Intracoastal Producing More Push Boats

Thursday, December 13, 2007
Joey Portier shows the donut welded in place to protect the stern bearing on the Jackie Gonsoulin.

Joey Portier, yard manager at Intracoastal Iron Works, Inc, carries a lot of construction details for the yard?s 72 by 30-foot push boat in his head. Asked about shafting details on the two that they are currently building for Lebeouf Bros. Towing, he explains that they are 19 feet long. The six-inch shafts swell to seven inches after the journal is installed. The journal is a piece of hardened steel the length of the bearing and 3 to 5 thousandths of an inch smaller on the inside diameter than the shaft diameter. It is heated to expand it to a size greater than the shaft and then slid into place where, once it has cooled, it is virtually bonded with the shaft. At the rear of the bearing mounted in the strut just ahead of the propeller, Portier pointed out a doughnut of plate steel that had been welded in place to protect the composite bearing in the event that a rope became wrapped around the shaft as well as to prevent any movement by the bearing. Keel coolers are another aspect of these boats that varies according to customer preference. The Jackie Gonsoulin that was being readied for launch, like the Julie Gonsoulin that was being finished up alongside, were being built for Lebeouf Bros.? Portier explained that this owner prefers welded channel keel coolers on the bottom of the hull for the generator sets as this allows water flow even when the boat is moored alongside a pier. For the main engines they are using Duraweld coolers from Eastpark Radiator and Battery Shop in Houma. These are mounted on the side of the hull. As with other boats for Lebeouf delivered earlier, these two are powered by a pair of Cummins KTA38 M0 engines each delivering 850 HP to Reintjes gears with 5:1 ratios and five-blade 72 by 56-inch props.

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