Vessels: GCI Completes Sun Towing Tugs

Monday, November 24, 2003

Voyager and Quest could not be two more apt names for Sun Towings pair of new tugboats, as it was precisely this that was required to complete the vessel's construction.

The two hulls were started nearly 10 years ago, and had more than 2,000 miles experience before the first main engines were installed.

The hulls were originally built by Marine Power and Equipment in Seattle in 1990, and moved three different times, from Washington State through the Panama Canal to Texas, then finally to Louisiana.

The odyssey of the hulls was well worth it, however, according to their owner, Captain Mike Smith of Sun Towing, Morgan City, La.

The 150 x 40 x 19.5 ft. hulls finally made their way to Gulf Coast Industries (GCI), a yard owned by Garrel Chiasson and Randy Joubert II, in Amelia, La., where they were to be completed.

Now finished, the vessels' respective journeys have come full circle, as they have returned to Washington state and have been placed on long term charter from Sun Towing by Foss Maritime.

Captain Sam Smith saw the potential of the hulls and purchased them three years ago, and then sold them to his son, Captain Mike Smith.

Captain Mike decided to use local companies as much as possible to complete the vessels, and contracted with Gulf Coast Industries to complete the steel work of the hulls, install all of the equipment, complete the piping systems, and install the SOLAS approved joiner work package.

According to Mike Toups, Gulf Coast Industries' General Manager, the first vessel, the Sun Quest, was delivered in February 2003 and its sistership, Sun Voyager, was delivered six months later. The vessels are both ABS Class A-1 Ocean Service and full SOLAS. Each vessel holds 224,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The two 16-251 F Alco main engines were supplied by Preco and develop 8,200 bhp, driving a pair of 126 x 144-in propellers ghrough Haley GMC 4232 reduction gears. The two 13-in. propeller shafts as well as all of the machine items were completed by Ricky Romaire's machinest at E.J. Fields Machine Shop in Morgan City.

The two Cummins 170 kW ship's service generators and the John Deere 60 kW emergency generator were supplied by Red Cunningham of Cummins Diesel of Morgan City. Don Abney Inc. was charged with wiring the vessel, as well as designing and furnishing the smoke and fire alarm system. Huber Inc. designed and furnished the hydraulic steering, tow pin and bow thruster hydraulic systems, as well as the electronic controls for the systems.

Huber's Kevin Hayes coordinated the installation of the Huber equipment. Herb Mashburn of Star Tech Electronics of Morgan city furnished and installed all of the vessel's electronic components. Wesley Barbier's Black & Gold Contractors of Lockport accomplished the vessel's sandblasting and painting., and all pain was supplied by Vida Paint of Morgan City, specified by Lee Schilling and coordinated by Amanda Spenser. Harris Refrigeration of Morgan City furnished and installed the HVAC system.

Both tugboats have a top speed of 13.5 knots and a certified bollard pull of 217,000 pounds. An Intercontinental DD 250 double drum winch was furnished by C&G Services of Morgan City. It can hold 4,300 ft. of 2.5 in. tow capble, and 2,900 ft. of 2.25 in. anchor cable. C&G also supplied the 10-ton, 60-ft. hydraulic deck crane.

Conrad Industries of Morgan City dry docked the vessels and completed the underwater portion of the project.

Gulf Coast Industries' joiner work crew prefabricated all of the furniture and installed a SOLAS approval steel stud and vinyl clad aluminum wall panel system, purchased from Spacecon of Thibodaux, La.

The MDE's, reduction gears, generators, pumps, piping systems and other equipment installation were also accomplished by Gulf Coast Industries and supervised by Gulf Coast Industries' yard superintendent, Clyde "Breeze" Badeaux.

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