Blessey Marine Services Inc. played host to a double towboat christening in New Orleans in late May for the 3,200-hp, 120’×34’ Jimmy Roussel, built at Kody Marine Inc., Harvey, La., and the 4,900-hp, 150’×42’ Mitch Jones, which was refurbished by Ashton Marine, also of Harvey. The Mitch Jones is now the highest horsepower vessel in the Blessey fleet.
The pushboats were docked bow to bow at the Port of New Orleans as company owner Walter Blessey and the boats’ namesakes addressed the guests.
“When I saw these boats [earlier in the week], I thought there was no way they would be ready for today,” Blessey said. “As you can see, the boats are here.”
New Orleans-based Cummins Mid-South and Karl Senner furnished the propulsion package on the Jimmy Roussel.
Marine Systems and Brady Diesel, both of Houma, La., did the engine overhauls for the refurbished Mitch Jones.
Blessey also announced that he had signed contracts with Verret Shipyard, Plaquemine, La., for three 1,200-hp towboats and two 2,400-hp towboats. In addition, Blessey awarded a contract to Orange, Texas-based Sneed Shipbuilding Inc. for construction of a 1,200-hp towboat.
Blessey is also having 15 30,000-bbl. double-skinned tank barges built, 10 of which will be asphalt/black oil barges and five clean service barges. Jeffboat, Jeffersonville, Ind., will build at least 10 of the 15 barges.
Following the delivery of the aforementioned equipment, Blessey Marine Services will own and operate 46 towboats, 55 double-skinned black oil 30,000-bbl. barges, 24 double-skinned clean 30,000-bbl. barges, and 18 10,000-bbl. barges. — K. Hocke