On Jan. 31, Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. launched the second of two 80'x38'x13'2" 5,100-hp Z-drive tugs, the A. Thomas Higgins, for Bisso Offshore LLC, a division of New Orleans-based E.N. Bisso & Son Inc.

The RAL RApport 2400 shiphandling tug design is from Robert Allan Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia. The tug is currently under construction at Eastern’s Allanton, Fla., facility. The C.D. White, the first vessel of the series, was delivered in January.

Main propulsion will come from two Caterpillar 3512E Tier 4 diesel engines, producing 2,549 hp at 1,800 rpm each, connected to twin Kongsberg/Rolls-Royce US205 P20 Z-drives. Bollard pull for the C.D. White was measured at 67.5 short tons (stern pull), 65.2 short tons (bow pull).

Ship’s service power will be the responsibility of two John Deere 4045AFM85 gensets from Kennedy Engines Co., each sparking 99 kW of electrical power at 1,800 rpm.

On deck will be a Markey Machinery DEPCF-42 HS single drum, 40-hp render/recovery, line tension display, electric escort hawser winch, a Markey CEPB-40 5-hp tow bitt capstan, and a Washington Chain & Supply 90-ton SWL electric-air remote control, manual or remote release tow hook.

Bisso Offshore is one of Eastern’s long-time customers. The tug operator has taken delivery of four previous modern Z-drive ship assist tugs from Eastern starting in 2007 (Josephine AnneBeverly BElizabeth B, and the Archie T. Higgins). The two new RAL RApport 2400 tugs have been customized by the designer, builder, and owner to provide specific operational features including a high bollard pull forward and aft, enhanced maneuverability and escort performance, better fuel economy, crew comfort, safety under the new Coast Guard Subchapter M requirements, and reduced emissions that meet the new EPA Tier 4 emissions regulations.

Capacities will include 28,000 gals. of fuel oil; 8,750 gals. potable water; and two 850-gal. urea tanks. There is also a Counterfire ES-125-400, 1,500-gpm at 100 psi, diesel engine driven firefighting system, including a 4″ Stang remote controlled fire monitor.