American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL), Jeffersonville, Ind., christened its newest towboat on Friday at the New Orleans riverfront. Built and designed by Bayou La Batre, Ala.-based Steiner Construction, the 88'x35'x11' steel-hulled Jeff Kindl is named for ACBL’s vice president, Gulf Operations.

The barge line’s senior vice president and COO, Paul Tobin, went through a chronology of Kindl’s career beginning in 1970 with his first maritime job as a deckhand for Joliet, Ill.-based Valley Line. Tobin’s speech to the large crowd that had gathered in a ballroom at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel centered on how Kindl is respected throughout the industry — dependable and hard working. Near the end of his remarks, he broadened his field to include all the men and women who work for ACBL and in the inland industry as a whole when he said, “Love and support of family is critical.”

Main propulsion for the Jeff Kindl comes from twin Caterpillar 3512, Tier 3 diesel engines, producing 1,500 hp at 1,800 rpm each and supplied by Thompson Power Systems, Spanish Fort, Ala. The Cats are connected to Sound 82"x72" stainless steel props through Twin Disc MGX-5600 marine gears with 6:1 reduction ratios and furnished by Sewart Supply, Harvey, La.

ACBL’s president and CEO, Mark Knoy, said Kindl is a can-do guy whose attitude rubs off on those around him. “Jeff, thanks for all you have done for us,” he said.

Twin Disc also manufactured the towboat’s controls, EC 300s. Gulf Coast Air & Hydraulics, Mobile, Ala., supplied the Jastram Engineering steering system and rudder angle indicators. Other electronics manufacturers with products in the wheelhouse include Standard Horizon and Furuno.

Jeff Kindl

Jeff Kindl

Kindl said when he got to ACBL he was immediately impressed with the quality of the people who worked there, and those standards are still as high today. "A great many deals are still done with a handshake," he said. As for the christening ceremony in his honor, he said, “It’s a very humbling experience.” Kindl's wife, Patti, also an ACBL alum, christened the boat named after her husband.

Ship's service power is the responsibility of two John Deere-powered gensets, sparking 99 kW of electrical power each. Capacities include 38,000 gals. of fuel, 10,000 gals. water, and 500 gals. lube oil. The new towboat carries a crew of 10.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.