Tidewater Transportation and Terminals, Vancouver, Wash., have taken delivery of the 4,500-hp Crown Point, a new custom-built, state-of-the-art towboat built at Vigor Industrial, Portland, Ore. Crown Point is the first of a series of three towboats being built at Vigor for Tidewater, and will join the company’s current fleet of 16 vessels and 160 barges in mid-April.

“The launching of the Crown Point, and the forthcoming Granite Point and Ryan Point vessels, marks an important step for Tidewater," said Marc Schwartz, maintenance and engineering manager at Tidewater. "The vessels will strengthen our fleet, as well as reinforce Tidewater’s commitment to our customers, community, and environment.”

The Crown Point is an environmentally-friendly vessel with reduced air emissions and improved fuel efficiency. Designed by CT Marine, Edgecomb, Maine, the vessel features a wheelhouse with 360-degree visibility through full height windows, leading edge navigation and communications equipment, and enhanced accommodations for the captain and crew.

The 102'x38' Crown Point is powered by two Caterpillar 3516C EPA Tier 3 certified diesel engines producing 2,240 hp each at 1,600 rpm. The engines drive two 92”x100” fixed pitch, stainless steel propellers through CT28 Kort nozzles capable of a service speed of 8 knots. To help navigate the Columbia River Gorge's extreme currents and swells, the towboat has an enhanced steering system utilizing four steering and four flanking rudders.

Electrical power is provided by two Cat C7.1, Tier 3 generators, rated at 480v, 200 kW at 1,800 rpm. The generators are controlled through an automatic transfer system that ensures the vessel will recover from a generator power loss in less than 30 seconds. Deck machinery includes seven Patterson WWP 65E-7.5, 65-ton electric deck winches, with pilothouse remote operation and local push button control stations on the main deck. Each winch has Samson 1 3/8” Turbo 75 Synthetic Line.

In order to utilize the newest technology and minimize power usage, variable frequency drives were used in all major rotating machinery applications and LED lighting was employed in both interior and exterior lighting applications. The vessel is fitted with a Kidde NOVEC 1230 fire suppression system. Centralized fire detection and alarms cover both the machinery spaces and accommodations.

“During the last year and a half, a great deal of effort went into designing, engineering and building a towboat that would meet or exceed performance parameters,” said Bruce Reed, chief operations officer and vice president of Tidewater. “With crew endurance being a priority, we employed Noise Control Engineers (of Billerica, Mass.) to develop a sound and vibration control package for the vessel. By incorporating Christie & Grey vibration control mounts and comprehensive acoustic insulation, noise levels register at less than 60 decibels in the accommodations during vessel operation.”

Larry Bartel, a Tidewater captain since 1981, was one of two captains who piloted the Crown Point during sea trials. “Not only is it the quietest tug I have ever piloted, but it has tremendous rudder power so it can turn around a loaded tow precisely and swiftly,” said Bartel.

The new towboat will transport and maneuver barges up and down the waters and through the navigation locks along the Columbia Snake River.

“The delivery of the Crown Point represents the conclusion of a successful project that has further diversified Vigor’s new build portfolio,” said Bryan Nichols, director of sales at Vigor Fab.

The christening ceremony for the Crown Point is scheduled in late May.

Tidewater operates the largest barge transportation and terminal network on the Columbia-Snake River system. The company transports a wide range of cargo among a network of ports, terminals and grain elevators throughout the entire Columbia-Snake River system and also operates five terminals and five pipelines.

For more information about Tidewater Transportation and Terminals, please visit: www.tidewater.com