Page 60: of Marine News Magazine (March 2013)

Shipyard Report: Construction & Repair

Read this page in Pdf, Flash or Html5 edition of March 2013 Marine News Magazine

I read with great dismay, the arti- cle that appeared in your maga- zine?s February 2013 issue, enti-tled ?THE AR- TICULATED TUG BARGE (ATB) QUAN- DRY?. I?ll open with the de nition of quandary: noun, plural quandaries : a state of perplexity or uncertainty, especially as to what to do; dilemma.There is no dilemma involving AT/ B?s present in the coastwise or ocean transportation marketplace. AT/B?s are indeed increasingly supplanting ships in the Jones Act coastal trade. It is a trend that is slowly beginning to spread to coastwise transport in other regions of the world as well. But the reality is, that it is also a force in deep water/ocean transport as well. So I want to examine the assertions made by the article?s author and es- sentially show the inaccuracies present in them, and provide the actual facts that trump the opinions expressed by the author. My goal is to deal with the technical inaccuracies of the article. I will leave it to others to deal with the manning contentions ? though I will cover them with regard to places where they are not correctly stated as they apply to AT/B?s themselves. The very  rst paragraph of the ar- ticle is grossly inaccurate. There is no ?safety gap? between AT/B?s and ships. Every time AT/B?s insert them- selves deeper into the maritime trades, shipowners will lament the ?lack of regulation? the AT/B is alleged to have. Well, I design them for a liv- ing. It is all I do. I?ve done it for over 30 years. Anyone who believes that AT/B?s somehow get a pass regarding regulations, has no idea what they are talking about. We are presently en- gaged in designing AT/B?s for a whole range of product transportation, in- cluding LNG. So, please allow me to directly quote a section from a Speci-  cation we are preparing for an AT/B lique ed gas carrier, indicating the regulations and standards that are be- OP/EDCOLUMNResponding to ?The Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) Quandary? By Robert P. Hill Last month, MarineNews ran an article entitled, ?The Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) Quandary,? authored by Captain Jeff Cowan. To say that the piece elicited much discussion and reader input would not give justice to the response that this article received. To be fair, most of the responses re- ceived to date were critical of Captain Cowan?s narrative. That said; Cowan is an infrequent, yet knowledgeable and I think, compelling contributor to the MarineNews editorial product. Certainly, his copy ? at least in this case ? provides ample material for good debate. And, I?m happy to present opposing opinions. Robert P. Hill is President & Principal Naval Architect at Ocean Tug & Barge Engineering Corporation. Billed as the leader in Articulated Tug/ Barge Unit Design, Hill?s  rm celebrated 33 Years of experience in 2012. They provide Articulated Tug & Barge (AT/B) Design, connection system retro ts, model testing and harbor & ocean tug design. This month, we chose his carefully worded response to provide a balanced view on the sub- ject of safety, regulatory oversight and how all of that impacts the ?ATB? equation. We received a lot of mail; Mr. Hill?s by far was the most eloquent. Read on to see what he had to say. Joseph Keefe, editor March 2013 60 MNMN March2013 Layout 50-65.indd 60MN March2013 Layout 50-65.indd 603/4/2013 3:54:07 PM3/4/2013 3:54:07 PM

Marine News

Marine News is the premier magazine of the North American Inland, coastal and Offshore workboat markets.