Conrad Shipyard christened Hull C-1149, a 361'x62'x24'6" 55,000-bbl. tank barge at Conrad Deepwater South, Amelia, La., last week. The barge, which has a 20' draft, was designed by Bristol Harbor Group, Bristol Harbor, R.I., for Baltimore-based Vane Brothers.

Meanwhile, over in Palatka, Fla., St. Johns Ship Building continues to construct the 100'x34'x15' Elizabeth Anne-class tugs for Vane Brothers. The fifth of eight tugs in the class, Philadelphia, is scheduled to be delivered in early March, the same month as the 55,000-bbl. barge from Conrad.

“None of the 50,000-barrel barges were actually ‘married’ to a tug,” Jim Demske, Vane’s senior port captain, said in an email. “They just seem to be coming out at the same time. And a 50 (50,000 bbl.) with these 4,200-hp tugs is a near perfect match.”

Designed by Entech Designs, the Elizabeth Anne-class tugs get their 4,200 hp by employing twin Tier 3, 3516 Caterpillar diesels from Ring Power. The Cats are connected to Hung Shin 4-bladed, 104", stainless-steel wheels from HS Marine Propulsion through Reintjes 7:1 gears from Karl Senner. On deck is a DD-200 Intercontinental tow winch.

Others features include Simrad navigation electronics, Unlimited Controls alarm panels, Jastram steering, Rexroth controls, Duramax coolers from East Park Radiator, and Simplan dripless shaft seals.

Tugs and barges that are meant to be paired are also underway at Conrad for Vane Brothers. The new 110'x38'x17' Assateague-class ATB (articulated tug/barge unit) tugs, being built at Conrad’s Orange, Texas, facility, are designed by Castleman Maritime LLC, Clear Lake Shores, Texas, and developed using ABS rules for a classed vessel. Castleman Maritime’s designers worked closely with the designers at Bristol Harbor Group, who designed the 405'x74', 80,000-bbl. ATB barges that the new tugs will have as mates. The design features the Beacon Finland JAK-700 coupling system that will connect each tug to its designated barge.

The tugs will be powered by two Cummins QSK-60 diesels each producing 2,200 hp at 1,800 rpm. The engines will turn open 4-bladed, 102", bronze propellers mounted on 9.5" shafts through Reintjes WAF 873 marine gears with 7.087:1 reduction ratios supplied by Karl Senner. Two 125-kW Cummins generators and one 60-kW Cummins emergency generator will power the tugs’ electrical systems. Crew access to the barges will be accomplished via a Schoelhorn-Albrecht custom-made gangway.

“The whole experience working with Vane and Bristol Harbor has been a really good one,” Gregory E. Castleman said. “They’ve been great to work with.” The first tug, Assateague, is scheduled for delivery in August.


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.