In the 55 years since Ted Corbin found Metal Trades, Inc., Yonges Island, S.C., the family-owned company earned a well-established reputation for ship repair and building barges. The company marked a milestone when it launched its first newbuild twin screw pushboat, the 50’x24’x5.5’ Capt Cooper for Bald Head Island Limited, LLC.
Designed by naval architects CT Marine, Edgecomb, Me., the custom-built shallow draft Capt Cooper will push a barge that serves Bald Head Island, a residential and vacation community in North Carolina. Propulsion comes from a pair of John Deere 6135AFM85 Tier 3 diesels with keel coolers, each producing 425 hp at 1,900 rpm, transmitted through ZF W350 electric shift gears at 3.968:1 ratio. The boat is equipped with four main rudders and four flanking rudders for maneuverability. The pushboat is built to ABS specifications but not classed.
This is the first self-propelled vessel built by Metal Trades, where the Corbin family and up to 180 employees specialize in government and commercial ship repair, new barge construction and heavy metal fabrication. The company has a large Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract servicing U.S. Army watercraft on the East Coast, and an Agreement for Boat Repair (ABR) with the Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command.
But the Capt Cooper, overseen by project manager John Geiges, is a big deal.
“The launch of this vessel is a very proud moment for Metal Trades, Inc. Thank you to everyone involved in construction of this push-boat. We are very honored and excited to have the opportunity to build a pushboat for Bald Head Island,” said Rusty Corbin, Metal Trades’ chairman.