Conrad Shipyard delivers 6,000 hp Canal Barge towboat

Written by Nick Blenkey
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H. Merritt “Heavy” Lane, Jr.

Morgan City, La., headquartered Conrad Shipyard has delivered the 6,000-horsepower towboat H. Merritt “Heavy” Lane, Jr. to Canal Barge Company, Inc. (CBC) of New Orleans.

Built at Conrad’s Amelia, La., shipyard, the Subchapter M-compliant vessel measures 166 feet x 49 feet x 12 feet and is powered by EPA Tier IV-compliant EMD engines. It is equipped with a two horizontal offset Reintjes WAF 4545 reverse reduction gearboxes, with internal hydraulic multi-disc shaft brakes, electric standby pumps, and Vulkan Torsional Couplings, provided by Karl Senner, LLC.

The H. Merritt “Heavy” Lane Jr. is based on a time-proven design concept that has been enhanced to modern standards through advanced engineering analysis.

Efficient operation and attention to crew accommodations and noise reduction were paramount in the design process.

Designed by Naval Architects MiNO Marine of New Orleans, the vessel has a unique hull form to ensure adequate water flow to the propellers in all operating conditions. The design allows the transfer of full power through the propellers, minimizing propeller vibrations transferred to the hull due to unsteady water flow. The design reduces the potential for flow-induced vibration, ensuring greater crew comfort and reduced noise.

Crew comfort was considered throughout all phases of the design process and is evident in the finished product. The superstructure is divided into two sections, one floating and one fixed. All living accommodations are located in the floating section which sits atop air bellow vibration isolators designed to minimize noise and vibration transmission from the operating machinery.

“The floating house, along with strict attention to detail related to the installation of the joiner system, has resulted in a vessel that is extremely quiet and comfortable for the crew during all operating ranges,” said Mike Stone of Canal Barge Company.

“It’s always gratifying to deliver another new vessel to a long-term and valued customer,” said Conrad Shipyard Chairman and CEO Johnny Conrad. “The craftsmanship that went into the design and construction of this modern towboat is a testament to our shipbuilding team and their unwavering commitment to quality in every detail. We value Canal Barge as a longstanding customer and are grateful for their continued confidence in Conrad Shipyard.”

“We are excited to bring online this new state-of-the-art towing vessel, which is the first 6,000 HP EMD of its kind on the inland waterways,” said H. Merritt Lane, III, President and CEO of Canal Barge Company. “CBC has always understood the importance of long-term relationships, including with our vendors. We are pleased with the partnerships we have built and fostered throughout this project, and Conrad Shipyard’s workmanship, in particular, has been extraordinary. The Heavy Lane will clearly be the flagship of our growing towboat fleet.”

Reintjes WAF 4545 horizontal offset reverse reduction gearbox behind EMD 12ME23B Tier 4 diesel engine
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