Maiden Voyage of the BRAtt
Early on the morning of October 28th, the BRAtt departed Point Roberts, Washington State bound for Seattle. Captain Ron Burchett and his able crew Alan Burchett and Ben Flodquist started out in 12 to 15 knot easterly winds and a two foot chop. With Boundary Bay abeam, the winds increased to NE 20 – 25, with four foot seas on the forward quarter. The ride was lively for this 28-ft tug, but with the heavy ballasted skeg the motions were very good with just moderate spray and no green water on deck. Arriving at Cherry Point around noon, the BRAtt was greeted by the Garth Foss and Lindsay Foss, and the crew was invited aboard for a lunch and show and tell. After receiving a full “10” from the Foss crews, the BRAtt was off to Lummi Island. By 1620, Anacortes was abeam and they were making 8.6 knots on a 3 foot head sea on the ebb tide. They were all fast at Dunlap Towing Company, La Conner, WA by 1810. Ahead of schedule, they spent the night at the Flodquist’s Anacortes home.
The next morning provided an excellent occasion for some photographs around Rainbow Bridge and by 0805 they were underway for Seattle as the sun came out. After a stop for lunch in Langley, Wash., they entered the Ballard Locks at 1545 to greetings from spectators on the shore taking pictures and offering compliments about the fine little ship. By 1700 the BRAtt was secure at the Fremont Tugboat Company, successfully completing a great run of 110 miles without incident.
The BRAtt is an ultra-compact 450 hp Z-drive tugboat built in aluminum. She is equipped with a fully operational ship-handling winch, and all the necessary features of a fully functional harbour tug, simply scaled down to 28-ft. In addition to operating as a line-handling and/or yarding tug she provides an excellent training platform for tug operators interested in learning the skills necessary to handle a Z-drive tug. The vessel was conceived by Ron Burchett and Rob Allan, designed by Robert Allan Ltd., and built by Adrenalin Marine Inc. The main machinery includes Cummins (CMI) Main Engines, ZF Gears, Centa shafting, Olympic Z-Drives with PMC Controls, fenders by Schuyler, and a Braden Hawser Winch. The electrical system is centered around the latest Corvus Lithium-Ion batteries to power the electrical equipment on board including the Techsol Alarm, Monitoring and Control system.