93 December 18, 1999
Huey L. Cheramie, Inc Takes Delivery of Triple Screw Tug
On December 15, Rodriguez Boat Builders Inc. of Bayou La Batre Alabama delivered a fine looking model bow tug as the conclusion of a busy year. The 72x24x9-foot "M/V Connor A. Gisclair" was designed by Rodriguez and joint owners, Rusty Gisclair and Huey J. Cheramie, to replace the tug "Emily Cheramie," which they lost in the spring of 1998 on a reef off the coast of Belize. Actually owned by a sister company named Inshore Marine. Inc. the tug carries the Huey L. Cheramie, Inc. stack logo. The new boat continues the owners' preference for triple screw tugs. (See Cummins Hotips#36, May'98). Four of the company's current fleet of eight vessels are triple screw. Cheramie says, "Not only is it the most effective application, with continued operation in the event of a lost engine, the safety factor of just having that extra engine is something we really like."
With accommodation for six people, the boat carries up to 24,000 gallons of fuel, 5500 gallons of fresh water, 200 gallons each of lube, hydraulic, clutch and waste oil. Hull framing is on 18-inch centres to which is welded 3/8th-inch plate on the bottom except under the stern where ½-inch plate was used. Side shells are 5/16-inch with 3/8-inch for deck and 1/4-inch for the superstructure. A Smatco 44 single-drum towing winch with a 50,000 pound line pull and 1,500 feet of 1.25-inch wire is installed aft. The boat can operate in a push mode for inland waters and will tow in outside waters.
Propulsion power is three Cummins NTA 855-M diesels each rated for 350 HP continuous duty at 1800 RPM. The engines turn through ZF-350-1 gears with a deep ratio of 6.499:1 to 58.5-inch propellers in nozzles with 60-inch inside diameters and outside diameters of 72 inches. The prop diameter was kept small to keep to a shallow draft, at the same time the pitch of the props is a dramatic 74 inches, well over square. Huey Cheramie explains that the designers at Rice Propellers came up with this to allow the full power of the engines to be achieved with the smaller diameter three blade props. At the same time to maintain the light boat draft of about 6.5-feet, the upper curves of the nozzles have been faired into the underside of the hull with tear-shaped rounds formed into the hull forward of the nozzles to assure adequate and uninterrupted water flow to the props. Ballasting will allow the boat to gain a 8.5-foot draft for improved stability in outside waters.
The boat was delivered to the owners on December 15, 1999 and on December 16 she began her maiden voyage, with another of the company's triple screw tugs. Her voyage will take her from Morgan City, LA to Morris, Illinois with two offshore barges to deliver refinery components. The "Connor A. Gisclair" will be towing on the hawser while the second tug will be made up astern as an assist boat. A conventional push boat was not an option as the loaded barges have an air draft of 46 feet which would block visibility for a push boat.. Meanwhile the shallow water draft of the triple screw tugs will allow them to operate safely even in the smaller inland waters which typically are maintained to a 9.5-foot depth.
For more information:
Huey Cheramie or Russell "Rusty" Gisclair, Jr.