When business depends on commercial vessels, it's essential for these boats to stay in good condition. Unreliable engines and equipment can lead to days or weeks off the water for repairs, resulting in lost customers. To ensure its fleet is always prepared for the job, Smith Maritime depends on Laborde Products. For its third repower with Smith Maritime, Laborde supplied three Mitsubishi S12R-Y2MPTK Tier II engines rated at 5,000 hp for the tug Rhea.
For its maiden voyage, Rhea towed a huge piece of oilfield equipment from Texas to Cape Verde Islands off of Africa before moving on to Nigeria. The boat towed continuously for seven weeks.
"Over the years we've used Mitsubishi engines all over the world. The engines are reliable and economical, saving up to 25% on fuel," said Smith Maritime founder Capt. Latham Smith. "In our business, we need engines that are reliable so they don't break down in the middle of the ocean or cause us to be late on our customer's time. With these engines, we've never had a breakdown or any problems. Laborde gives us exactly what we want."
Smith is not the only member of this team satisfied with the recent repower. Tug Rhea's captain sent the following message via satellite during the maiden voyage.
"All is well out here, just a tugging along, every one is sure enjoying this boat. These new engines are great and no more soot all over the deck, in the house, state rooms, or lungs. Rhea does not miss a beat, and seems easy on fuel. I think we could have done the whole trip from Texas to Nigeria non-stop, but probably would be cutting it too close. This boat is an absolute dream. It is the most efficient tug I've ever worked in 20 years."
Rhea is a small, powerful, agile, sea-going tug capable of withstanding the rigors of ship and barge towing or ocean rescue service in all weather conditions. It's fully fitted and built for extended service at sea or in distant and remote locations.
Smith Maritime's vessels operate primarily between the US, the Caribbean and South America. The company's services include ocean and coastal towing, pipe and cable laying, submersible operations, cargo and dredge ops, demolition, harbor, anchor and buoy handling, and salvage and rescue.
Laborde is the largest Mitsubishi Marine distributor in North America with a far-reaching territory from Texas to Florida, New Orleans to Minneapolis, the Caribbean and Mexico. Mitsubishi engines typically offer larger displacement and more mass than other engines. For more than 25 years, Laborde has provided the marine and industrial markets with superior products and service. It distributes Mitsubishi, Yanmar and Hatz diesel engines, Iveco gensets, and package their own diesel-powered generators and other custom diesel equipment.