Built at Kody Marine just
across the river from New Orleans, Blessey Marine's new flagship M/V Dreama Klaiber is the first inland river pushboat in North America to be powered by a pair of Cummins KTA50 M2 engines, delivering a total of 3,200 hp for continuous duty at 1,800 rpm. The 16-cylinder main engines, are equipped with Cummins' CENTRY electronic fuel control systems and drive through Reintjes WAF 772 marine gears with a reduction of 7.01:1 turning 86 x 76-in. propellers.
At the Christening party and open house
in New Orleans, visitors in town for the annual International Workboat Show marveled at the spacious engine room with the 16V main engines set amidst well laid out valves and piping for the various fuel, lube and water tanks.
A separate insulated generator room houses a pair of Cummins 6BT5.9 powered gensets at 99 kW each.
Guests went up one level from the engine room to the huge galley and mess area located forward in the main deck cabin ahead of the laundry room. Beautifully finished in wood paneling with black granite counter and table tops, the galley is equipped with a Maytag Advanced Cooking system as well as a microwave and toaster over. An electric can opener, blender, waffle machine, electric pot and twin electric coffee makers round out the modern galley. As is the practice on most southern boats, an ice maker for the drinks is flanked by two big refrigerator/freezer combinations.
Crew accommodation is in cabins on the main and second deck levels. The third deck contains a guest suite with en-suite and its own microwave and coffee maker. The double bed can be converted into a sofa to create a comfortable TV lounge or meeting room.
The fourth deck is a wheel house paneled to a quality fit for one of Mark Twain's river steamers and with electronics the equal of any modern boat on the river. The cypress paneling sets off a coffee table formed with a round cut from a 500 year old cypress tree.
In the days following the Christening, the new boat went on a shake down cruise moving several of Blessey Marine's big 297.5 x 54-ft. 30,000 barrel oil barges around the rivers and canals of Louisiana.
As is the practice on the Mississippi boats, Dreama Klaiber has a conventional steering rudder behind each of the props and two flanking or backing rudders set along side each shaft just ahead of the propeller. The rudders are controlled by steering "sticks" in the wheelhouse with the flanking rudder sticks shorter and set just above the steering rudder sticks.