Rendering of new 11,000 hp. towboat to be built for ACBL by C&C Marine & Repair.

ACBL And C&C Marine Embark On 11,000 Hp. Towboat Project

American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL) and C&C Marine & Repair say they’re making maritime history with the construction of a groundbreaking 11,000 hp. inland towboat, a feat not seen in the industry for nearly 50 years.

Last year, ACBL and C&C Marine & Repair of Belle Chasse, La., began discussions that led to the change in the delivery schedule of the project.

“The plan was to deliver the vessel to ACBL by February of 2025, but ACBL CEO Mike Ellis asked if C&C Marine could deliver the vessel in time for the 2024 International Workboat Show in New Orleans,” said Tony Cibilich, owner of C&C Marine. “I agreed to the compressed timeframe with the stipulation that ACBL commit to having a christening party to celebrate the vessel’s delivery.”

Despite the timeline proving more challenging with the International Workboat Show scheduled for November 12—three weeks earlier than last year—the C&C team was undeterred. They are committed to ensuring on-time completion and maintaining exceptional quality throughout the construction process, seamlessly integrating engineering packages into the production line as soon as they are finalized. To date, the shipyard has only received a portion of the engineering, with the remaining balance scheduled to be delivered by the end of May.

“Building a vessel of this size and complexity in just eight months without all the engineering completely done will be quite a challenge,” said Matthew Dobson, C&C Marine’s new construction manager.

ACBL’s vice president of reliability, Scott Hankins, attested to the exceptional quality of workmanship displayed throughout the construction process.

“Building a vessel of this size in the requested timeframe is truly remarkable,” he said. “C&C continues to rise to the challenge meeting the compressed timeframe, while maintaining the high standards of quality that they are known for.”

Designed by Portland, Maine-based CT Marine, the towboat boasts innovative features aimed at enhancing efficiency, crew comfort and safety. The twin-screw towboat will measure 198 feet by 50 feet by 12 feet, with a 47-foot pilothouse eye level. Besides laying of the keel, steel fabrication started for the first unit on February 1.

“Although building this vessel in such a short period of time is incredibly impressive, it’s more important to us that Tony and his team maintain their quality control standards at the highest levels in the industry,” Ellis said. “It is a testament to the cooperation and hard work between ACBL’s vessel construction team and C&C Marine’s engineering group.”

Caption for photo: Rendering of new 11,000 hp. towboat to be built for ACBL by C&C Marine & Repair.