NBBB Uses New System to Launch Tug for Kirby

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 15, 2015

(Photo: Nichols Brothers Boat Builders)

(Photo: Nichols Brothers Boat Builders)

A newly built articulated tug barge (ATB) unit tugboat, was launched for Kirby Offshore Marine on Wednesday, September 2.

The new vessel, the 136’ x 44’ x 19’ Nancy Peterkin, is the first of two sister vessels built for Kirby by Ice Floe, LLC dba Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB). The Tina Pyne is also being built at NBBB and is scheduled for launch in December 2015.
The builder said it made use of a new track and dolly system to move Nancy Peterkin from the shipyard to the launch ramp. 
The launch system, developed by Engineering Heavy Service (EHS) for vessels greater than 1,000 tons, is a development of the system used for transferring the Washington State Ferry 144-car ferry superstructures fabricated at NBBB onto a barge for transport to assembly with the hull.
Additional assistance in launching Nancy Peterkin came from General Construction who provided two floating cranes to assist in the final lifting of the vessel, shuttling it to deeper water.
The vessel was then towed to Everett, Wash. for lightship, stability testing and fuel transfer. Next, the tug will be towed to NBBB outfitting pier in Langley, Wash., across the Puget Sound from Everett, for final outfitting, dock and sea trials before its final delivery.
According to the shipbuilder, the new launch system offers a increase in displacement and draft for the vessels NBBB can haul and launch in the future over the crawler system. NBBB said it is currently engineering to install ridged buoyancy tanks to the side of the launch frame eliminating the need for the floating cranes in the future.
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