AUGUST 22, 2012—Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Freeland, WA, was recently contracted by Harley Marine Services, Seattle, WA, to build two 100 ft x 40 ft, Z-drive, ship-assist tractor tugs.
Nichols Brothers Boat Builders began construction of the first tug in May and has started construction prefabrication along with some assembly for the second tug at its shipyard in Freeland. Simultaneous construction of the tugs will increase productivity, and shorten material handling, thus lowering the costs for both the shipyard and Harley Marine.
Designed by Jensen Maritime of Seattle, WA, the tugs will be ABS load line vessels, each outfitted with two Caterpillar 3516C diesel main engines coupled to the Rolls Royce z-drive system. Each tug will also have two Cat C9 generators. The propulsion package will produce over 90 tons of bollard pull giving the tugs exceptional pulling power and maneuverability.
Each tug will be outfitted with Mackay Marine Electronics, Technicold by Northern Lights HVAC system and Markey winches forward for ship assist and aft for towing. Additionally, each will have a Smith Berger tow pin aft.
The first tug, Hull #S173, will be named M/V Robert Franco, is scheduled for delivery in the spring of 2013. The second tug, Hull#S174, the M/V Ahbra Franco, will be delivered in mid-summer 2013.
Construction of the first tug is well underway. The pilothouse, bow, and both port and starboard wing tanks are standing, with steel work bulked out and outfitting hot work on going. The vessel’s midbody skeg has been set with the jigs in place ready to accept bottom plate sections and internals close behind. All trades have been working on prefab and are starting on rough in assembly as needed.