Rodriguez Lift Boat Survives Katrina and Nears Delivery
“We went down and cut 24-inch holes through the hull into the six major voids and then we opened up the deck plates so that when the water came into the hull the air could escape. This opened 60 percent of the hull to the atmosphere,” recalls Joey Rodriguez of the hurried preparations for last August’s hurricane Katrina. When Katrina sent a wall of water rushing a half-mile up Bayou LaBatre to surge up and over the yard, Rodriguez’s strategy worked. The 1500-ton jack-up boat’s 12-foot deep hull flooded with five feet of water but the vital parts stayed dry. “If it had moved we would have had a major problem,” he says.
Testament to this are the dozen or more shrimp boats, each weighing less than a tenth of the jack-up, that are still not back in the water along the marshy bayou four months after the storm. While salvours work to get these boats and a small heavily laden freighter back into the water, the Rodriguez crews are hard at work trying to make up for the two-month delivery delay caused by the storm. The 145x110 foot vessel is scheduled for a preliminary test jack-up in early February.
Her two 500 hp Cummins KTA19 engines will drive the hydraulic pumps that operate 12 hydraulic motors on each of her three 265-foot by 105-inch legs. The motors are capable of lifting the craft plus up to 500 tons of deck load. To prevent the huge weight from sinking in the seabed, each leg has a massive 20x40-foot pad formed with1-inch steel on their bottom. The jacking system is supplied by Hydraquip Corporation of Kenner Louisiana. (www.hydraquip.com)
The vessel will have one 200-ton and one 30-ton fixed base deck cranes. The deck provides a four-inch catchment area in the event of any oil leaks. This is created by using 12-foot wide steel plate for the hull sides to avoid any horizontal welds and lowering the deck within that dimension. The large accommodation superstructure will be capable of housing and feeding up to 42 crew and construction workers. Two Cummins KTA38 M1 engines rated for 1000 hp each at 1800 RPM and turning 72-inch four-blade props will provide main propulsion.
Electrical demands will be met by a pair of Cummins 6CTA8.3DM engines powering 165 Kw generators. The vessel will be US Coast Guard and ABS classed and is owned by C&S Lift Boats of Louisiana.
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