Cindy and Jon Smith of Southport both have their tug licenses but these days they are mostly shore-based running Interport Towing & Transportation. The jointly owned company has three tugs that do coastal towing as well as providing support for marine construction. They also have a Tier 2-compliant Cummins-powered crew boat that does standby and transport work for dredging and construction work. With this diversity there is always a project underway.
Most recently this has been the repower of their tug Lucinda Smith. Jon explained the shopping for this major investment; “We went to the International WorkBoat show last fall with the idea of deciding on engines. By the end of the show we were convinced to go Tier 2 after talking to manufacturers and some of our customers. It just made sense based on cost and time considerations doing a major repower, and it would be a benefit to our customers having a tug with such low emissions on the jobsite. And it's the right thing to do as all companies try to go green.”
After looking at the options they ended up at the Cummins booth, "The QSK 38's fit our needs perfectly when considering horsepower, availability, and support” Jon explained.
It is always difficult for a small fleet to take a vessel off line but the work was progressing well in mid-June when Jon reported, “We have Boothbay Harbor Shipyard doing the welding and supplying other services while our regular crew and myself do the installation. TD bank North has been great with a financing package. Cummins Northeast people have been here for 1 or 2 days every week answering any questions that come up. Their support has been fantastic.”
Built at Universal Iron Works in 1975 the Lucinda Smith (ex Delta Trooper, ex Sound Eagle, ex Sea Hawk) is 81.4 x 28 feet with an 11.7-foot molded depth. An elevated wheelhouse has been added to make pushing barges more effective.
When she goes back to work with her new Tier 2 engines the 33 year old boat will be as green as any of the tugs that are coming out of the yards this year. For Interport Towing & Transportation customers up and down the Atlantic seaboard this can be a real bonus.