The mv. Bailey is the first of three towboats for Kirby Inland Marine that will include Furuno electronics for its new generation of Subchapter M vessels.
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Kirby Selects Furuno For Next Generation Towboats

Kirby Inland Marine announced March 18 that it has selected Furuno as the electronics of choice for its new generation of Subchapter M towboats. The first of three new vessels, the mv. Bailey, will soon enter service into the Kirby fleet of more than 300 towboats and nearly 1,000 inland barges operating in U.S. waters. (For more on the Bailey, see the article in the January 28 WJ.)

The bridge features state-of-the-art Furuno electronics such as high-powered radar, GPS, AIS, depth sensors and more. This 88-foot towboat was built at the Main Iron Works facility in Houma, La., and has been designed from the keel up to comply with recently implemented Subchapter M requirements.

Coast Guard Subchapter M regulations now in place apply to any U.S. flagged towing vessel over 26 feet in length, or any vessel under 26 feet that is carrying oil or any other potentially hazardous material. These mandates, along with existing regulations, stipulate minimum requirements for navigation and operational equipment, and Kirby looked to Furuno and electronics installer Inland Gulf Marine to fill these critical roles.

At the heart of the electronics selected by Kirby and Inland Gulf Marine are two 12 kw. Furuno FAR2117BB radars. The FAR2117BB delivers Furuno’s unparalleled target detection and sophisticated signal processing techniques, developed over decades of experience and thousands of commercial marine applications.

Furuno’s FA170 AIS and GP33 GPS Navigator feed position and AIS information to the ship’s navigation systems. The Furuno 235DT depth sensor provides precise information, and the RD33 navigation data organizer can display this high-accuracy data along with other information sets.

Accommodations for up to eight crew and passengers means this new generation of towboats is subject to further Subchapter M regulations. Additional safety measures must be in place on vessels with overnight accommodations and alternating watches when pulling, pushing or hauling, and among these is a system to detect when a master or mate becomes incapacitated.

Referred to as a pilothouse alerter system, Kirby and Inland Gulf Marine chose the Furuno BR500 BNWAS to fill this need. The BR500 monitors the pilot’s presence in the wheelhouse. If the pilot is unable to interact with the system within predefined periods of time, crew members will be notified, and appropriate actions can  be taken to secure the safe operation of the vessel.

Caption for photo: The mv. Bailey is the first of three towboats for Kirby Inland Marine that will include Furuno electronics for its new generation of Subchapter M vessels.

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