Maritime Partners christens second in newbuild towboat series

Written by Nick Blenkey
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M/V Ouizee underway

Metairie, La., based Maritime Partners, LLC (MP) recently christened the 2,600 hp towboat M/V Ouizee at the John Bludworth Shipyard in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The new 2,600 horsepower towboat is the second of six boats that Maritime Partners has on order at the shipyard.

It is named for Louise Brooks, the mother of MP co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Bick Brooks, who explains “My sister had her first kid three years ago. The name Louise is a mouthful for a toddler to pronounce, so my sister’s son just shortened the name to ‘Ouizee’. The name ended up sticking, so my nephews and nieces all refer to my mother as ‘Ouizee’.”

Louise and Bick Brooks on the M/V Ouizee (Photo: Bryan Tumlinson)

Brooks says his mother’s example helped to give him the courage to pursue his passion for boats and barges by starting Maritime Partners four years ago.

“I remember taking the bus home from elementary school each day and walking in the door to see my mom working away at our dining room table with drafting papers as she worked on her first architecture projects,” Bick recalled. “Her first office truly was our dining room table and she worked while she could, designing homes in our dining room for the first few clients who believed in her. It wasn’t easy for her. She sacrificed time with her young family to focus on her architecture projects but it was a sacrifice she made in the pursuit of her passion. From those humble beginnings, my mother is now an award-winning architect.”


Maritime Partners says it recognized the importance of choosing the right shipyard to construct its vessels.

“We did a ton of research and reference checking as part of our review process and it became clear to us throughout that process that the name ‘Bludworth’ stood out as a first-class brand name in the shipbuilding community.”

Measuring 84 feet by 32 feet with a molded depth of 11 feet, the M/V Ouizee is a John L. Bludworth III-designed vessel. The vessel’s two Cummins QSK38 M1 Tier III main engines from Cummins Marine produce a combined 2,600 horsepower and are mated to Reintjes WAF 665 reduction gears (5.95:1 ratio), with internal shaft brakes. from Karl Senner LLC.

The engines and gears drive a pair of four-blade stainless steel Sound propellers (82-inch diameter and 62-inch pitch) from Texas Wheel Works. R.S. Schmidt & Sons Machine Shop supplied the vessel’s propeller shafts and rudders.

Rio Controls & Hydraulics supplied the M/V Ouizee’s steering system.

The vessel’s service power comes courtesy of two Cummins 99 kW generators, also from Cummins Marine.

Karl Senner also provided the Aventics Controls aboard the Ouizee, while Premium Electronics supplied the radar, radios, AIS and GPS aboard the vessel.

The M/V Ouizee has tankage for 38,143 gallons of fuel, 14,367 gallons of potable water, 350 gallons of lube oil, 150 gallons of gear oil, 500 gallons of slop oil and 100 gallons of hydraulic oil.

M&M Bumper Service supplied the vessel’s laminated rubber fenders. Also on deck, the M/V Ouizee features a pair of 40-ton Patterson galvanized deck winches, two Quincy 325 air compressors and a full-width fleet deck forward of the main deck house.

Inside, the Ouizee has four staterooms and accommodations for up to six crew members. The vessel’s galley features custom oak cabinetry, granite counter tops, a granite tabletop, and a spacious pantry and interior utility room.

“The Ouizee is state-of-the-art equipped and follows the tried-and-true design of Mr. Johnny Bludworth,” said Raymond Butler, new construction vessel representative for Maritime Partners. “These hulls are unique to the industry, employing a ‘double chine’ construction, which streamlines water flow to the wheels and makes for a very efficient, highly maneuverable hull.”

Butler said, at 2,600 hp, the Ouizee is well-equipped for pushing 600-foot tows on the open reaches of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway or 900-foot tows on the Mississippi River.

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