Refurbished 1982 tug back at work

This winter the pusher tug James T (formerly the PT Thompson) was back at work after undergoing a major refurbishment. The James T, named for the founder of Campbell Towing, James T. Campbell, was built in 1982 at Dakota Creek Industries.

The 85.4’x32.3′ tug had been powered by a pair of 1,000-hp Caterpillar 3512 engines. The owners replaced the Cats with a pair of bright red EPA Tier 3 1,000-hp Cummins QSK38 mains. The engines are turned by Twin Disc MG-540 gears with 6.18:1 ratios. The repowered boat has a pair of 4-bladed 74″x77″ props.

Some of the primary consideration for the selection of power and auxiliaries for the James T centered around space required, utilizing engine foundations and total cost of operations. The engines selected meet the primary requirements that it fit in the same space, utilize the same marine gear, and exceed expectations of fuel consumption that will support a great return on investment, Mike Fourtner, Cummins sales and service, said in a  statement announcing the refurbishment.

The tug is now powered by Cummins QSK38 diesel engines. Cummins photo

The tug is now powered by Cummins QSK38 diesel engines. Cummins photo

The engines selected utilize a high pressure common-rail fuel-injection system designed to benefit the owner with improved fuel consumption, reduced noise and vibration, while meeting Tier 3 requirements, said Fourtner. The quieter running engines make for improved crew comfort. In addition to the engine room and the wheelhouse, Cummins C-command engine data displays were installed in the galley for ease in monitoring engine performance.

The generators were also replaced. The old pair of 3304 Cats were replaced with a pair of quieter Tier 3 Cummins QSB7DM-110kW ABS packaged units with Stamford Newage UCM274E alternator ends. The owners took the additional step of adding an enclosed Cummins-Onan hotel generator for even greater crew comfort at dockside.

While the tug was torn apart, the owners invested the extra effort to give the tug a real freshening and life extension. “The pair of QSK38s performed as advertised, both while pushing a barge and under free running conditions.” Fourtner said. “The installation was a first class professional job. All engines were within spec and required parameters for a Cummins install.”

The refurbished tug was scheduled to head to its first job in February. The James T already has several towing contracts booked, including two dredging contracts for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractor, J.E. McAmis Inc., of Longview, Wash.

Tankage remains the same at 60,000 gals. of diesel, 4,000 gals. potable water and 650 gals. lube oil.

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