The Rosemary McAllister, second in a series of four 100’x40’ tugboats, 6.770-hp tugboats is joining the McAllister Towing and Transportation Co., Inc. fleet in Norfolk, Va.

Newly delivered by Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, Fla., the tug is underway and expected in Chesapeake Bay early next week, according to McAllister officials.

Like its first sister ship Capt. Brian T. McAllister, the Rosemary is powered by two Caterpillar 3561E Tier 4 engines turning twin Schottel SRP4000FP drive units. Rated for 80 metric tons of bollard pull, the new tug outperformed during sea trials and achieved 82.75 tons during her American Bureau of Shipping bollard pull certification.

The tugs are the first Tier 4 powered towing vessels on the Atlantic coast, designed to handle the new generation of neo-Panamax containerships now regularly calling at New York and Norfolk. A Markey class III escort winch on the bow and a Markey 2 1/4" wire towing winch on the stern “puts the Rosemary at the head of her class of ship docking tugs,” company officials said in announcing the delivery. “State of the art remote controlled fire monitors and deluge systems (ABS FiFi certified) complete the package, making the tug a total escort /ship docking/rescue vessel unique to any East Coast port.”

The Brian McAllister arrived in late summer 2017 at the port of New York and New Jersey as the new ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs) began calling – at 1,200’ in length a harbinger of even bigger ships being built for container lines. Virginia is likewise seeing growth in that traffic.

“She will make a huge difference in Hampton Roads,” said Capt. J. Elliott Westall, McAllister’s vice president and general manager. “We have seen a major increase in the arrivals of ULCV’s, and this tug with her power will be able to expertly handle the largest vessels in the market today.

“With her tethered escort abilities, the Rosemary will be a real game changer. Bring on the 1,500’ container ships, McAllister and our team are ready!”

The Brian McAllister was built by Horizon Shipbuilding Inc., Bayou La Batre, Ala., and figured in that company’s financial difficulty and bankruptcy filing in late October 2017, just weeks after the tug was delivered. At the time Horizon president Travis R. Short explained his company encountered much higher labor and material costs than anticipated in installing one of the first Tier 4 power and emissions control packages in a U.S. tugboat.

The Rosemary and a third hull that had been started at Horizon were transferred to Eastern Shipbuilding, which has a long relationship building boats for McAllister. The next two tugs are expected for delivery in 2019.

The Rosemary McAllister is named after the matriarch of the company, wife of chairman Capt. Brian A. McAllister wife and mother of president Buckley McAllister and CFO Eric McAllister.

Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.