Signet Shipbuilding Launches New Construction ASD

Bisso & Signet employees
E.N. Bisso and Signet employees participate in the GLADYS B christening festivities.

By MarEx 2016-11-18 14:42:00

On the morning of October 12, 2016, E.N. Bisso and Signet Shipbuilding & Repair (SS&R) Pascagoula, Mississippi, christened and launched E.N. Bisso’s newest high technology Robert Allan Ltd. (RAL) design tug.? Mrs. Deborah F. McDonald, wife of Mr. William H. McDonald, President, E.N. Bisso, New Orleans, Louisiana, was the Christening Sponsor. 

The GLADYS B, SS&R Hull 109 was launched immediately following the ceremony, and will be delivered on-time and on-budget December 12, 2016. This ASD tug is the fourth RAL design vessel constructed by SS&R, with two new build contracts currently under negotiation.

“E.N. Bisso is proud to add the GLADYS B to our growing fleet of the most advanced, powerful, and maneuverable tugs on the Lower Mississippi River (LMR). Upon delivery, ocean going vessels calling on the LMR will immediately begin enjoying the benefits that the GLADYS B will provide. The craftsmanship and attention to quality of the highest standards by Signet Shipbuilding leaves no doubt that she will serve our company well for decades to come,” said Mr. McDonald during the vessel’s christening.

GLADYS B mobilized and launched by 660 ton Travelift at Signet Shipbuilding & Repair

“She is named for the wife of the Founder of the Company in 1946, Captain Edwin Napoleon Bisso. This powerful steel titan will serve her Owner well. Built in America, Built by Americans and Built for Progress. She will soon be known in Louisiana as the Maserati of the River,” said Signet President, Mr. J. Barry Snyder.

With a LOA of 80’ and beam of 38’, GLADYS B will be powered by two (2) MTU 16V 4000 M64 EPA Tier 3 engines, rated at 2681 BHP each at 1800 RPM. These MTU engines utilize the latest technology and will reduce tug operating costs due to enhanced machinery performance, low fuel and lube consumption, and longer service intervals. The specific engine design allows for maximum reliability that will keep GLADYS B operating with greater up-time and reduced maintenance expense. “The selection of MTU Series 4000 to power GLADYS B, is a perfect fit given their high fuel efficiency and lower overall life cycle costs,” said Mr. Jeff Sherman, Commercial Marine Sales Manager for MTU America. “Signet Shipbuilding and E.N. Bisso have high demands for their vessel programs and MTU will prove, once again, these engines are the best power for this world-class tug.” 

The engines drive two (2) Rolls-Royce, US 205 P20 FP Azimuth stern drives.?The propulsion package will provide in excess of 60 metric tons bollard pull. RAL collaborated with Signet to implement a number of upgrades to the original design utilizing the latest technology to increase the vessel's capabilities to accomplish multi-disciplinary work including ship-assist, ship escort and barge moves.

GLADYS B is outfitted with a Markey DEPGF-42S, Electric 50 HP bow hawser winch and a DEPC-32 20 HP Markey deck winch on the stern, two (2) John Deere Model 6068 AFM 85, 99 kW (each), 480V Tier 3 generators and vessel fire-fighting system. Newly designed habitability features allow accommodations for six (6), a modern galley and state-of-the-art wheelhouse complete with electronic chart display, log desk and controls, instrumentation, navigation aids, and 360 degree?sliding pilot chair. GLADYS B is full American Bureau of Shipping Classification, Maltese Cross A-1 Towing vessel, ABS Certified Escort Class, Maltese Cross AMS and FIFI Capable.

Signet Maritime Corporation recently invested $7.2 million in infrastructure improvements to its Pascagoula, Mississippi shipyard, SS&R to support an increased workload and future growth. This state-of-the-art facility features a newly constructed 11,000 sq. ft. covered fabrication hall to accommodate the simultaneous construction of two vessels protected from the environment, permitting higher quality control and cost savings for customers. In addition to the recent acquisition of the 150 ton crawler crane, the facility modernization includes the dredging and renewal of 1,000 feet of bulkhead, expanded dry-dock, 1 acre of 22” thick concrete slab for vessel repairs, and upgraded sand blasting and painting area. The company has added more than fifty specialty craft positions as part of the infrastructure improvement plan.

GLADYS B mobilized and launched by 660 ton Travelift at Signet Shipbuilding & Repair.

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