Master Boat Builders Inc. announced in September that it will construct four new 85'x38'6" tugboats in its Coden, Ala., shipyard — two for Bay Houston Towing Co. and two for Suderman & Young Towing Co., both based in Houston.

Naval architect and marine engineering firm, Robert Allan Ltd. is designing the tugboats, which will meet U.S. Coast Guard regulations and will be classed through the American Bureau of Shipping.

This summer, Master Boat Builders laid the keels for the first Bay Houston boat and the first Suderman & Young boat. Under a contract order signed in February 2021, all four tugs are scheduled for delivery starting in July 2022.

The tugboats will produce a bollard pull of over 52 metric tons. Both of the vessels will feature two Caterpillar main engines (3512E), EPA Tier 4 certified and each producing 2,213 hp, along with two Schottel Z-Drive thrusters (SRP 430FP), and a Markey Machinery Co. bow winch (DEPCF-48).

“Through our integrated approach to vessel design, engineering and construction, Master Boat Builders has a comprehensive plan to build these new tugboats on schedule and at a value to Bay Houston Towing Co.,” said Garrett Rice, president of Master Boat Builders. “We are excited to work with Bay Houston on this project, with its long history of being one of the best tugboat operators in the United States. These vessels will only add to its impressive fleet of tugboats.”

Rice said his shipyard will utilize the same integrated approach to vessel design, engineering and construction for the Suderman & Young tugs as with the Bay Houston boats, and that it also has a comprehensive plan to build the new tugboats on schedule and at a value to Suderman & Young. “Suderman & Young is one of the premiere tugboat operators in the United States and we are excited to be partnering with them to provide a quality tugboat to serve the western Gulf Coast ports,” Rice said.

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.

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