Towboats Still in Demand

Thursday, January 13, 2011
Paducah Kentucky-based photographer Jeff L. Yates took this photo on January 7, 2011 as M/V Baffin Bay was holding against the right descending bank at mile 6.5 on the Tennessee River, probably waiting for improved weather conditions on the Ohio River. Jeff reports that she was en-route from Decatur, Alabama to Houston Texas and pushing two barges at the time. Jeff L. Yates photo courtesy of Cummins Marine.

by Alan Haig-Brown

In spite of the economic gloom of 2010, the demand for solid reliable towboats for the U.S. inland waterways has continued. An example of this is Higman Marine Services’ latest addition. The final month of 2010 saw yet another towboat added to the fleet of their subsidiary Higman Barge Lines. As with many earlier boats The M/V Baffin Bay was built by Hope Services of Dulac Louisiana. But this boat is one of the newly designed and larger 78 by 34-ft vessels. Hull number 174 from Hope’s yard is also the 36th vessel from Hope for Higman.
The boat continued the long established practice at Hope Services of installing a pair of 38-liter Cummins tier 2 compliant KTA38 engines each rated for 1000 HP at 1800 RPM. The engines turn into Twin Disc540 gears with 6.14:1 reduction. The two 85 kW generator sets are powered by Cummins 6BTA engines.

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