Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc., Panama City, Fla., launched the 100'x40'x16'4"escort/rescue Z- drive tug Ava M. McAllister for McAllister Towing & Transportation Co. Inc. on Dec. 7, just 58 days after Hurricane Michael devastated the area.

The escort/rescue Z-drive tug design provided by Jensen Maritime Consultants, Seattle is currently under construction at Eastern’s Allanton facility. The vessel arrived at Eastern earlier this year and is scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2019.

The Ava M. McAllister (ESG Hull #222) is from the same Jensen Maritime 100' Z-drive tug design as the Rosemary McAllister (ESG Hull #224) and the upcoming Capt. Jim McAllister (ESG Hull #223), tugs constructed at Eastern.

The Rosemary McAllister was named one of the Significant Boats of 2018 by WorkBoat magazine and recognized at the 2018 International Workboat Show held in New Orleans last month. The lead vessel of this four-vessel series is the Capt. Brian McAllister delivered built by Horizon Shipbuilding Inc. in 2017.

Main propulsion for the Ava M. McAllister will come from twin Caterpillar 3516E, Tier 4 diesel engines producing 3,386 hp at 1,800 rpm each. The Cats connect to Schottel SRP-4000 fixed pitch Z-drives in drop-in tubs.

Ship’s service power will come from Cat C7.1 turbocharged gensets, sparking 118 kW of electrical power at 1,800 rpm each. Firefighting apparatus are powered by two Cat C18 Tier 3 auxillary diesel connected to FFS 1200LBS monitors, pumping a minimum of 5,284 gpm.

On deck will be a Markey Machinery series TES-40 single drum tow winch (or approved equal), bow mounted.

The new tug will be ABS Maltese Cross A1 Towing, Escort, Maltese Cross AMS, FFV-1, Ice Class “DO” (but without ABS notation), EPA Tier 4


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.