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.

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.