Blessey Marine Services Inc. christened a new 2,000-hp towboat on the New Orleans riverfront on Jan. 6. The 88'x35'x10'8" Ray “Chief” Toney was built by New Generation Shipbuilding LLC, Houma, La., and delivered to Harahan, La.-based Blessey on Dec. 18.
A pair of Cummins K38M engines that produce 1,000 hp each at 1,800 rpm power the new towboat. The engines turn a pair of Kahlenberg 74"x58" stainless steel 4-bladed propellers through Karl Senner-supplied Reintjes WAF 562 gears with 6.1:1 ratios. Two Cummins 6BTA-5.9 85-kW generators provide service power. On deck is a pair of Patterson electric 40-ton winches. Gulf Coast Air & Hydraulics supplied the dual electro-hydraulic FFU/NFU steering system.
Ancillary equipment includes a Blue Box digital marine voyage recording system, two 500-watt Carlisle & Finch remote control xenon spotlights, and fire detection and CO2 systems from Hiller Companies.
The delivery of the Ray “Chief” Toney gives Blessey a fleet of 82 towboats. The company is scheduled to take delivery of three more towboats by late summer, a 1,350 hp and 2,000 hp from Verret Shipyard, and a 2,000-hp sistership to the Toney from New Generation. The Toney will operate on the Mississippi River and the GIWW.