McAllister’s powerful new tugs get warm welcome in NYC

The Rosemary McAllister (foreground) and Captain Brian A. McAllister in New York's East River The Rosemary McAllister (foreground) and Captain Brian A. McAllister in New York's East River J.R. Snyder

JULY 13, 2018—McAllister Towing & Transportation, which has been part of the New York Harbor community since 1864, marked another milestone in the company’s long storied history with the double christening of two new generation tugboats at a ceremony yesterday at Pier 16 South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan.

The tugs, Captain Brian A. McAllister and Rosemary McAllister, are named after the company’s chairman and his wife. The fourth generation to head the family business, Captain Brian and Rosemary’s sons will lead the company into the future. Buckley McAllister serves as the company’s President, and brother Eric serves as McAllister Towing CFO.

“This double christening,” says Capt. Brian McAllister,” is a very special event because it also includes a celebration of the company’s origins. It was here on South Street that McAllisters entered the steamboat era from sail. It is such an honor for Rosemary and me to christen our namesake tugs at this historic venue. In doing so, we welcome our most advanced and powerful ship-docking tugs and are home on South Street once again.”SlideFDNY Drum Pipes

Guests of the christening were treated to plenty of music, including bagpipes from the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums. Buckley’s band, New Yeller, played some indie pop and alternative rock favorites during the cocktail reception aboard the 1885-built, old iron-hulled cargo sailing ship Wavertree.

Powerful tugs

The 6,770-hp tractor tug Capt. Brian A. McAllister has been working in New York Harbor since last year. She was built by Horizon Shipbuilding, Bayou La Batre, AL. The Rosemary McAllister made a special journey up from the Port of Virginia for the ceremony. She was launched at Horizon Shipbuilding and completed at Eastern Shipbuilding, Panama City, FL. The Rosemary McAllister is the most powerful tug in Hampton Roads.

McAllister is building two more of the beefy tractor tugs—the Ava McAllister and Capt. Jim McAllister—at Eastern Shipbuilding that will be delivered in March 2019 and May 2019, respectively. All four tractor tugs will provide ample muscle to handle the latest generation of ultra-large containerships that are making their way into ports along the U.S. East Coast following the Panama Canal expansion.

The first EPA Tier 4-compliant tug on the U.S. East Coast, the Captain Brian A. McAllister is fitted with two Caterpillar 3516E diesel engines that are rated at 3,386 hp at 1,800 rev/min, that drive two Schottel SRP 4000 FP azimuth thrusters.

Both 100 ft x 40 ft tractor tugs are classed by ABS as Maltese Cross A-1 Towing, Escort Service, FiFi 1 and Maltese Cross AMS, and each deliver 80 tons of bollard pull.

Designed by Crowley Maritime’s naval architectural arm, Jensen Maritime, Seattle, WA, the tugs—each rated at 82.75 metric tons of bollard pull—provide enhanced ship docking as well as direct and indirect escorting.

Advanced towing machinery onboard each tug includes a Markey asymmetric render-recover winch on the bow and a Markey tow winch with a spool capacity of 2,500 ft of 2-¼ in wire on the stern.

Each tug’s advanced communications and automation suite includes a full engine room monitoring system with a remote monitoring capability at the helm engine room and deck cameras with a wheelhouse display. Two Furuno FR8122 with ARPA, three Standard Horizon GX2200 VHF radios, an Anschutz Pilotstar D autopilot, and Furuno depth sounder, AIS, and GPS round out the wheelhouse electronics.

The tugs are part of McAllister Towing’s long-term plan to upgrade its fleet to handle the ever-larger tonnage calling at the 12 ports it serves. In the late 1990s, McAllister Towing only had one tractor tug. By next year, with the addition of the two under construction at Eastern Shipbuilding, its fleet will reach 34 Z-drive tugs, making it one of the largest owners of tractor tugs in North America.

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