Following on the success of the Dreama Klaiber, launched in late 1999, Blessey Marine’s latest boat is an evolution of that concept. While the Dreama dimensions are 95x30x12.6, the new boat will be 110 x 32 x 11.5-feet. This allows for the same power with a shallower draft. The new boat will also be powered by a pair of 16-cylinder Cummins (CMI)
KTA50 M2 engines, delivering a total of 3200 hp (2,388 kW) for continuous duty at 1800 RPM. the engines are equipped with Cummins’ optional CENTRY electronic engine control systems and drive through Reintjes WAF 772 marine gears with a reduction of 7:1 turning 88- x 68-inch four-blade stainless steel propellers on eight-inch diameter shafts. The vessel is equipped with four flanking and two steering rudders, as are all of Blessey's towboats. Electrical power will be provided by two 90 kW Cummins Onan generators.
The boat is designed and being built by John Bludworth Shipyard of Corpus Christie Texas. This vessel, with crew accommodation for eight, will work the inland waterways pushing three or four 297.5X54-foot barges with capacities of 30,000 barrels each. To be named for company founder and president Walter E. Blessey Jr.
, the new boat will well meet the expectations expressed by Blessey when he commented that in order to be operationally effective while meeting customer needs, "With both safety and efficiency in mind, we have a policy of not overloading tows. We strive to match the size of the tow with the most efficient horsepower for that tow. This policy allows us to move our customer's cargo more safely at higher speeds."
The M/V Walter E. Blessey Jr. will be delivered from the Texas yard in July of this year. Also building for Blessey in Louisiana shipyards are a retractable wheelhouse twin Cummins KTA38M2-powered 2400 HP boat
at Kody Marine for a September delivery and a twin KTA38M1-powered, 2000 HP boat at Verret Shipyards for delivery in October.