With the delivery of the mv. Steel Skipper to Plimsoll Marine, Master Marine Inc. has completed a four-boat construction contract. Like the other three boats—the Iron Lady, Grain Express and Rock Solid—the Steel Skipper draws its name from products it will be transporting in barges on the river.
All four boats are 67 feet by 28 feet, and all were designed by Entech Designs LLC.
“Plimsoll Marine strives to provide the Lower Mississippi River with premier pushboat services utilizing the industry’s most modern and capable fleet of vessels,” said Angus R. Cooper III, president of Cooper/T. Smith, parent of Plimsoll Marine. “The delivery of the Steel Skipper marks another milestone in that effort. Our ongoing investment in building and maintaining the Plimsoll fleet is a testament to our pledge to always return the highest level of value to our customers.”
“Our customers expect the safest, most efficient, reliable operations, and Plimsoll Marine’s world-class team and state-of-the-art vessels ensure we consistently exceed those expectations,” said Karl Gonzales, vice president of Plimsoll Marine. “Plimsoll is proud to add the Steel Skipper to our growing fleet of state-of-the-art push boats. Paired with our experienced mariners, this vessel further ensures our ability to exceed customer expectations in the safest and most efficient manner.”
Steel Skipper Specs
The towboat is powered by two Mitsubishi Tier 3 diesel engines provided by Laborde Products Inc., producing 803 hp. each at 1,400 hp., operating through Twin Disc 5321 gears. Laborde also provided two Northern Lights 65 kw. Tier 3 electronic controlled generators with R.W. Fernstrum keel coolers throughout.
A pair of Sound Propeller Services Inc. 70- by 48- by 7-inch, four-blade stainless-steel propellers provide thrust through two J&S Machine Works Inc. 7-inch ABS Grade two propeller shafts with Thordon Bearings’ RiverTough tailshaft bearings and TG100 mechanical shaft seals. Thordon also supplied grease-free SXL rudder bearings and ThorPlas-Blue bushings that were fitted to the steering gear. RIO Controls & Hydraulic Inc. supplied the steering system for the two 7-inch main and four 7-inch flanking rudders.
Gulf Coast Air & Hydraulics Inc. provided a pair of Quincy reciprocating air compressors and ventilation fans. Schuyler Maritime LLC supplied all 18- by 12-inch rubber fendering around the perimeter of the vessel and push knees.
R.S Price & Son provided a Carrier mini-split HVAC system in all interior spaces, with Blakeney Marine providing all custom woodwork and interior finishes. Donovan Marine supplied the large Bomar aluminum windows, and Dale’s Welding & Fabricators LLC provided the aluminum exterior doors. Wintech International LLC supplied a pair of 40-ton deck winches, and New World Inc. provided all electronics and communications, with an alarm system from Unlimited Control & Supply Inc.
Each of the four towboats has the capacity for 10,400 gallons of fuel, 4,359 gallons of potable water and 9,500 gallons of ballast water, along with providing a maximum 7 foot, 9-inch working draft. Each vessel is outfitted with three crew staterooms housing six crewmen, 1-1/2 baths and a full galley arrangement.