April 1983 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

Patti Shipbuilding Delivers Oceangoing Tug M/V Navasota To Brazosport Towing

Patti Shipbuilding of Pensacola, Fla. recently delivered the oceangoing tug M/V Navasota to Brazosport Towing Co. Inc. of Freeport, Texas.

The Navasota is a 100-foot by 30-foot, 3,600-hp class oceangoing tug and is ABS classed + Maltese cross A1 all ocean towing service, + Maltese cross AMS and ABS Loadline. She will join Brazosport Towing's fleet in Freeport, Texas. The president of Brazosport Towing, Eddie Dyer, accepted delivery of the Navasota and was presented a key to the City of Pensacola by Mayor Vince Whibbs.

Brazosport Towing currently owns and operates 14 vessels in the coastal and international towing industry. Their main office is in Freeport, Texas with operations in New Orleans and on the West Coast. Dick Edgerly is manager of the New Orleans office, and the West Coast operation is associated with the U.S. Navy Submarine Development Group One and provides support vessels for the submarines Sea Cliff and Turtle.

During sea trials, the Navasota earned all A's and Frank Patti (president and general manager of Patti Shipbuilding) received a "well done" from the ABS inspectors and Brazosport Towing.

The M/V Navasota is another example of Patti Shipbuilding's quality workmanship and performance.

Equipped with twin D-399 Caterpillar engines with Reintjes Model WAV 1400 -4.95:1 gears and Columbian 99.6-OD Kort Nozzles with 82 feet by 84 inches diameter S.S. wheels, the Navasota recorded an impressive 13 knots during sea trials. Two Cat.

3304 engines equipped with 55- kw generators provide the electrical supply for the Navasota.

The main electrical panel is by Con-Select. Other equipment includes two Ingersoll Rand Type 30-Model 242 air compressors with 80 gal. receivers, Racor model 75-1000 fuel filters, Custom Hydraulic Steering System with Mathers AD 12 air controls and model SB 22 shaftbrakes, two Gould 3,500-rpm bilge pumps, one Gould 5 hp 3,500-rpm fuel transfer pump with fuel meter, two Peabody Barnes Fresh Water transfer pumps with fuel meter, two Peabody Barnes Fresh Water pump systems, a Walker Electric Service alarm system, SSI Nav/Lite panel, McElroy anchor winch and a Smatco 46/34 DAW 100 Tow Winch.

Electronics include one 64- mile Si-Tex radar, one 24-mile Si-Tex radar, Plath Navigator VI11 auto pilot, two Horizon 78 VHF radios, a Raytheon Ray 350 loudhailer, Si-Tex 757 Loran C, Motorola-Triton 40 SSB radio with Necode digital encoder/ decoder, Magnavox Sat/Nav, depth recorder and Benmar RDF.

The Navasota boasts extremely high quality interior appointments including mahogany trim in the pilothouse, staterooms and galley as well as custom-built mahogany tables, desks and cabinets.

General workmanship throughout the entire vessel reflects this same high quality and particular attention to detail.

Mr. Patti has stated: "We had no plans to become a shipbuilding firm. What I was trying to do was build a boat or two for our family fleet. But what I discovered was that there was—and is—a national chronic shortage of good boats. Customers are looking for producers who will produce real quality. And I knew what should go into a boat, and why. After all, I'd been at sea all my life." The first boat was completed but never joined the Patti fleet.

Instead, a northwestern operator made Frank an excellent offer and purchased it. In short order, there were others—requests for tugs, supply boats, crabbers and shrimpers. When a recession slowed demand for fishing craft Patti turned to workboats, needed by oil companies and others.

W o r d - o f - m o u t h testimonials brought new orders from as far away as Alaska.

Keys to the success of Patti vessels have been attention to detail, overall quality and safety, and energy economies.

The forty-five man shipyard work crew includes Patti's son, Frank Junior, who holds the title secretary and treasurer.

The short term appears to rest in some larger vessels, up to 200- foot workboats. However, tugs, fishing vessels and similar craft are Patti's stock in trade. "We see a potential market as far as New England," Mr. Patti stated.

All of this may require larger facilities soon, and the firm is now studying plans for expansion.

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