New Orleans-based TradeWinds Towing will christen its refurbished 126'x36' anchor-handling tug Isabelle at this year’s International WorkBoat Show. The christening will take place on Thursday, Nov. 30.

The tug was originally built in 1978 at Main Iron Works, Houma, La., and delivered to McAllister Towing, New York. The tug operated in the Persian Gulf for many years until it was purchased by TradeWinds’ Capt. Dominique Smith.

“I bought the tug and brought it back here and stacked it. Then sent it back to Main Iron Works for the drydock work,” said Smith. “When that was done, I took it to Amelia (La.)” where the boat was outfitted at TradeWinds' facility in Amelia.

Main propulsion comes from twin EMD 16-645-E7 diesel engines, producing a total of 5,750 hp. The EMDs connect to wheels in Kort nozzles through two Falk marine gear boxes. “I didn’t replace the engines. I just overhauled the mains,” said Smith. The Isabelle is also fitted with a 250-hp bowthruster for added maneuverability. The boat has an 81.75-ton bollard pull.

Towing equipment includes a SMATCO 66 DAW200 double-drum waterfall winch; 2,400' of 2-1/4" tow wire and 2,000' of 2-1/4” anchor-handling wire. In addition, the boat has a 100-ton capacity with a stern roller capable of landing 15-ton anchors and Smith Berger 200-ton Shark Jaws with hydraulic tow pins.

Salvage gear consists of twin 3" diesel trash pumps, a welding machine, and two line-throwing guns.

Tankage includes 135,000 gals. of diesel fuel; 3,528 gals. lube oil; 707 gals. hydraulic oil; 24,000 gals. potable water; and an FCI Aquamiser 1,200 gpd water maker.

The electronics suite was completely reworked and includes a Rosepoint ECS and KVH satellite internet with phone and email.

The Isabelle will be ABS classed Maltese Cross A1 Towing and Maltese Cross AMS.


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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