The Pacific Maritime Institute
, in partnership with Captain Jeff Slesinger
, has developed and implemented a three-phase Z-drive Tug Handling Program.
The program is oriented towards Captains and Mates that are experienced Tug Operators, but have little or no experience driving Z-drive tugs. Utilizing the Pacific Maritime Institute’s state-of-the-art Tug Simulator, the Program guides operators through a series of “at sea” situations that are specifically designed to focus on and hone the specific skill sets required to operate a Z-drive tug.
At the end of the nine day course of instruction, operators come away with a fundamental understanding of, and an ability to perform, the unique boat handling skills required to maneuver Z-drive tugs in light tug, barge, and ship assist work.
The impetus for developing this program came from the Pilots and Tug Operators at the Puget Sound Naval Station (PSNS), located in Bremerton, WA. PSNS has embarked on an ambitious new-building project to replace their existing fleet of single-screw tugs with new 4500 HP Azimuthing Stern Drive (ASD) Tugs. Part of this new-building project includes extensive training for both Naval Ship Pilots and Tug Operators. The PMI program is an integral part of the training process.