First vessel in North America with complete Cat propulsion

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Cat engines, Cat azimuthing thrusters — and Cat financed

JUNE 22, 2017 — The recently christened RAmparts 2400 Z-drive tractor tug Dr. Hank Kaplan, is the first vessel in North America to feature a complete Cat Marine propulsion system with both Cat power and Cat azimuth drives.

Owned by Seattle-based Harley Marine Services, and built by thr Diversified Marine shipyard in Portland, OR, the tug has a length of 80′, a beam of 36′ and a depth of 13’7″.

It is equipped with two 3516C marine propulsion engines, each delivering 2,675 hp (1,995 kW) to a pair of MTA 524-T azimuth thrusters specifically designed for high performance applications.

“Caterpillar is proud to power a vast number of vessels in the Harley Marine fleet,” said Tom Frake, vice president of Caterpillar’s Global Power Solutions Division. “With the christening of Dr. Hank Kaplan, Harley Marine will be the first North American customer to feature our fully integrated propulsion system as well as our legendary power products. Our ability to offer a complete solution to the tug industry simplifies design and build as well as product support for customers, while showing our commitment to the marine industry.”

The new Cat MTA 524-T azimuth thruster is the latest iteration of Caterpillar Propulsion’s proven thruster line, specifically optimized for the unique operation profile of a tug. Based on the standard MTA design, this updated version includes features to maximize bollard pull, simplify installation and maintenance, and increase maneuverability.

“We’ve taken pride in helping Harley Marine continue to expand their fleet over the last twenty years,” said Rob Coon, managing director of Caterpillar Financial Products Division. “The christening of this vessel signifies a successful team effort between Cat Financial, Cat Marine, Peterson Power, and Harley Marine. It’s exciting to see the culmination of our close relationships now result in Harley Marine christening the very first vessel in North America with a complete Caterpillar solution,” said Coon.

Portland, OR, Cat dealer Peterson Power led the efforts on the project, helping refine the spec and eventually supporting the installation and service of these systems. Further enhancing the total Cat solution, Cat Financial provided construction and term financing for the entire vessel.

Designed by Robert Allan Limited, the vessel is a sister class vessel to the recently built Michelle Sloan and Lela Franco.

The vessel was named after the Chief of Medical Oncology at Swedish Cancer Institute, Dr. Hank Kaplan, as a tribute to his tireless dedication to cancer treatment and research. Harley and Lela Franco along with the entire Harley Marine organization have been instrumental in supporting Dr. Kaplan’s fundraising efforts. Over the past five years alone, their annual fundraising event has contributed a remarkable $2,500,000 in funding to the Swedish Cancer Institute.

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