Recently delivered by Master Marine Inc., Bayou La Batre, Ala., the 67- by 20-foot M/V Grain Express is the second of four vessels that the shipyard is scheduled to deliver to LaPlace, La.-based Cooper Group company Plimsoll Marine, one of the Lower Mississippi River’s leading push boat operators. The four state-of-the-art vessels have been designed by Entech Designs LLC and are fully compliant with all U.S. Coast Guard regulatory requirements.
“Plimsoll Marine’s goal is to provide the Lower Mississippi River with premier push boat services and the delivery of the Grain Express marks yet another milestone in our effort to build and maintain the industry’s most modern fleet of push boats,” said Angus R. Cooper III, President, Cooper/T. Smith. “We look forward to operating all four of these new vessels, including the Grain Express, at Cooper Consolidated’s midstream terminals and barge fleets.”
“Cooper Consolidated’s customers expect the safest, most efficient, and reliable operations, and Plimsoll’s first-class team and state-of-the-art vessels best ensure we are consistently exceeding the expectations of our customers,” said Karl Gonzales, vice president of Plimsoll Marine.
The towboat is powered by two Laborde Products Inc. Mitsubishi 803 HP Tier III diesel engines operating at 1,400 RPM and coupled to Twin Disc 5321 gears. Laborde Products also supplied the vessel’s two Northern Lights 65 kW Tier III electronic controlled gensets. The vessel is fitted with RW Fernstrum Inc. keel coolers throughout.
A pair of Sound Propeller Services, Inc. 70 inch x 48 inch x 7 inch four-blade stainless steel propellers provide thrust, driven via two J & S Machine Works Inc. 7-inch propeller shafts with all Thordon Bearings, Thorplas bushings and shaft seals.
RIO Controls and Hydraulic, Inc. supplied the steering system for the towboat’s two main rudders and four flanking rudders.
Gulf Coast Air & Hydraulics Inc. provided a pair of Quincy reciprocating air compressors and ventilation fans.
Schuyler Maritime LLC supplied all 18- by 12-inch rubber fendering around the perimeter of the vessel and push knees.
R.S Price & Son provided a Carrier mini-split HVAC system in all interior spaces with Blakeney Marine providing all custom woodwork and interior finishes. Donavon Marine supplied the large Bomar aluminum windows and Dales Welding and Fabricators, LLC provided the aluminum exterior doors.
Wintech International, LLC supplied a pair of 40-ton deck winches and New World, Inc. provided all electronics and communications, with an alarm system from Unlimited Control & Supply, Inc.
Each of the four towboats has the capacity for 10,400 gallons of fuel, 4,359 gallons of potable water and 9,500 gallons of ballast water. The maximum working draft is 7 feet 9 inches.
Each vessel is outfitted with three crew staterooms housing siz crewmembers, one and a half baths and a full galley arrangement.