Horizon Towboat for Florida Marine
Horizon Shipbuilding, Inc. of Bayou La Batre, Alabama has delivered the M/V A.B. York, a 120’ towboat, to its longtime customer Florida Marine Transporters (FMT).This is the nineteenth vessel delivered to FMT by Horizon and the ninth 120’ towboat.
Travis Short, President of Horizon Shipbuilding, stated, “After the delivery of the A.B. York this brings the total horsepower delivered to FMT by Horizon to nearly 100,000 and counting! It is hard to grasp that nearly a decade has passed. Horizon appreciates the privilege to have been given the honor to build incredible boats for a truly incredible company. I want to give a special thanks to Dennis Pasentine and the rest of the FMT family for trusting and providing us such a remarkable opportunity.”
The M/V A.B. York, designed by John Gilbert, is a 120’ long by 35’ wide, 10’ draft, towboat vessel that is four-decked and is outfitted for service in areas restricted to overhead clearances and draft limitations. She is powered by two 2,000 hp 3512C Caterpillar (CAT) engines, provided by Louisiana Machinery, that are coupled to Twin Disc MG5600 reduction gears with a 5.04:1 ratio, supplied by Sewart Supply. They turn 100-inch five-blade, stainless steel wheels made by Sound Propeller, on ten-inch shafts. Auxiliary power is supplied by two 175 kw Caterpillar C9 generators. The M/V A.B. York is an open-wheel boat that holds 58,000 gallons of fuel.
“We’ve built a lot of towboats for FMT,” said Mike Sims, project manager for the A.B. York. “This boat is not a thoroughbred racehorse but more like a Clydesdale; big and beefy with lots of oomph.” Sims went on to say that “Our craftsmen stepped up and built an excellent boat. She’s quiet but powerful and can push a bunch of loaded barges while the crew relaxes in superioraccommodations.”Sims said that, “Our folks on the yard really got it right on this boat. We’ve been building FMT vessels for almost ten years and the boats just keep getting better and better. Horizon, Gilbert and FMT are a winning combination and I’m very proud that FMT considers Horizon to be part of that team.”
Horizon utilized GORDHEAD management software to ensure the A.B. York remained on schedule and on budget. This software has reduced production manhours and shortened delivery schedules, enabling Horizon to become more competitive. Lance C. Lemcool, Horizon’s Business Development Manager, stated that “This competitiveness has resulted in an increasing backlog during apretty severe market downturn. In fact, both of our new customers, McAllister Towing and Transportation Company, Inc. and HornblowerNew York Ferry Fleet, LLC, have said that GORDHEAD was the tipping point in their selection process.”
An additional 120’ retractable pilothouse towboat for FMT is in production at Horizon’s shipyard, with delivery scheduled for the spring of 2017. The delivery of this vessel will bring the total number of FMT towboat deliveriesby Horizon to twenty and the total vessels delivered to FMT by Horizon to thirty.