Steiner Construction Company, Bayou La Batre, Ala., recently completed a second 88- by 34-foot, 2,600 hp. towboat for Evansville (Ind.) Marine Service Inc. Built on a design of Farrell & Norton, the twin-screw vessel is named the mv. Robert R. Aldrich after the company’s patriarch, who, along with his wife, Angela, bought the harbor service in 2008.
The new towboat is equipped with Mitsubishi S12R-Y3MPTAW engines, each boasting 1,260 hp. at 1,600 rpm. from Laborde Products. “We are truly honored to have played a part in powering the mv. Robert R. Aldrich,” said Trace Laborde, vice president of sales at Laborde Products. “The flawless integration of Mitsubishi engines underscores our unyielding dedication to furnishing the maritime industry with dependable, high-performance solutions.”
The Mitsubishi S12R-Y3MPTAW engines, celebrated for their mechanical prowess, offer a fully mechanical design that empowers mariners with direct control, Trace continued. “Our commitment to supplying top-quality engines that elevate operational efficiency resonates perfectly with the mechanical excellence demonstrated by these engines,” he said.
Aldrich expressed his satisfaction with the partnership, saying, “Working with Steiner Construction and Laborde Products has been a seamless experience. This will be our first vessel with Mitsubishi engines, and we are excited to see their capabilities and to make the mv. Robert R. Aldrich a valuable asset to our fleet.”
Evansville Marine’s roots go back to 1994 when Paul Legeay sold Evansville Barge & Marine Service to Steve Grantz and Tom Moosburger, who expanded it over the years. The Aldriches’ involvement goes back to 2001, seven years prior to their taking sole ownership. At that time, the company operated 16 vessels providing harbor services in Rockport, Yankeetown and Evansville, Ind.; and Owensboro and Henderson, Ky.
In 2012, Evansville Marine bought the assets of another fleeting service, Ohio Valley Marine Service, growing the EMS fleet from 16 to 25. The additional nine vessels ranged from 165 to 1,750 hp. The purchase also included 13 barges, three crane barges, a small drydock, a fuel flat and several fleeting areas, including one at Ohio River Mile 78, near the mouth of the Green River.
After selling and buying several vessels during the ensuing years, the EMS fleet now numbers 29, the newest and largest, most powerful vessel being the Robert R.
A similarly sized towboat from Steiner that was delivered earlier this year is named the mv. Angela M. Aldrich.
“As a whole, our company is trying to build a fleet with newer vessels and do away with some older vessels to better prepare ourselves for the longevity of the company, moving forward with Subchapter M,” Bob Aldrich told The Waterways Journal in an earlier interview. “We’re taking steps every day to make sure we are here for our customers in the long haul.”
The company is now run by his son, Kyle Aldrich, who started out as a deckhand in 2007, and worked as a dispatcher, then sales manager before being named executive vice president in 2017 and later president in 2022.
Since the Aldriches took over, the full-service harbor company has expanded from under 100 employees to about 170, with nine different locations and its own harbor boats, live-on boats and shipyards with drydocks and three barge-cleaning facilities.
Caption for top photo: The Robert R. Aldrich has 2,520 hp. from twin Mitsubishi diesels. (Photo courtesy of Steiner Construction Company)