On Aug. 28, the tug Breaker II completed its delivery voyage to the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, operated by the New York Power Authority, the nation’s largest state power organization.
The 56'x18'5"x6'9", twin-screw tug with a 4'6" draft, was designed by Bristol Harbor Group, Bristol, R.I., and was built by Blount Boats, Warren, R.I.
The tug, which carries a crew of four to eight, was designed with a reinforced hull for breaking ice efficiently. It will operate in seasonal ice near the entrance to and within the upper Niagara River. The dual-purpose vessel will prevent ice flow from clogging the intakes to the hydroelectric power plant and facilitate the installation and removal of ice booms.
Main propulsion comes from two Caterpillar Tier 3 series C-9 engines, each producing 375 hp at 1,800 rpm. The Cats connect to two 38"x34" stainless steel Michigan Wheel props, giving the Breaker II a cruising speed of 7.5 knots and a top speed of 10.5 knots. Ship’s service power is the responsibility of twin Caterpillar Tier 3 C2.2 marine gensets, sparking 27 kW of electrical power at 1,800 rpm each.
Steel hull plating thickness ranges from ¾", 5/8" and ½" with 1" and 2" thick skeg plates. Ice Belt plating and plating to 1/3 abaft of the stem is ABS Grade “D” including the 1" and 2" skeg parts. All other plating is ABS Grade “A” steel.
Other features of the new tug include two 4.5"-dia. x 13'-long Aquamet shafts from National Specialty, Thordon shaft and rudder bearings, Twin Disc EC300-3 Stations engine controls, R.W. Fernstrum & Co. WEKA Box Coolers, Auto-Nav Series 2000 Electrohydraulic steering system, Kidde 350# NOVEC fire system (Hiller Systems Inc.) fire suppression, and three Carlisle & Finch 12" 350 watt searchlights. Capacities include two 390 gal. tanks and 20 gals. fresh water.
The vessel’s hull, machinery, electrical systems and safety equipment complies with the new USCG Subchapter M — Towing Vessels. This is the first Subchapter M certified vessel built at the Blount shipyard.