May 5, 2004
Seabulk licenses SDM technology
Seabulk International, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBLK) has licensed its patented SDM(TM) (Ship Docking Module) technology to a major European tug operator.
Under the terms of the agreement, the new licensee may construct two of the innovative Ship Docking Module tractor tugs for use within its home territory.
"The SDM was chosen by this company over a number of competing technologies," commented Kenneth M. Rogers, President of Seabulk Towing, a subsidiary of Seabulk International. "The licensing agreement extends the SDM's(TM) reach beyond the United States, where it has proven itself over the last seven years, and validates its application in ports around the world. We believe it will stimulate additional interest in this unique vessel, and we invite inquiries from other tug operators about licensing the SDM(TM) technology for themselves."
First introduced in 1997, the SDM is claimed as a major breakthrough in tractor tug technology. Developed with assistance from the Elliott Bay Design Group, it is the first vessel of its kind that can generate full power in any direction--forward, backward or sideways. It has a maximum speed ahead and astern of 12.5 knots and, in the transverse mode, of six knots, coupled with an ABS-certified bollard pull of 120,000 lb in any direction. Powered by twin 360-degree rotating Z-drives set fore and aft and generating 4,200 horsepower, the SDM's versatility and power, giving it the ability to safely maneuver ultra-large vessels within narrow channels and environmentally sensitive waterways.
Seabulk Towing currently operates four SDMs--the New River, St. Johns, Escambia and Suwannee River--which together have docked thousands of commercial and military vessels in Port Everglades and Tampa, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama.