OT&BE releases details of AT/B ordered by Kirby at Signal International

otbemicroOcean Tug & Barge Engineering Corp., Milford, Mass., has released some more details of the 25,000 dwt ocean bulk articulated tug barge of OT&BE design recently ordered  from d tug bargeshipbuilder Signal International by Kirby Ocean Transport Company. The contract included an option for an additional unit.


The AT/B consists of a 20,000 DWT ocean bulk barge with a 6,000 BHP AT/B ocean tug. The barge will measure 480 ft x 90 ft x 36 ft and will be outfitted with an Articouple connection system and designed to operate in both shallow and deep draft loading conditions. 

The shape utilized for the barge hull is a proven design based on a parent designed by Corning Townsend, of CT Marine,  Edgecomb, ME. 

"This shape has proven to be an excellent balance between low resistance and buildability," according to Robert P. Hill, President of  OT&BE. “It also allowed us to obtain the greatest possible cubic for the length, with low resistance and powering requirements." In addition, the barge has the stern of OT&BE’s successful “COSTWISE” class AT/B barges, designed to reduce resistance and enhance maneuvering. “This stern design is the result of extensive model testing and CFD studies,"  says Mr. Hill..

The 6,000 HP tugboat will be  a variant of the highly successful OT&BE  “ATLANTIC III” class tugs. Three of the vessels have been built previously at 6000 HP and two more, this time at 8000 HP,  are under construction presently at VT Halter for an east coast operator. This new Kirby design shares with the 8000 HP version of the design, the employment of the Nautican high performance nozzle and triple rudder arrangement.

Bob Hill notes that “We currently have five tugs of our design working with the high performance nozzles and triple rudders, and the boats have excellent maneuvering characteristics both light tug and behind their barges,  and speed is enhanced.” . The Kirby tugs will be powered by a pair of EMD 12-710 main engines, driving Reintjes reverse/reduction gears.

The principal dimensions of the tug are 125 ft x 42 ft x 22 ft. It will built and classed to ABS  A1 Ocean Towing Service standards. The AT/B will transport dry-bulk commodities in United States coastwise trade.

The barge fabrication work will commence in the second quarter of 2011 at Signal’s state-of-the-art continuous flow manufacturing facility in Orange, Texas, which has 450,000 sq. ft. of covered fabrication area. The first AT/B will complete in 14 months. The option AT/B can be built in less than 12 months. This facility recently completed two of the world’s largest floating power generation barges within a 180-day production schedule.

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