JULY 17, 2013 — The first of two Z-drive tractor tugs built by Nichols Bros, Whidbey Island, WA, for Harley Marine Service has arrived in Southern California. The 100 ft x 40 ft M/V Robert Franco will enter the ship assist and tanker escort market for both Millennium Maritime and Harley Marine Services in Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors.
Designed by Crowley subsidiary the tug and its sister, which is still under construction are similar to the Crowlley Valor series, but have Tier III Cat 3516C engines and Rolls-Royce US 255 Z-drives.
Harley Marine says the M/V Robert Franco has been built with the most technically and environmentally advanced equipment available. It has cold ironing/shore power capabilities and is the second Tier III engine powered ship assist/escort tug boat, meeting EPA's low emission standards in the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
Compared to Tier 0 engines, Tier III engines reduce NOX and particulate matter amounts by 90 percent.
With some 6,800 installed horsepower and providing 91 tons of bollard pull, the M/V Robert Franco is among the most powerful tugs to ever provide ship assist in Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors. With the growing size of containerships (14,000 TEU) and tankers (over 300,000 DWT) calling on these ports, Harley Marine Services is committed to building higher horsepower tugs in order to accommodate them. Tugs like the M/V Robert Franco will provide these larger ships with safe navigation in the LA/LB harbors, as well as emergency towing services off-shore.
Robert Franco's sister ship, the M/V Ahbra Franco, is set to enter service this summer. Both tugs are equipped with state of the art Mackay marine electronics, Markey tow winches, as well as firefighting and safety equipment.
Harley CEO and Chairman Harley Franco states "the arrival of this new state-of-the-art tug boat symbolizes Harley Marine Services dedication to the safety of our employees, protection of the environment, and to providing the most advanced, dependable, and committed service to all of our customers."