Master Marine Inc. has signed a contract to build six 67'x28', Subchapter M-compliant towboats designed by Entech Designs LLC, Kenner, La.

The Houma, La.-based shipyard has laid the keels for the first two vessels, which will be working for Osage Marine Services, St. Louis. The rest will be operating in the lower Mississippi River system for an undisclosed customer.

“We are very happy to be teaming up with these companies to provide them and their customers the latest towboats and equipment available along with meeting Subchapter M requirements,” Steve Authement, director of business development inland and Gulf region, said in a statement announcing the newbuilds. “The first two vessels will be delivered and placed into service by the summer of 2019 with the additional four vessels to follow in close succession.”

Each tug will be powered by a pair of Laborde Products, S6R2-Y3MPTAW Mitsubishi 803 HP Tier III diesel marine engines to be operated at 1,400 rpm coupled to Twin Disc 5321 gears. Laborde Products is also providing electrical power with two Northern Lights M65C13.2S 65KW Tier III electronic controlled generators with RW Fernstrum keel coolers throughout.

A pair of Sound Propeller Services Inc. 70"x48"x7" 4-bladed stainless steel propellers will provide thrust through twin J & S Machine Works Inc. 7" ABS Grade 2 propeller shafts with all Thordon Marine Industries Corp. bearings, Thorplas bushings and shaft seals. Custom Hydraulic Components Inc. will be supplying the steering system for the two flanking rudders.

Gulf Coast Air & Hydraulics Inc. will provide a pair of Quincy F325 reciprocating air compressors and ventilation fans. Schuyler Maritime, LLC will supply all of the 11"x18" rubber fendering around the entire perimeter of the vessel and push knees. R.S. Price & Son Inc. will produce a Mitsubishi mini-split heat pump HVAC system in all interior spaces with Blakeney Marine providing all custom woodwork and interior finishes.

Donavon Marine will supply the large aluminum Diamond Sea Glaze windows and Dales Welding and Fabricators LLC will supply the aluminum exterior doors. Dickson Marine Supply to provide a pair of Wintech 40-ton deck winches and New World Inc. will provide all of the electronics and communications.

Unlimited Control & Supply Inc. will supply the alarm system.

Capacities include 10,400 gals. of fuel, 4,359 gals. potable water and 9,500 gals. ballast water along with providing a maximum 7'9" working draft. Each vessel will have three crew staterooms, 1-1⁄2 baths and a full galley arrangement.


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.