Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, Fla., has been awarded a contract from New Orleans-based Bisso Offshore LLC for the construction of a pair of Robert Allan Ltd.-designed RApport 2400 shiphandling tugs. The 80'x38'x13'2" tugs will be designed and built to ABS class and be USCG certified Subchapter M.

Bisso Offshore's parent, E.N. Bisso & Son Inc., is one of Eastern’s longtime customers and has taken delivery of four previous Z-drive tugs from the shipyard since 2006 — Josephine Anne, Beverly B., Elizabeth B and Archie T. Higgins. These two new RApport 2400 tugs have been customized by the designer and owner to provide specific operational features while also meeting new Tier 4 and Subchapter M requirements.

“We are honored to be working with our friends at E.N. Bisso once again on this exciting project,” Joey D’Isernia, president of Eastern, said in a prepared statement announcing the contract. “E.N. Bisso is a valued repeat customer for us, and we appreciate being selected to build this latest class of shiphandling tugs.”

Main propulsion for the tugs will be the responsibility of two Caterpillar 3512E Tier 4 diesel engines from Louisiana Cat, Reserve, La., producing 2,549 hp at 1,800 rpm each. The Cats will connect to Rolls-Royce US205 P20 Z-drives. Estimated bollard pull for the new tugs is 63 metric tons.

Deck equipment will include a Markey Machinery DEPCF-42 HS single-drum 40-hp, render/recovery, line tension display, electric escort hawser winch; Markey CEPB-40 SHP bitt capstan; Washington Chain & Supply 90-ton SWL electric air remote control, manual or remote release tow hook; and Counterfire ES-125-400, 1,500-gpm at 100 psi. pump and 4" Stang remote controlled fire monitor.

Capacities will include 28,000 gals. of fuel; 8,750 gals. water; and 1,700 gals of DEF/urea. Ship’s service power will come from twin John Deere 4045AFM85, Tier 3-powered gensets striking 99-kW of electrical power each.

Bisso Offshore currently has a tug fleet of 18 vessels featuring a mix of seven modern tractor-class/equivalent tugs along with conventional twin-screw tugs.

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.