Bouchard continues expansion with latest articulated tug-barge unit

Delivered from Bollinger Shipyards is the new 6,000-hp tug Jane A. Bouchard and the 110,000-barrel double-hull barge B. 255. These will be followed by another new tug-barge unit scheduled for delivery early next year, as well as the re-introduction of a retrofitted tug and barge toward the end of this year. Bouchard, which has been in the oil transportation business for almost a century, has been building its fleet of articulated tugs and barges since the early 1990s.

Completion of all three projects at Bollinger Shipyards will bring the company’s fleet up to 12 double-hulled barges with matching tugs, according to Morton Bouchard, president.

Introduction of Jane A. Bouchard was a welcome event for the family-owned company, which experienced a fatal explosion aboard one of its barges in New York in February and a serious oil spill in April in Buzzards Bay on the Massachusetts coast.

The company’s new tug measures 130 feet in length with a 38-foot beam. She is powered by a pair of EMD 16/645 F7BA diesels, which can develop 3,070 hp at 900 rpm, according to the builder. Engine power is transmitted through Reintjes reduction gears to a pair of 140-inch bronze propellers.

As with all the company’s new ATB units, the tug and barge are connected by an Intercontinental Engineering coupler system that allows the tug to remain in the notch in virtually all weather conditions and to maintain speeds in excess of 12 knots when pushing a loaded barge in reasonable weather. The new barge, with onboard quarters for crew, is 430 feet long with a 79-foot beam.

Scheduled for delivery by the end of this year is the tug Captain Fred and barge B. 275, both retrofitted vessels from the existing fleet.