On May 1, Eastern Shipbuilding Group delivered the James Dale Robin to Florida Marine Transporters, Mandeville, La. The 90’x32’x10’ James Dale Robin is the 57th inland towboat constructed by Eastern Shipbuilding and the second of a five towboat option exercised by Florida Marine in 2013.

This ongoing series of towboats originally began with a 25 vessel contract with on-time deliveries starting in 2006. It has expanded to become the largest single towboat build contract in history, the company said. The additional five vessel contract is being constructed from the design furnished by Gilbert Associates, Boston, Mass.

These vessels will be the first in the series with EPA Tier 3 main propulsion engines and generators delivered to Florida Marine. The vessel is powered by two Caterpillar 3512C Tier 3 diesel engines rated at 1,500 hp at 1,600 rpm provided by Louisiana Power Systems. The reduction gears are direct coupled Twin-Disc Model MG-5600 with a 6.04:1 reduction supplied by Stewart Supply, Harvey, La. Electrical power is provided by two 99kW John Deere 4045AFM85 99KW Tier 3 generator sets rated for 60 Hz, at 208 VAC provided by Kennedy Engine Company, Biloxi, Miss. These diesel engines comply with the current EPA Tier 3/MARPOL control of emissions of nitrogen oxides from marine diesel engines. 

On April 25, Eastern christened and launched the Bravante VIII for Boldini S.A., Bravante Group of Brazil. The 284’x 60’x 24’-6” platform supply vessel is the fourth launched in a series of five. 

The Bravante V, the first PSV in the series, was delivered last year. The second vessel, the Bravante VI, was launched in August of 2013 and delivered in February 2014. The third vessel, the Bravante VII, has completed regulatory trials and will be delivered soon.

The vessels in this series and are ABS A-1, SOLAS/IMO, FFV-1, DPS-2, AC Diesel-Electric powered, twin propulsion PSVs. They feature four Cummins 16-cylinder turbo-charged IMO Tier II diesel generator engines each rated at 1825 kW at 1,800 rpm. Cummins also furnished the four Marathon Model 744 690VAC main generators. Main propulsion power is provided by two 690VAC electric motors driving two Schottel combi-drives single fixed pitch propellers with nozzles rated at 2,500 kW at 750 rpm each for a total of 6,700 hp. Schottel also provides two STT 4 fixed pitch reversing tunnel thrusters rated at 1,180 kW at 1,170 rpm, each with direct coupled Hyundai 690VAC electric motors. GE Energy Power Conversion provides the complete system integrated diesel electric package, including the thruster drives, motors, control systems, DP system, switchboards, motor control centers, automation and navigation/ communication electronics. These vessels are capable of a maximum speed of 14 knots with a cruising speed of 12 knots. 

The Bravante VIII has bunks for 30 in 12 staterooms.


Deadweight tonnage: 4,500 LT
Cargo fuel oil capacity: 442,675 USG (1,600m3)
Fuel oil day-tanks 62,608 USG (237m3)
Potable water capacity: 26,575 USG (100.6)
Drill water/ballast capacity: 513,550 USG (1,944m3)
Brine/additional drill water capacity: 5,030 bbls. (800m3)
Liquid mud/fuel oil capacity: 5,030 bbls. (800m3)
Dry-bulk mud: 8,631 cuft. (244m3)
Clear deck area: 9,365 sqft. (870m2)
Firefighting vessel: ABS FFV-1, 2x5284 GPM monitors w/deluge system