‘Twin Towers’ assist with Manhattan dredge work

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The 96-foot Chesapeake Coast and Discovery Coast on the Kill Van Kull near the Bayonne Bridge, which connects Staten Island, N.Y., with Bayonne, N.J. The tops of the push knees ride 25 feet above the water, while the pilothouse affords the navigation crew a 50-foot height of eye.

Tugboaters and tugboat watchers took notice of identical twin tugs working in the Port of New York this spring and summer.

“The guys on the dredge call us the Twin Towers,” said Capt. Barry Sadler, referring to the Dann Marine Towing tugboats Chesapeake Coast and Discovery Coast.

The dredge in question was Great Lakes Dredge & Dock’s No. 55, which the Dann Marine tugs were working with as part of an operation to take dredged spoil from the cruise ship terminals in Manhattan and dump it offshore. Sadler made his observation from Chesapeake Coast’s sole pilothouse, six decks above the water, with a 50-foot height of eye.

Mate Jason Strohecker on the joysticks of Chesapeake Coast  as Capt. Barry Sadler looks on.


The tall pilothouses are not the only vertical elements that are unusual about the two tugs. The push knees, each with a thick wrap of M&M Bumper rubber, rise 25 feet from the waterline.

“So far the knees have worked great with everything we’ve gone up against,” said Sadler. “It doesn’t matter how high the barge is because the knees will reach up. And they fit into some good sized notches snug and tight.”

Left to right: Mate Jason Strohecker, Engineer James Seagle, deck hands Chris Nance and Arnel Sarino, and Capt. Barry Sadler.


On barges with a smaller notch, the crew performs a regular face-up with the face wires running back along the tug, then through sheaves on the aft deck and back out to the barge’s stern corners. “And with the Nabrico winches, it’s a fast makeup. We do all of the winching from the wheelhouse using cameras. The tugs have eight cameras set up to cover all of the deck areas, wired to monitors in the pilothouse.”

A tour of Chesapeake is a “Jack in the Beanstalk” experience. The visitor ascends a staircase from the main deck’s galley and crew quarters to the officer’s quarters on 01 deck, then continues up through an office open to the staircase on 02 deck, to a similar arrangement in the chart room on 03 deck. A small galley, head and electronics circle the stairs on 04 deck leading to 05 and the pilothouse above.

One of the two Caterpillar 3512 B diesels which generate a total of 3,000 hp through Reintjes 6:1 gears. The boats’ Rice nozzles and triple-vane rudders give them outstanding maneuverability.


The propulsion on both tugs is provided by two Caterpillar 1,500-hp, 3512 B diesels and Reintjes 6:1 gears. On the aft deck is an Intercon DD-200 towing winch with 2,000 feet of 2-inch wire. The two Nabrico 60-ton deck winches are on the foredeck shaded by those big knees.

“Her maneuverability is awesome with the triple-vane rudders and the Rice nozzles,” said Sadler. “She can turn on a dime.”

Dann Marine Towing is a family owned company located in Chesapeake City, Md., on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, operated by Robert Dann Sr., Robert Dann Jr., Christopher Dann and J.C. Dann.