The 1,600 hp. mv. Kami Renee was built for E-Squared Marine Service by Vessel Repair. (Photo courtesy of E- Squared Marine Service)

‘New’ Kami Renee Put Into Service

E-Squared Marine Service LLC, a full-service marine transportation company focused on the Gulf Coast, recently put a new towboat into service, the mv. Kami Renee.

While the vessel is new to the Friendswood, Texas-based barge and towing firm, its name is not. The name first appeared on a boat the company bought and later renamed in 2014, and then sold four years after that to Marine Fueling. Marine Fueling changed the name to H.F. Bean. However, since Kami Renee, the namesake, is the wife of Travis Elam—who, along with Tommy Echols, owns E-Squared Marine—it was not long before that name was restored.

The new twin-screw towboat was built by Vessel Repair, located in Port Arthur, Texas, on the design of Sterling Marine. An “E”–the first letter of its owners’ last name, Elam and Echols—is featured in a logo that is set on the vessel’s stack at an angle; the fact that there are two owners is indicated by a small number 2 next to the letter. Blue and green striping (sapphire blue and sea green, according to a color chart) further distinguishes the vessel.

The boat measures 71 feet, 9 inches long by 30 feet wide, and it draws 10 feet when loaded to its capacity of 19,000 gallons of fuel and 12,000 gallons of water. The boat is a smaller version of Vessel Repair’s Pacesetter Class towboat, which features a patent-pending hull that is single-chined forward and double-chined aft to maximize maneuverability and fuel efficiency.

Delivered June 17, the Kami Renee gets its 1,600 hp. from a pair of fully mechanical engines, Mitsubishi S6Rs from Laborde Products, mated to a pair of Reintjes WAF 563L reduction gears from Karl Senner. Reduction is 5:1. The engines turn 76- by 56-inch Sound propellers on 7-inch shafts with silicon carbide seals and brass, vulcanized rubber bearings.

Since its founding in 2012, E-Squared Marine Service has added numerous inland tank barges and pushboats, operating primarily along the Gulf Coast.

“The Kami Renee was built to serve our fleeting operation in Houston,” Elam said. “Dealing with Kurt (Moerbe) and the entire Vessel Repair team was a pleasure from start to finish, and we are extremely pleased with the vessel, particularly with the way it handles.”

The company’s first barges were two 30,000-barrel tank barges from Trinity Marine Products’ shipyard in Ashland, Tenn. Later, in 2019, after Trinity Marine changed its name to Arcosa Marine and reopened following a downturn in the river industry, E-Squared had the distinction of receiving the first barge from the company’s reopened Madison, La., facility, a 297-foot liquid products barge.   

The Kami Renee is the latest newly built vessel in E-Squared’s fleet. It follows the Colton James and the Everett C, both 2,000 hp. towboats built by Intracoastal Iron Works. The rest of the fleet consists of the mvs. Irene C, Kennedy Grace, Lincoln Thomas, London Renee, Sherry L and Richard O.

The two steering and four flanking rudders of the Kami Renee are controlled by an electronic-over-hydraulic system from Gulf Coast Air & Hydraulics. Ship’s power is generated by two John Deere 65 kw. gen sets. The vessel has seven bunks and two heads in an interior that has vinyl hardwood flooring and a T-bar drop ceiling. A Furuno DRS4A radar is a feature of the boat’s navigation and communication package. Two Patterson 40-ton winches and a fleet deck round out the equipment on deck.

Caption for photo: The 1,600 hp. mv. Kami Renee was built for E-Squared Marine Service by Vessel Repair. (Photo courtesy of E- Squared Marine Service)