Main Iron Works busy with new Bisso Z-drive tug

Houma, La.-based Main Iron Works Inc. is building a new 100’×38’×13’6” Z-drive tug for Bisso Towboat Co. Inc., New Orleans. The steel-hulled Alma S will be an almost exact replica of the Cecelia B. Slatten, a Z-drive tug Main Iron Works delivered to Bisso in May 1999. The only differences will be a few minor changes having to do with operational capabilities and crew comfort.

The Alma S will handle ship-assist duties involving mostly tankers and bulk carriers on the Mississippi River.

“This will definitely improve our fleet,” said Scott Slatten, whose family owns the business that is entering its 115th year of operation. “We’ve wanted to build this tug for three years. But right after we took delivery of the Cecelia, traffic plummeted on the Mississippi. It’s back now, so we’re building this boat.”

The tug’s main propulsion will come from two EPA-compliant EMD 16-645E6 diesels, producing 2,150 hp each at 900 rpm. The mains will propel Ulstein Aquamaster US2001 Z-drives, which will feature 90.5”-dia. stainless-steel props in Kort nozzles. The Alma S will have a bollard pull of 59 tons.

On deck will be a Markey DYSF-42 hydraulic bow winch, carrying 500’ of 8” circumference plasma line and a 100-ton quick release tow hook from Washington Chain & Supply, Seattle.

Ship’s service power will be the responsibility of two John Deere gensets, sparking 100kw of electrical power each.

Tankage will include 43,000 gals. of diesel, 11,000 gals. potable water and 1,800 gals. lube and hydraulic oil.

The electronics suite will feature a Simrad GPS/autopilot and Furuno radar and AIS units. Other equipment aboard will include a 1,000-gpm firefighting system, a Heli-Sep U.S. Coast Guard-approved oil/water separator, and an Owens Kleen Tank sewage treatment plant.

The ABS International Loadline-classed tug will join Bisso’s ship-assist fleet in December. “[Cecelia B. Slatten] is unbelievable,” said Slatten. “We haven’t had one day of downtime other than for inspections since we got her. It’s been a very pleasant experience.”                        — K. Hocke 


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