By Larry Pearson
Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., Lockport, La. recently delivered the first of two advanced technology supply boats to L&M BoTruc Rental, Inc., Golden Meadow, La. These vessels, at 191 ft. long will not be anywhere near the largest supply vessels delivered recently, but for their size they have enhanced deck cargo and liquid cargo carrying capabilities such as twice as much fuel oil as the 180-ft. vessels they are aiming to replace. Like Bollinger's slightly larger 207-ft. series of supply boats, these vessels feature advanced monitoring and control systems along with DP capability. In addition, these two vessels integrate engine control, steering and DP-1 into a single system that allows the various components to "talk" to each other in a seamless fashion.
The supplier of this system is Engine Monitor, Inc, St. Rose. La. The equipment is built by EMI technicians from components supplied mostly from Siemans. There are three propulsion control stations on the boat with two engine control heads and levers per station. One is located at the forward helm, one at the aft station and one in the engine room to control the two Cummins KTA-50M2 diesel engines that each generate 1,600 hp.
The steering system is electro/hydraulic with the hydraulic set up in a proportional mode. There are two separate steering systems that can be manually changed with the flip of a switch. Both follow up and non-follow up steering modes are available to the operator. Both the forward and aft steering stations have Rudder Angle indicators and there is an emergency steering station in the engine room. There is also a DP-1 system onboard with DP station monitors at both the forward helm and aft station. Joystick controllers are also located at both forward and aft stations. The system has built in redundancy with separate computer control stations and separate CPU panels for both Forward and Aft control stations. Each station has separate wind birds, gyros and DGPS antennae. Machinery alarms have also become fully electronic with monitors located in the forward pilothouse station, the aft station and two in the engine room. Gone are the banks of lights that formerly were used to alert the pilothouse of machinery malfunction. The system on the L & M BoTruc vessels covers the port and starboard propulsion engines, thrusters and generators, bilges and fuel tanks, steering and ship services such as status of the switchboard; watertight doors fire main pressure in PSI, a freezer/cooler panic alarm, DP failure and a fire alarm. EMI also supplied a bulk mud mimic panel that has a schematic of the bulk mud systems with LCD readouts showing the PSI in each of the four bulk mud tanks and the pressure and status of the twin air compressors. The system schematic also has switches to open and close the inlet and discharge valves controlling the flow of bulk mud and to activate the air compressors. This panel is located on the aft station. The Engine Order Telegraph system was also supplied by EMI. "This contract shows the high degree of system integration we can offer a customer, " said owner Ken Cognevich. "Our ability to integrate several ships systems in a seamless flow of information makes pilot and crew more productive and able to make better decisions, often under very stressful conditions," Cognevich said.