Four More Boats Added To Buffalo Marine Fleet

April 17, 2017

By Heather Ervin

The 2,600 hp. mv. CJ Studdert is named after Buffalo Marine President Patrick Studdert’s grandson.
(Photo by Barry Griffith)

Buffalo Marine Services held a four-boat christening on March 10 at Landry’s Seafood Restaurant along the Kemah Boardwalk in Kemah, Texas.

The company decided to christen all four boats—the mvs. CJ Studdert, San Roberto, Nancy Marian and Lt. Dick Dowling—at once to bring together the local maritime community, Buffalo’s customers and its business partners for a larger event.

The four vessels were built by Southwest Shipyard LP in Channelview, Texas. All four boats were designed by Advance Fabricating Inc. of Kemah.

With traffic delaying the event slightly and rain clouds moving in, speakers lined up inside the restaurant to partake in the opening prayer by the Rev. Richard McNeilie of St. Martha’s Catholic Church. Patrick Studdert, president of Buffalo Marine, gave the opening remarks.

“We’re all family here, and when you look around the room, you see so many different folks and people we work with every day, and people who keep us in business,” said Studdert.

McNeilie blessed all four boats together before guests went outside to observe the champagne christening. Food, drinks and socialization followed back inside.

Mv. CJ Studdert

The largest boat christened at the event was the 2,600 hp. CJ Studdert, named after Studdert’s young grandson, Carter. Carter “CJ” Studdert, an avid reader and sports enthusiast, was next in line to receive such an honor after his two older sisters had Buffalo towboats named for them.

“Carter likes to build things and he’s all over the place at 100 mph.,” said Studdert. “He’s more excited than anyone in the room right now. His older sisters have already christened boats, but his is bigger.”

The 87- by 32-foot CJ Studdert is equipped with two Cat 3512C engines producing 1,300 hp. each at 1,600 rpm., with Twin Disc MGX5600 reduction gears rated at 6:1 from Sewart Supply. The vessel also has two 99 kw. Cummins QSB7D generators and Sound propellers with five blades measuring 82 by 67 inches.

Ancillary equipment includes electronics supplied by Premium Electronics, Fernstrum coolers, Rio Hydraulics electric-over-hydraulic steering; a 5-ton, 4-ton and two 3-ton Carrier 13 Seer HVAC systems from Hudson Mechanical; and Schuyler fendering.

Fuel capacity is 28,000 gallons; potable water is 8,500 gallons; and two ballast tanks hold 3,000 gallons each.

Carter christened his namesake vessel himself.

Mv. San Roberto

The mv. San Roberto was christened by Donna Nabers, the daughter of long-time Buffalo Marine employee Richard “Bo” Harrison, who passed away in October 2016 after 36 years with the company.

“Bo was still with us when the San Roberto was built,” said Studdert during the opening remarks. “He was able to see it all happen.”

The 87- by 32-foot vessel contains two Cummins QSK38-M1 engines providing 1,000 hp. each at 1,800 rpm., with Twin Disc MG-540 reduction gears rated at 6:1 supplied by Sewart Supply. It has two Cummins ASB7D 99 kw. generators and four-bladed, 78- by 54-inch Sound propellers.

The mv. San Roberto’s electronics were supplied by Premium Electronics, with coolers by Eastpark Radiator and Rio Hydraulics steering. As with the CJ Studdert, the San Roberto has a 5-ton, 4-ton and two 3-ton Carrier 13 Seer HVAC systems from Hudson Mechanical. Schuyler Maritime supplied the fenders.

The towboat’s fuel capacity is 28,000 gallons, with 8,500 gallons of potable water storage in stainless steel tanks. Its two ballast tanks hold up to 3,000 gallons each.

Mv. Nancy Marian

Named after the wife of Tom Marian, Buffalo Marine’s in-house counsel, the mv. Nancy Marian is a 65- by 35-foot retractable-pilothouse vessel. Rated at 1,260 hp., with two Mitsubishi S6R-Y3MPTAW engines supplied by Laborde Inc., the Nancy Marian has Twin Disc reduction gears rated at 6:1 from Sewart Supply, two 65 kw. John Deere generators by Devall Diesel and Sound props with four blades measuring 70 by 57 inches.

Additional equipment includes electric-over-hydraulic steering, Rio Hydraulics pilothouse lift system, Quality Maritime electrical, a 3-ton Carrier 13 Seer HVAC system with two low-profile rooftop A/C units from Hudson Mechanical and Schuyler Maritime fendering.

Fuel capacity is 14,000 gallons; potable water is 3,000 gallons in stainless steel tanks; and two ballast tanks hold 2,500 gallons each.

Marian was third in line to christen the vessel. She is from Clark, N.J., and she and her husband have five children—Caitlin, Kiersten, Tara, Teresa and Andrew.

“Nancy was in the Coast Guard and was a student athlete, and she’s still in great shape today and chases Tom around to keep him straight,” joked Studdert. “I’m glad she’s here.”

Mv. Lt. Dick Dowling

The 65- by 30-foot retractable-pilothouse vessel Lt. Dick Dowling was named for Lt. Richard “Dick” Dowling, an Irish immigrant who settled in New Orleans, La., during the Irish famine of the 1840s.

According to Studdert, Dowling left New Orleans where he had been digging ditches and settled in Houston. “Dowling started Houston’s first bank, fire department and pub, of course,” he said. “He was a great engineer and he was a dedicated Houstonian.”

Studdert said he has a statue that he bathes in whiskey every Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day to honor Dowling, who died at age 30 after contracting Yellow Fever from his friend. “He did a lot of great things for this city,” he added.

Nearly identical to the mv. Nancy Marian, the vessel is rated at 1,260 hp., with two Mitsubishi S6R-Y3MPTAW engines supplied by Laborde Inc., the Lt. Dick Dowling has Twin Disc reduction gears rated at 6:1 from Sewart Supply, two 65 kw. John Deere generators by Devall Diesel and Sound propellers with four blades measuring 70 by 57 inches.

Additional equipment includes electric-over-hydraulic steering, Rio Hydraulics pilothouse lift system, Quality Maritime electrical, a 3-ton Carrier 13 Seer HVAC system with two low-profile rooftop A/C units from Hudson Mechanical and Schuyler Maritime fendering. Fuel capacity is 14,000 gallons; potable water is 3,000 gallons in stainless steel tanks; and two ballast tanks hold 2,500 gallons each.

At the ceremony, the vessel was christened by Kevin Flowers, a native Houstonian who was raised Irish-Catholic and once worked for Buffalo Marine as a deckhand and tankerman. Flowers now operates a local Irish pub known as Kenneally’s.

Being of an Irish background and an Irish pub owner like Dowling, Studdert said Flowers was the perfect choice to christen the vessel. “Today, the Irishman christens the Irish,” he said.