Halter Delivers Raised Pilothouse Tug To Bouchard Transportation

halter delivers raised pilothouse tug
to bouchard transportation

Halter Marine, Inc., New Orleans, La., has delivered a 127- foot raised pilothouse tug, the Capt. Fred Bouchard, to Bouchard Transportation, Inc. of Hicksville, N.Y. The vessel was named after the company's founder.

The versatile vessel can be mated with notched stern barges, tow in the conventional mode, and can work as a regular harbor tug when not towing or pushing. "The raised pilothouse gives her added versatility and cost savings," said Morton S. Bouchard Jr., president of Bouchard Transportation. "She's versatile and safe because the raised pilothouse is 47 feet above the designed loadline, allowing the captain to see over notched barges (446 by 75 by 82 feet) in the light condition, and she's economical because the need for assisting tugs in docking and undocking is eliminated in many cases.

"She is now towing petroleum products from the Gulf to the east coast of Florida and is performing beyond expectations," he added. "She is very functional, great in heavy weather, and maintains approximately the same speed whether on hawser or in the notch." A unique feature of the Halter- Bouchard 127-class tug is its triple skeg design to protect underwater gear that features parallel skegs extending below each propeller. The design was incorporated after extensive model testing to determine its feasibility and to insure that water flow to the propellers would not be impeded. The skegs have already proven e f f e c t i v e safeguards against prop damage.

The new tug is nearly identical to two Halter-built sister ships for Bouchard, the Buster Bouchard and Marion C. Bouchard, delivered in 1979 and 1980 respectively. Prior to that, Halter had built two 109-foot tugs for Bouchard and is now building two newly designed 112-foot tugs for the company's East Coast operations.

The Capt. Fred Bouchard is 127 feet in length with a 37-foot beam and 20-foot depth. She is powered by two EMD 16-645E turbocharged diesel engines developing 2,850 hp each at 900 rpm. They drive two 140-inch, five-blade bronze propellers through Falk 3040 MRV reverse/ reduction gears with a 4.96:1 ratio. The vessel is equipped with Wabco engine controls at three stations and a Sperry electrohydraulic steering system with autopilot. The main switchboard and distribution panels were custom built by Continental Electric. "Additional time and money savings are generated by the Capt. Fred's large 169,756-gallon fuel capacity," said Mr. Bouchard. "Because of her higher useable fuel volume, she is self-sustaining for longer periods of time which gives her greater range and therefore fewer costly port calls on long tows." Other capacities include: 6,006 gallons of lube oil, 8,592 gallons of potable water, 39,298 gallons of ballast water, 1,819 gallons of dirty oil, and a 1,819-gallon sanitary holding tank.

Electricity is produced by two 99-kW generators driven by two GM8V71 diesel engines. Compressed air for diesel engine starting, clutches, pneumatic control systems, air whistle, sea chest blow down, and ship service is provided by two Quincy D-340 motor-driven, air-cooled compressors. Bilge, ballast, and fuel transfer pumps were made by Aurora, and the potable water pressure set was manufactured by Jacuzzi. The deck is fitted with a Markey double drum TD SD 36 towing winch and two New England Trawler capstans with line pulls of 11,400 pounds and 22,000 pounds.

The boat's American Bureau of Shipping classification is for full ocean towing, and it is U.S. Public Health approved.

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