The vessel is one of two sister vessels being built under a two vessel contract signed with Bouchard Transportation, Inc. in August 2014. Morton S. Bouchard and sister vessel Frederick E. Bouchard each measure 130 feet by 38 feet by 22 feet and is classed by ABS as +A1 Ocean Towing , Dual Mode ATB, USCG Subchapter C. On completion, both tugs will be equipped with an Intercon Coupler System. Deliveries are expected in January and May 2016 respectively. The vessels will enter into Bouchard Transportation's fleet service in New York, N.Y.
This most recent launch follows the September launch from the Moss Point shipyard of another ATB tug for Bouchard, the 10,000 hp M/V Donna J. Bouchard.
Also equipped with an Intercon Coupler, Donna J. Bouchard, is classed by ABS as +A1 Towing Vessel, Dual Mode ATB, USCG Subchapter M.
She will be paired with barge B.No.272, which is currently under construction at VT Halter Marine's Pascagoula, MS, shipyard to comprise the second ATB unit built for Bouchard Transportation as part of its major expansion program.
"Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. is happy to announce yet another successful launching of a state of the art ATB tug built by VT Halter Marine. The launching of the M/V Morton S. Bouchard Jr. is a special event within the Bouchard Family, for the vessel is named after the father of President/CEO, Morton S. Bouchard III, who wanted his father's name to always remain on the waterfront for which he dedicated his entire fife to. The original tug, Morton S Bouchard Jr., which was also built by Halter, was earlier renamed as The Bouchard Boys and continues to operate with Bouchard Fleet," said Morton S. Bouchard III President and CEO, Bouchard Transportation.
"The successful launching of both vessels, the M/V Morton S. Bouchard Jr. today and the M/V Donna J. Bouchard in September is an indication of the commitment to the continued relationship with Bouchard Transportation. We are pleased and proud to celebrate this important milestone in the life of any vessel, and we look forward to having these superb tugboats join the Bouchard Transportation fleet," said Jack Prendergast, CEO, VT Halter Marine