and offshore drilling rigs." Florida will be followed by sister vessels Glenn Smith, G. Shelby Freidrichs, Louisiana, Margaret F. Cooper, Mississippi, Ned Ferry and Texas. All of the vessels were built in the late 1950's and early 1960's. New Orleans-based, Crescent Towing is part of the Cooper Group of companies. Its 23 tugs provide harbor towage for vessels on the Mississippi, Mobile and Savannah rivers.