Already the operator of the largest fleet of inland tank barges on U.S. inland waters, Kirby Marine Transportation, has recently added twelve more push boats to its fleet. The twelfth in a series of sister vessels was delivered from Raymond and Associates of Bayou LaBatre, Ala. in late July 2010.
All twelve of the 1700 hp boats are 76 by 35-ft in length. Each boat is powered by a pair of Tier 2 compliant Cummins K38-M diesels rated for 850 hp each at 1800 rpm. The engines turn big 76 by 56-inch five-blade props through Twin Disc TD MT540 gears with relatively large ratios of 7:1.
The most recently delivered towboat was the M/V Ellis Davis. An earlier vessel in the series is the M/V Pass Christian that was delivered in September of 2009. The attached photo of the Pass Christian was taken by Jeff L. Yates this August 17 on the Ohio River as the boat locked up at Smithland Lock. The locks are located 62 miles up from the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and 918 miles below Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.