H i l l m a n Delivers Exxon Towboat W i t h 40-Foot Eye Level Pilothouse

The M / V Exxon Lake Charles was delivered recently by Hillman Barge and Construction Company, Brownsville, Pa. 15417.

This is the third of five such towboats being constructed by Hillman Barge for Exxon Company, U.S.A. The first two are the Exxon Louisville and the Exxon Memphis, the former delivered in June 1976, and the latter in October 1976. Both towboats are performing beyond expectations.

The Exxon Lake Charles differs from the first two vessels in that the pilothouse is 8 feet higher to provide necessary visibility because of a special tow with which it will be used. The 40-foot eye level together with large windows assure the pilot almost unrestricted vision in all directions. The location of all controls, navigational aids, and other systems were optimized to easy access. Other conveniences include a concealed toilet and a range-refrigerator-sink combination. Engineered for maximum strength and elimination of vibration and fatigue failure, the 120-foot by 34-foot hull draws SV2 feet, as do the Exxon Memphis and the Exxon Louisville. The raising of the afterdeck by 24 inches and continuous welding on both sides of the framing lend additional strength. Two interconnected steering rudders and four interconnected flanking rudders create high maneuverability by providing free water flow in and out of the two Avondale four-blade stainless-steel propellers. Controlling the rudders is an air over hydraulic system designed by Hillman in conjunction with Wabco and Weinman Pump of Pittsburgh, Pa. Separate hydraulic units operate each rudder system and can, at full engine power, move each system from hard-over to hardover in 13 seconds.

With the Fairbanks Morse eight-cylinder, Model 38D8-1/8 engines turning at 750 rpm, up to 2,670 hp are generated. The engines also move through Western Model RH-27 reverse and reduction gears with a 3.77:1 ratio.

Driven by Detroit .Diesel Model 6-71 engines, two Lima 125-kw generators supply 440, 220, or 110-volt a-c power for all onboard systems, while a General Electric "Pan-A-Trol" switchboard and motor control center controls and distributes the power. In addition, a National Marine Service "Tugmonitor" oversees all main engine and auxiliary operations, assuring location of possible problems throughout the vessel. This system is composed of a main control panel in the engine room, remote stations in the pilothouse and main deck stateroom, and a galley alarm bell.

Just as the hull was designed to obtain maximum efficiency without sacrificing equally important low operating costs, so the superstructure adheres to similar considerations with its attention to environmental aspects, such as soundproofing and efficient access.

Strategic sound barriers deter the penetration of machinery noise to crew living quarters. Comfort, convenience, and minimum upkeep were considered with the design of the service areas, lounge, galley/messing area, and double stateroom with private bath in the main deckhouse. Four additional double staterooms with two semiprivate baths are in the upper deckhouse. Closets have been built into each stateroom.

All crew stateroom and pilothouse decks are covered with commercial carpeting; vinyl linoleum covers all other decks in living areas. In keeping with the vessel's fireproof construction, walls are paneled with U.S. Gypsum "Novoply," and ceilings tiled with acoustical fiberglass.

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