In 1999, Bisso Towboat of Luling, La., introduced the first tractor tug on the Mississippi River with the delivery of Cecilia B. Slatten. With the delivery of Andrew S. in November 2019, Bisso has introduced the first Tier 4 tractor tug on the mighty river. At 6,008 hp, it’s also the most powerful.
Main Iron Works in Houma, La., the towing company’s go-to boatyard for nearly 30 years, built Andrew S. Bisso’s 13-boat fleet now includes eight z-drive tugs, boasting the largest tractor tug fleet on the inland waterways.
“The company is committed to z-drives,” Bisso Towboat President Scott Slatten said. “They have proven admirably suited to ship assist work in tight spots and in the river’s difficult currents. They’re also not as vulnerable to river debris as once thought.”
According to Slatten, shipping companies and ship pilots are driving the demand for ASD tractor tugs. Bisso’s eight ASD tugs give the company something of a competitive advantage, especially with quality ship owners and operators.
Andrew S. is based on a proven 100-by-38-foot design developed by naval architect Greg Castleman. Bisso acquired the design after the construction of Cecilia B. Slatten more than two decades ago.
The hull form has proven itself with each successive tugboat. Bisso and Main Iron Works have modified the design tug by tug, arriving at what is essentially an enhanced version of Alma S., built-in 2006.
Incremental improvements over the years include switching to Caterpillar engines, starting with Michael S. in 2010, and making connections for hoses, fuel, water and other fluids accessible outside the engine room. Keel-cooled air conditioning became standard in 2012 with delivery of William S.
“It’s extremely efficient,” said Capt. Jon Davis, Bisso’s vice president of training. “The forced air is constantly being cooled by the river water.” The system also reduces maintenance costs.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Mariner's role still unknown as autonomous shipping gains speed
Mariners’ role still unknown as autonomous shipping gains speed
CAPTAIN MURCHISON - Texas Game Wardens gain crime-fighting advantage in the Gulf of Mexico
It’s a cat-and-mouse game on the high seas: Unlicensed commercial fisher-men from Mexico head north into Texas waters in small, swift boats called “lanchas,” hoping to catch a haul of seafood before the authorities catch them.
Piracy edges closer to home with wave of raids in southern Gulf
In the brief cellphone video recorded by a crewmember on the offshore supply vessel (OSV) Remas, the pirates walk back and forth on the deck of the ship, clenching their guns and using them to point as they order around the crew. Their faces are draped in clothing and bandanas.
MADONNA - Madonna adds flexibility, ice-breaking capacity for Wisconsin operator
For most of this century, the Washington Island Ferry Line had a single icebreaking vessel available for winter runs across Lake Michigan’s Death’s Door Passage. The arrangement caused some sleepless nights for company President Hoyt Purinton.
NTSB: Dredge hit Texas gas pipeline, causing fire that killed four
FERRIES/EXCURSION - COVID-19 threatens once-robust passenger vessel market
The passenger boat market has been relatively strong over the past few years, driven largely by ferry operators on all three coasts replacing older vessels and adding to existing fleets. Meanwhile, the relatively robust economy stoked demand for new excursion and tourist vessels.
IMO emissions report raises new concerns about methane slip
A recent report from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) reveals that global shipping emissions increased nearly 10 percent from 2012 to 2018, with the industry facing a growing challenge concerning methane slip.
Matson continues fleet renewal with versatile Kanaloa-class ships
Matson Navigation has a proud history in the Pacific dating back more than a century. The 870-foot container/roll-on, roll-off (conro) Lurline will build on that legacy well into the future.
Bay State brothers find industry niche by making old into new
Zero non-conformities is what you want to hear when the U.S. Coast Guard inspects your tugboat. Once you’ve prepared your vessel, the inspectors come aboard to peruse your paperwork. They ask you pointed questions, to which they expect straightforward answers. Perusal completed, they then scrutinize all of the related safety systems, from bilge to antennas — even the ship’s bell.
MEGAYACHTS - Megayacht demand remains strong in North America despite virus impacts
Twelve months ago, 2020 looked to be a banner year for megayachts. Sales were on the rise, clients were interested and yards were buzzing with projects. The 2019 fall boat shows, which informally kick off the yachting industry’s year, saw record attendance both in terms of exhibitors and visitors. The Marine Industries Association of South Florida reported that the 2019 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show brought in more than $715 million in sales.