Weeks Marine, Cranford, N.J., has taken delivery of two new 62'6"x25' modified lugger tugs from Rodriguez Shipbuilding, Coden, Ala. The first — the Jack K — was delivered in late March of this year. The second is a sister tug to the Jack K — the William O, which is expected to be delivered by the end of July or first part of August 2021. Rodriquez is also building Weeks a third tug — the James K — a 78' triple screw with a delivery date of late October 2021. 

“Weeks decided to invest in what we have termed a modified lugger tug. The intension was to develop a small versatile vessel that could support dredging operations, transport a significant amount of fuel/water, and perform towing operations to mobilize jobsites,” said Weeks’ senior port engineer and project manager Shaun O’Brien. “With regard to some of the robust characteristics we have a ½" hull, ½" side shell, and 3/8" deck.” 

Main propulsion for the 95-GT Jack K and William O comes from twin Cummins QSK 19-MRCS diesel engines, producing 750 hp each. The mains connect to 66"x54" Kahlenberg 4-bladed propellers through Twin Disc MGX-5222 DC marine gears with 6.0:1 ratios.

The tugs, which have a 45' vertical clearance and an 8' maximum draft, feature Nabrico DF-156-40-15BE facing winches with 1"x84' wire and a 40-ton holding capacity and a single drum winch from Coastal Equipment with 900'x1" wire and a 500'x1" whip. The winch has 50,000-lbs. pulling capacity and 150,000-lbs. brake hold. There’s also a Cummins QSB7-DM powered tow motor.

Ship’s service power comes from two Cummins QSB7-DM gensets, sparking 65 kW of electricity.

The James K and the William O are heavily fender’ed to protect the hull when moving anchors and making pipe connections. “Our stainless four blade Kahlenberg wheels are pitched more towards torque rather than speed. All deck connections and fills are stainless as are the handrails and stern cap rail,” said O’Brien. “All of the interior water piping is welded/flanged stainless. We installed a direct to bulwark tire system that eliminates the need for tire hanging chains. This ends up with a much quieter ride for the crew and prevents a significant amount of chain and tire wear. We have designed a backup battery system powered by lithium-ion batteries which maintains the electronics, interior communication, and lighting.”

Tankage for the tugs include 16,000 gals. of fuel; 12,000 gals. of water; and 350 gals. each of lube oil and hydraulic oil. Winch capacities include 12,000 gals. fuel; 6,000 gals. water; and 350 gals. lube oil.

The new tugs are built to Subchapter M ocean standards to support dredging and construction project along the Gulf Coast and Atlantic seaboard. The tugs have 360° visibility from the wheelhouse with four steering stations — port and starboard wings, center of the dash and at the stern of the wheelhouse where the captain has a complete electronics suit to operate the anchors and tow winch in all weather conditions.

The tugs are capable of handling anchors via their anchor chute which has been divided to allow one side to handle towing duties and the other to handle anchor duties. The tugs are set up with two electric push winches to handle barges with crew safety in mind.

“The tugs handle well. They have a balanced feel with great rudder power, which allows the tug to utilize all of the vessel thrust to work in the tight confines of WMI dredging and construction sites,” said Weeks’ towing manager Capt. Ben Peterson. “Crew well-being was taken into consideration and the vessels were built with crew endurance as a priority.”

Fire suppression systems include three 100-lbs. fixed CO2 bottles installed by Hiller

The interior lighting are all slim line led lights manufactured by Macris Industries. Half of the interior lighting is on backup. Any 24-volt lighting can be used with this system. 

Crew comfort was always a consideration throughout the design. All bunks are fitted with a pillowtop twin XL mattress. Each bunk has a TV and the state rooms share a cable box. All four rooms and galley can independently watch different channels. 

All interior cabinetry is custom made with hardwood panels and stainless steel Perko hardware. There are granite countertops in the galley and heads. 

“We have a ¾" thick Dex-O-Tex floor system with rubberized overlay,” said O’Brien. “This flooring is robust, reduces engine room noise, and provides a comfortable walking surface.”


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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