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Jul 2, 2014 02:30 PM

Marine Towing of Tampa’s new tug is a bit longer and much more capable

Patriot is designed for escort, assist and ocean-towing work. Its ample 38-foot beam permits comfortable living quarters and a spacious engine room layout.

Patriot is designed for escort, assist and ocean-towing work. Its ample 38-foot beam permits comfortable living quarters and a spacious engine room layout.

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Ten years ago, American Tugboat Review reported on Marine Towing of Tampa’s (MTT) transition to ASD propulsion with the delivery of three 92-by-32-foot tugs from Washburn & Doughty. Independent was delivered in 2004, followed by Freedom in 2005 and Liberty in 2007.

This year, MTT sold Independent to McAllister Towing to make way for the 93-by-38-foot ASD tug Patriot, also built in Maine at Washburn & Doughty’s East Boothbay yard. Independent was renamed Moira McAllister and moved to McAllister’s Charleston, S.C., operations.

The fourth tug in the MTT fleet, Endeavor, is one of the ship docking modules developed by Hvide Marine, now Seabulk Towing, in the late 1990s. “That’s the number of tugs we want to stay at,” said Jim Brantner Jr., MTT’s port captain and son of the company’s vice president, James C. Brantner.

The tug is rated FiFi-1. Its firefighting capabilities include a deluge system.

The six-foot greater beam of Patriot over Independent provides more stability for escort work, as does the 17-foot draft, a five-foot increase over the smaller tugs. “The deeper draft was partly due to the wider design, but the tug also has a box keel for escort work and that brings the draft down more,” said the younger Brantner. “We don’t do a lot of escort work, but the tug will perform better when it is required to do so.”

There are more differences between the 32s and the 38s than breadth and depth, including box coolers in lieu of keel coolers, full ABS FiFi-1 firefighting capability and a step up to Tier 3 Caterpillar main engines and Tier 2 auxiliaries.

Patriot’s extra girth is the gift that keeps on giving. The enlarged dimensions make possible larger, more comfortable living quarters and galley. The tug carries a crew of three consisting of captain, mate and an engineer. “There isn’t much deck work to do, so the engineer and mate take care of it,” said Brantner Jr.

Brantner Sr. added that the company would replace the 32s with 38s over time. “We’ll probably build another one in a couple of years,” he said.

“The whole engine room layout is very good,” said Chief Engineer Aaron Oberholtzer. “There are no obstructions overhead and the clean layout is very well lighted with LED lights. Even the bilge is lighted.”

Capt. Mark Barthle

Oberholtzer added that the ventilation system is equipped with variable-speed blowers that are automated and adjust with the speed of the engine while the vessel is underway, making for a quiet engine room.

The propulsion train on Patriot consists of two Caterpillar 2,575-hp, Tier 3, 3516 C mains connected with carbon-fiber shafts to Rolls-Royce US 205 z-drives and 95-inch, four-blade, stainless-steel propellers.

The tug has two 5,983-gpm FFS 1200 monitors on the upper deck.

“With steel shafts you have U-joints at both ends, said Oberholtzer. “But with carbon fiber, there is only one bearing, so it is much smoother with less vibration and requires less maintenance.”

The FFS SFP fire pump, driven by a 1,300-hp Caterpillar C32 engine, feeds two FFS 1200 monitors on the upper deck at 5,983 gpm each. Auxiliary power is supplied by two John Deere 6068TFM76, 1,800-rpm, 99-kW, three-phase generators.

On the bow is a JonRie escort winch. The Manahawkin, N.J., company designed the Super Series 220 escort winch to accommodate larger capacity rope.

JonRie owner Brandon Durar explained that the double-drum concept was developed and used on the Panama Canal to add a redundant line tethered to the ship and also as an escort bridle that stabilizes the tug in the prop wash during long escorts. MTT will primarily be treating the second drum as a backup. “If we have an issue with one of the lines, we put the other line up,” said Brantner Jr.

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