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Simone Brusco

Jul 2, 2014 02:00 PM

Robert Allan designing compact but powerful tugs for Brusco

Simone Brusco, a 78-foot ASD tug built by Diversified Marine.

Simone Brusco, a 78-foot ASD tug built by Diversified Marine.

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In the drive to build ASD tugs of late, Brusco Tug & Barge has quietly continued a measured expansion of its ship-docking fleet, working in the quieter West Coast ports.

Brusco, based in Longview, Wash., has its tugs at Everett, Olympia and Grays Harbor, in Washington, and at Port Hueneme, Sacramento, Stockton and Eureka, in California.

In October 2013, Brusco took delivery of the 78-foot Simone Brusco, and assigned it to Port Hueneme, in Ventura County, north of Los Angeles. Simone Brusco is the third in a series of tugs designed by Robert Allan Ltd. and built at Diversified Marine in Portland, Ore.

At the helm Mike Fullilove, Brusco’s general manager in Port Hueneme, Calif.

The first tug, Wynema Spirit, built in 2001, is at Grays Harbor. The second tug, Lulapin, built in 2005, is also at Port Hueneme, where the pair are employed docking car carriers and fruit ships. They also assist at the U.S. Naval Base Ventura County. A fourth tug in the series, Peter J. Brix, was delivered from Diversified to Brusco’s Grays Harbor fleet in March, and a fifth boat, yet to be named, is scheduled to be delivered later in the year.

Simone Brusco and her sisters are an evolution of Vancouver naval architect Robert Allan’s Cates class ASD tugs, dedicated to C.H. Cates and Sons (now Seaspan) of North Vancouver, British Columbia. Cates was one of the first long-term clients of Robert Allan Ltd. Simplicity and cost-effective construction are features of the class, with tugs that are able to quickly maneuver and respond in tight spots.

The Markey 50-hp electric hawser winch with Saturn 12 line.

“We haven’t got a lot of space in this port,” said Capt. Mike Fullilove, general manager of Brusco’s Port Hueneme operation, “so we built these boats, in size and horsepower, for this port. When you have a containership at Berth 1 and a car carrier at Berth 2, and we have to bring a ship in between them, we only have 200 or 250 feet to maneuver. We also have a 1,000-foot turning basin, but when you bring in those 230-meter ships, you don’t have a lot of room.”

There are some real differences between the first two boats and Simone Brusco. One is an upgrade to Tier 3 Caterpillar 3512C, 2,000-hp main engines turning Rolls-Royce Aquamaster 205 z-drives. At 4,000 hp, as opposed to 3,600 in the older boats, the engines produce enough power to produce 55 tons of bollard pull. “They’re virtually the same boat with more horsepower,” said Fullilove. “The extra horsepower and bigger drives make a big difference.”

“I’m really impressed with the quality of the boats that Diversified turns out,” said Willy Brown, Brusco’s port engineer at Port Hueneme. “The engine room is well lit, with lots of space, and the plumbing is real simple. All the systems are basic and simple. And having the fire pump run off of one of the generators assures that we won’t be hindering one of the mains in the case we might have to maneuver while pumping water.”

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