Another noteworthy vessel packing similar power numbers is Canal Barge’s 6,000-horsepower H. Merritt “Heavy” Lane, Jr., handed over from Conrad Shipyard’s Amelia, La. facility in April. The new towboat, which measures 166 feet by 49 by 12 and is powered by EPA Tier IV-compliant Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) engines, is the flagship of Canal Barge Company’s growing towboat fleet, according to company president and CEO, H. Merritt Lane, III.
“We believe that the Heavy is the first high-horsepower boat on the U.S. Inland Waterways to utilize an EPA Tier IV engine package,” said Ron Zornes, CBC’s Director of Corporate Operations, adding that the need to add high-horsepower tonnage was a driver behind ordering the newbuild. “There are a limited number of higher-horsepower inland towboats of a young enough age that are available for acquisition, so in this case we believe that there was a strong business case to build new for the future.”
The inland towboat H. Merritt “Heavy” Lane, Jr. will work the Lower Mississippi River system primarily, and has the flexibility and versatility to move liquid and dry cargos according to business need, Zornes said.
According to the shipbuilder, the vessel design is based on a proven concept that has been enhanced to modern standards through advanced engineering analysis targeting improved efficiency, crew accommodations and noise reduction.
Designed by naval architects MiNO Marine, the Heavy Lane has a unique hull form to ensure adequate water flow to the propellers in all operating conditions. The design allows the transfer of full power through the propellers, minimizing propeller vibrations transferred to the hull due to unsteady water flow. The design also reduces the potential for flow-induced vibration, ensuring greater crew comfort and reduced noise.
For even greater crew comfort, the superstructure is divided into two sections, one floating and one fixed, and all living accommodations are located in the floating section which sits atop air bellow vibration isolators designed to minimize noise and vibration transmission from the operating machinery. Floating floors in the joiner work reduce vibration as well.
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