Blessey, adding two new towboats, introduces 1,600-hp Dane F. Morgan

Blessey Marine is adding two more towboats to its expanding fleet this summer, the first of which was slated for a June delivery from the John Bludworth Shipyard in Texas.

The new vessel, named Dane F. Morgan, is a 1,600-hp, Cummins-powered pusher with Twin Disc gears and 74-inch propellers from Sound Propeller Service.

Blessey, which operates 33 towboats including this new one, expects to introduce three new towboats in the coming year, including another of its 3,200-hp vessels that are the largest in the fleet. Blessey is also building a half-dozen new heated oil barges at Jeffboat. These will increase its barge fleet to about 85 vessels, most of which deliver black-oil cargoes on the inland and Gulf Coast waterways.

The company’s flagship towboat, Walter E. Blessey Jr., was delivered from the Bludworth shipyard in 2002. She also is a 3,200-hp Cummins-powered vessel. The company has been standardizing its fleet on Cummins power for several years.

Mitch Jones, Blessey’s marine superintendent, said the newest vessel introduced would likely push two 30,000-barrel barges on Gulf Coast waterways.