Brent Christens Cummins-Powered Towboat 'Melinda Brent#

The Melinda Brent (shown above), an 86-foot inland waterways towboat, was christened recently in New Orleans by her owners, Brent Towing of Greenville, Miss. Designed and built by Superior Boat Works of Greenville, the vessel is powered by Cummins KTA-2300-M marine diesel engines generating 1,880 total continuous duty horsepower at 1,800 rpm. Power is transmitted to 76-inch, s t a i n l e s s - s t e el Kahlenberg propellers through Twin Disc MG-540 gears set at 6.18:1. The Melinda Brent is the first of Brent's 18 boats powered by Cummins engines.

The company plans to operate the boat primarily on the Illinois River and Chicago area waterways, where it will transport chemicals to contract customers.

The vessel has a beam of 27 feet and a draft of 9 feet. It is the first of two tugs ordered by Brent from Superior Boatworks, a whol- ly owned subsidiary. A retractable pilothouse gives the boat maneuverability under low bridges in the Chicago area yet still provides adequate visibility for short runs on the choppy waters of Lake Michigan.

Manufacturer's published fuel curves show the 12-cylinder KTA- 2300-M consumes 47.4 gallons per hour under full-load, continuousduty applications. Aside from fuel efficiency, Brent also looked at power and service considerations before choosing Cummins. "The twin engines give us over 1,800 horsepower—plenty of power f or the harbor maneuverability we need with the Melinda Brent," vice president Lea Brent says.

The Melinda Brent is also equipped with a Cummins fuel/ oil blender to convert dirty lube oil into a mixture that can be burned with diesel fuel, thereby stretching fuel supplies. The vessel is also equipped with four Sarex 10 oil/water separators to filter water and contaminants from fuel.

Two Lima 75-kw generators powered by Cummins NT-495 marine a u x i l i a r y engines supply power for electronic gear and Gardner-Denver air compressors.

Patterson 20-ton deck winches powered by a five-horsepower electric motor secure tow ropes.

Communication equipment includes Triton 20 SSB and 55/75 VHF radios. Radar from Furuno and a LAZ-43 depth sounder pinpoint potential waterways hazards.

Paneled quarters for the eightman crew are located on the main deck and a spacious galley features full-size range, refrigerator and dishwasher along with a color television. The Melinda Brent is equipped with a full array of warning and safety equipment including Kahlenberg air horns, Carlisle & Finch s e a r c h l i g h t s, Perko navigation lights, and Ansul fire extinguishers.

Brent Marine Supply Company outfitted the boat, while Cummins Mid-South, Inc. of Jackson, Miss., supplied both the main propulsion engines and the auxiliary generator sets.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 42,  Apr 1981 California

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