Lydia Ann Channel Fleet christens new towboat in Texas

Written by Heather Ervin
The M/V Samantha Trueheart towboat on the water

The M/V Samantha Trueheart towboat was christened on October 30. (Photo by Tracy Adams)

Fleeting and fuel service provider Lydia Ann Channel (LAC) Fleet, Rockport, Texas, christened the M/V Samantha Trueheart, a 78- by 34-foot towboat, in a ceremony held October 30.

Samantha Trueheart Gates christens her namesake vessel. (Photo by Lillian Jean Photography)

The 2,000 hp. vessel was built and designed by Diversified Marine Services in Bourg, La. The twin-screw towboat includes a pair of Cummins QSK38 Tier 3 engines from Cummins Mid-South mated to Twin Disc 540 reduction gears with a ratio of 7:1 from Sewart Supply. Texas Wheel Works supplied the towboat’s Sound Dominator 78- by 68-inch propellers.

The main shafts are 7-inch Aquamet stainless steel, and the rudder shafts are 8-inch Aquamet stainless steel. Ship service power aboard the new boat comes from a pair of Cummins 85 kW generators, also from Cummins Mid-South. 

The vessel’s engines are cooled by Durweld keel coolers provided by East Park Radiator. Unlimited Control & Supply furnished the vessel’s engine alarms, fire detection system, general alarm, pilothouse alerter system, fire pump control and switchboard.

Dale’s Welding supplied the vessel’s Wärtsilä seals, and Donovan Marine supplied its Duramax Marine bearings, wastewater treatment system and fire safety equipment. The boat’s steering system is from Pneumatics Specialties, and International Marine Systems supplied its electronics and communications equipment. M&M supplied the vessel’s fendering, while International supplied its paint. 

The vessel features two 40-ton Patterson deck winches supplied by Johnny’s Propeller. The vessel’s crew accommodations include five bedrooms and four bathrooms.

The Samantha Trueheart has tankage for 40,000 gallons of fuel, 10,000 gallons of potable water, 1,200 gallons of engine oil, 450 gallons each of gear oil and dirty oil, and 165 gallons of hydraulic oil.

Photo courtesy of Tracy Adams, Safety, LAC Fleet


Located on the preferred route for inland mariners traveling to the Port of Corpus Christi, the LAC Fleet is only a few hours away from the harbor, but out of the way of ship traffic.

The LAC Fleet consists of over 8,500 linear feet of steel moorings driven a minimum of 30 feet below the mud line with a minimum controlled depth of 12 feet of water. The management team has over 65 years of experience in the marine industry, from fleeting to towboat management.

In addition to chartering towboats, the company can accomodate CDC barges, hot oil barges, red flag barges, and hopper barges. Approximately two-thirds of the barges that use the LAC Fleet are empty and awaiting entry into the port to be loaded with cargo. Loaded barges carry a variety of cargoes, such as petrochemicals, chemicals, agricultural liquids, grains, rock and sand.

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