On June 30, 2017, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders delivered the M/V Abundance, the first of two (2) 139’ x 44’ x 19’ AT/B tugboats constructed to support the operations of Tampa Port Services, LLC, a subsidiary of The Mosaic Company, the world’s leading producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash. The Abundance will be operated by a subsidiary of Savage Companies and will push a 508’ x 96’ anhydrous ammonia barge on the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi River. It is currently scheduled to go into service in summer 2017 as the first US ammonia Articulated Tug/Barge Unit.
The tugs are an Ocean Tug/Barge Engineering design of Milford, Massachusetts; with production engineering by BMT Nigel Gee of Southampton UK, and engineering support by Nichols Brothers. The vessels are ABS-classed, including Maltese Cross A1-Towing service/AMS/ACCU/UWILD SOLAS compliant and meet USCG subchapter “I”. The vessels are flagged in the Registry of the United States of America meeting all rules and regulations for unrestricted ocean pushing/towing service.
The 139’ x 44’ twin-screw tugs utilize Rolls Royce propellers in Rolls Royce high efficiency nozzles, and are equipped with Rolls Royce Promas FMP flap rudders. Propulsion is provided by two (2) EMD 16- 710T13 each rated at 4000 HP @ 900RPM driving the Rolls Royce shafting and propellers through two (2) Lufkin RHS 3200 reduction gears. Electrical Power is supplied by two (2) Caterpillar C7.1 200 kW Tier III auxiliary generators, one (1) Caterpillar C9.3 200 kW Tier III generator mounted fire pump and one (1) Caterpillar C7.1 128W Tier III emergency generator system. The hulls are double-bottomed, and outfitted for long range ocean pushing/towing, firefighting and general-purpose vessel requirements. The barge connection system is a hydraulic connecting pin system from Articouple.
Significant effort was put forth by Nichols Brothers’ engineering team in regard to the ship’s complex mechanical and electrical systems. New innovative concepts ascended during the design and construction of this ATB, which Nichols will continue to develop and implement into future new build projects.
Additionally, substantial planning and equipment development occurred in preparation for the vessel launch. The vessel weighs over 1400 long tons, and is was the heaviest, and largest draft vessel in Nichols’ history of launches, over the last 50+ years.
Nichols launch rig underwent upgrades including replacement of all hydraulic motors & planetary gears, and was outfitted with a 1,200 HP Hydraulic Power Unit. Center-Lift provided and installed ten (10) buoyancy bags to the vessels hull that provided nearly 200 tons of buoyancy. General Construction supplied a 700-ton crane barge to lift the vessel and guide to deeper water. The vessel was moored in Holmes Harbor of Freeland, Washington before being towed to Nichols Brothers’ Langley facility for final outfitting, dock and sea trials.
The vessel was delivered on June 30, 2017, and then transported to Portland Oregon, where it was coupled with the barge for unit sea trials.
Nichols Brothers has begun construction on the second 139’ x 44’ x 19’ 8,000 HP AT/B tug, which is scheduled for delivery in spring 2018. Nichols is also recently delivered a 120’ Twin Screw Tug, with a second under construction at NBBB for Kirby Offshore Marine. Additionally, Nichols is building (2) 238’ x 44’ Cruise vessels with deliveries Summer 2017 and Spring 2018.
Nichols Brothers Boat Builders has over 50 years’ experience in quality vessel construction including new-builds, repair, and major conversions. The 17-acre shipyard is centrally located on Puget Sound on Whidbey Island, in the Pacific Northwest.
The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.