Gulf Island delivers 9,200-hp towboat to Marquette

The boat was designed and built by Gulf Island Marine Fabricators, Houma, La. CT Marine, Edgecomb, Maine, and Ships Architects Inc., Daphne, Ala., also helped design the vessel. The new towboat’s propulsion package features twin EMD 20-710 G7C Tier 3 diesels, producing a total of 9,200 hp at 900 rpm. The mains are connected to 5-bladed, stainless steel Sound Propeller wheels in Kort nozzles through Lufkin RHS3200HG gears. This gives the steel-hulled Rick Calhoun a running speed of 8 knots.

 “Large horsepower, new construction is rare,” John Paul Eckstein, president and CEO of Marquette, said at the boat’s christening in September in New Orleans. 

Marquette officials said they were pleased with Gulf Island’s work. “We signed the contract in July 2014 and took delivery in August 2015,” Joshua D. Esper, Marquette’s senior vice president, said at the christening. “Actual construction was less than a year.”

Capacities include 136,000 gals. of fuel; 31,500 gals. potable water; and 1,600 gals. lube oil.

Significant ancillary equipment includes a Furuno electronics suite, deck winches from Patterson (BC-40), a Nabrico (DF156-60-11), CO2 fire suppression system from Herbert Hiller, a fire alarm system from Honeywell’s Fire Lite (MS-4), and a Carrier air conditioner.

The Rick Calhoun, which has a steering system by EMI, is the first towboat in 37 years named for someone who is not a member of the Eckstein family. Calhoun is president of Cargo Carriers, Wayzata, Minn., a subsidiary of Minnetonka, Minn.-based Cargill Inc., and is in charge of Cargill’s barge and marine operations in North America.

Ship’s service power comes from two John Deere-powered gensets, sparking 222 kW of electrical power each.

Gulf Island has two sisterships to the Rick Calhoun currently under construction — the first is due out in February 2016 and the second in August 2016. The only difference is that the third boat will feature Reintjes reduction gears instead of Lufkin. — Kirk Moore and


Ken Hocke


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