A contract for the Hector P., a new 4,200 hp Z-Drive harbor tug to be built by Orange Shipbuilding for South Puerto Rico Towing Corporation was signed last month. Bristol Harbor Marine Design assisted in the harbor tug contract negotiations along with the acting buyer’s agent, Eric Rivera from Harbor Bunkering Corporation of San Juan, Puerto Rico. “The HECTOR P. is going to raise the bar for tugboats in Puerto Rico,” said Mr. Rivera. “This heavy, powerful boat is just what we need on our southern coast.” BHMD will also be serving as owner’s representative throughout the duration of the project and will be responsible for project inspections and approvals. Design of the new vessel is being completed at Robert Allan, Ltd. of Vancouver, B.C. The design draws inspiration from the RAmparts 3000 class tug – one of many standard series of proven tugboat designs offered by Robert Allan, Inc. And finally Westernbank of Puerto Rico, which has provided support to the marine industry for years, will be the financing institution for this endeavor. The vessel’s design is intended as a dedicated assist tug, but it will include capabilities for tanker escort services, fire fighting, and aft towing. The 99 x 36 x 17-ft. tugboat will be classed ABS A1 Towing Vessel (Fire Fighting Capabilities) and AMS, as well as comply with MARPOL regulations as required. The 4,200 hp is provided by two remanufactured EMD 12-645-E7 engines along with two Schottel SPR 1212 FP 360-degree Z-Drives. A 55-ton minimum bollard pull will be provided and two hydraulic powered winches – a 75,000 lb stern towing winch and an 8,000 lb hawser winch – are included in the deck machinery. Preparations for the construction of the new vessel are currently under way at Orange Shipbuilding Co. The new Z-Drive tug is similar to other tugs previously built at Orange Shipbuilding, which has been in continuous operation since 1974. The vessel is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2006. “We are eager to get started with this, the shipyard’s first major project since this region was devastated by Hurricane Rita,” said Greg Beers, P.E., a Principal Naval Architect with Bristol Harbor Marine Design, the owner’s representative.