Dann Marine Towing has acquired two boats and a lot of history from Kirby Corp. Chesapeake City, Md.-based Dann Marine has added the Diamond Coast (ex-Chief) and Carolina Coast (ex-Falcon) bringing its fleet to twenty tugs and twenty-one barges. Both boats were part of the Allied Transportation fleet when that company was acquired by Kirby in 2012.
The Carolina Coast. Dann Marine photo.The Carolina Coast is 118'x33'x18.5' and is powered by two 12-251C Alco turbos. Built in 1970 at Bludworth Shipyard in Corpus Christi, Texas, the Carolina Coast has worked her way through the Gulf under some well-known company flags including Halliburton and Zapata. Then she came to Baltimore to run containers where Allied bought her. Currently, the boat is at Colonna Shipyard in Norfolk, Va. undergoing modifications to regain fuel and water capacity that were lost in prior modifications.
"We are working with ABS to get her fuel and water capacities back as close as we can to what they were," said J.C. Dann, president. "We need her to have some longer legs."
Dann said he has watched the Chief go by his office window on the C & D Canal for years and always liked the boat. Built in 1979 by Modern Marine Power of Houma, La., the vessel is 84'x30'x9.8' and is powered by twin GM B-16 149 diesels.
When Dann Marine acquired the Chief they also acquired her captain, Tommy Wooten. Wooten has spent his career on the boat, starting as first mate to his brother Danny in 1979. Eventually, Wooten and his wife formed T & C Towing and purchased the vessel. He has run her from near Philadelphia, to Hopewell, Va. for twenty years on the same job: Towing a 35,000 barrel chemical barge. The roundtrip averages six days.
Wooten, 65, said that being an owner-operator has become more of a headache over the years and as he began thinking about transitioning to retirement, it made sense to approach the Danns.
Tug Chief at C & D Canal circa 2005. A.R. Jordan photo."They are a family business like us, and I knew they were interested in the boat," Wooten said. "I am very happy to go back to doing what I love to do, which is running this boat without the paperwork and personnel problems, it is like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders."
The chemical barge run never missed a beat when Dann Marine took over.
"We painted her in our colors on the fly and Tommy joined the company with her," said J.C. Dann.
When completed, the Carolina Coast will join the fleet towing along the East and Gulf Coasts and into the Caribbean.