On Tuesday, Patti Marine Enterprises delivered a 121'x36'x18' tug for Moran Towing Corp. to the downtown waterfront of Pensacola, Fla. The occasion was the christening of the articulated tug/barge tug Mariya Moran.

Two of Moran's heavy hitters — Paul R. Tregurtha, chairman and CEO and his son, Ted Tregurtha, president — were on hand on Pensacola Bay in the warm Florida sun.

Ted Tregurtha said the new vessel is “a culmination of a project started three years ago. We’re really grateful that we found Patti.”

This is the first tug Patti has built for Moran. Its 160,000-bbl. barge, Texas, which will connect to the Mariya Moran to form the new ATB, is currently under construction at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

The new ATB has a height of eye of 58'8" and will push oil products around the Gulf Coast area to start. Main propulsion for the tug comes from twin EMD 12-710G7C-T3 (Tier 3) diesels, producing 3,000 hp at 900 rpm each. The EMDs connect to 5-bladed HS Marine Propulsion wheels through Lufkin RHS2500HG marine gears with 4.458:1 reduction ratios.

Paul Tregurtha said that safety has been of the utmost importance to Moran, allowing the company to grow the way he and James R. Baker envisioned it when they acquired the towing company from Thomas Moran in 1994. “Moran went into double hulls way ahead of the curve,” he said.

Growth was another goal the partners had back in ’94, stocking Moran tug fleets with boats that can ship dock, transport commodities, offshore and contract tow and more. “We have five locations where we can dock LNG ships. Those are now going to become export ports,” he said. “We believe we are the largest ship docking company in the world.”

Tregurtha reminded those in attendance that Moran’s vessels are U.S. owned, operated, crewed and built. “The Jones Act is very important to us and very important to all of you,” he said.

For his part, Frank Patti Jr., said he hopes to build more vessels for Moran in the future. “It’s a wonderful relationship,” he said, “and in the end we have a beautiful vessel.”

And speaking of beautiful, it was May in Pensacola. That’s beautiful.

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.