Fleeting Firm Building

Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The GNOTS towboat Kool Cat, one of the firm's current eight-boat fleet, pushing loads on the MIssissippi.

The big 8,000 HP line haul boats that bring loads of grain down the Mississippi River in rafts of 30 or more 195x35-foot barges are dependent on the smaller fleeting boats to take off individual barges from the tow for delivery to moorings along the river known as fleets. These fleets are composed of a series of pilings to which barges can be moored as they await further movement to grain elevators or directly for loading to ships moored in the river?s stream.? Fleets can be found in the furthest reaches of the inland waterways of America, but deep-sea ships are restricted from travel above Baton Rouge by water draft and the low air draft of the highway bridge there. GNOTS-Reserve, Inc. is a fleeting service located at Destrahan Louisiana between mile 118.5 and 120 on the Mississippi River. The moorings for about 300 barges are on the both banks a few bends upriver from New Orleans, the river at this point is bordered by a grass-covered levee. The fleet?s primary work is to move barges for three major grain elevators. The company offices are located across river road on the inside of the levee while their service depot is outside the levee. As a full service fleet they can drydock, clean and repair barges at this facility. It is here that they are building a new boat to add to their eight-boat fleet. The new vessel is 70 by 28 feet with a 10.5-foot molded depth. It will be powered by a pair of Cummins K38 M2 Tier 2 engines turning 74-inch Sound propellers on 6.5-inch Aquamet shafts through Twin Disc MGX5321 6:1 gears.? The engines and boat are capable of 1000 HP each but GNOT-Reserve president Daniel L. Wise expects to have the boats set up with a total of 1800 HP as that is adequate for the work and will save on fuel. Delivery is anticipated for the second quarter of 2008.

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