John Bludworth Shipyard Completes Six-Towboat Contract With Maritime Partners

Corpus Christi, Texas-based John Bludworth Shipyard LLC (JBS) announced that it completed its contract with Maritime Partners LLC to build six inland towboats. The two companies signed the contract in August 2018, with JBS delivering the last vessel in the series, the mv. Signet Volunteer, in May.

Other vessels in the series include the mvs. G. Brooks Sperry, Ouizee, Raymond Butler, Signet Freedom and Signet Puritan. The final three vessels in the series are now operated by Signet Maritime.

Each of the six towboats offers 2,600 hp. and measures 84 feet by 32 feet by 11 feet. The vessels are powered by Cummins QSK38 EPA Tier 3 main engines supplied by Cummins Marine in Houston. Marine gears are Reintjes WAF 665 reverse reduction gear with internal shaft brakes supplied by Karl Senner LLC, and they are connected to four-blade Sound Propeller Services stainless steel propellers from Texas Wheel Works.

Ship service power aboard each vessel is from Cummins 99 kw. gensets supplied by Cummins Marine. Electrical wiring and equipment are by RIO Marine Electric, and the steering system and alarms were provided by RIO Controls & Hydraulics. Hull design is by John L. Bludworth III with engineering by Advanced Fabricating Inc. Each boat has accommodations for a crew of six, with a large pantry and interior utility room. The vessels have tankage for up to 38,000 gallons of fuel and 14,000 gallons of potable water.

“Austin Sperry, Bick Brooks, Eric Livingston and Raymond Butler at Maritime Partners were easy and enjoyable to work with, and we are grateful to them for having the confidence in our yard to design and construct these new additions to their expanding fleet,” said Gasper D’Anna, president of the shipyard.

In all, JBS has designed, built and delivered 60 inland towboats ranging in size from 1,200 to 3,200 hp. It’s a proven design built by a resilient crew, D’Anna said.

“The current COVID-19 pandemic began while we were attempting to get the last two of the six boats completed and ready for delivery,” D’Anna said. “With the professionalism and dedication of our employees, contractors and subcontractors, we were able to deliver these vessels on time, despite having to practice physical distancing and constant sanitizing of high traffic areas.”

Currently, JBS has a pair of 3,400 hp. towboats measuring 110 feet by 32 feet by 11 feet under construction for Maritime Partners, D’Anna said, with deliveries scheduled for March and May of 2021.

In addition to new construction projects, John Bludworth Shipyard provides repair services for both inland and offshore boats and barges, performed on the company’s drydock and dockside.