Four New Bay-Houston Tugs Are $9.2-Million Addition To Fleet

In what may be a maritime first, Bay-Houston Towing Company recently christened its four newest tugboats in a single ceremony held at City Dock 4 in the Port of Houston. These four new vessels, built at a total cost of $9.2 million, represent the second phase of a $16.9-million expansion and upgrading of the Bay-Houston fleet.

Cecil R. Haden. president of the Houston-based firm that is now the largest harbor tug fleet operating on the Texas Gulf Coast, christened the tug Captain W.D.

Haden, named after the company's founder. The other three vessels were christened by the family members whose names appear on the respective bows: W.D. Haden II, Barbara H. Neuhaus, and Mark Kuebler. The family-owned Bay- Houston Towing has always followed the tradition of naming its boats after family members. The fleet now totals 16 tugs.

The Captain W.D. Haden, designed and built by Halter Marine of New Orleans, is the first silicon controlled rectifier (SCR), diesel-electric tug built for Gulf Coast service. And it is the first tug to bear this name in the company's 100-plus years' history.

Captain W.D. Haden started the operation using mules on a towpath to pull sailing craft up Cedar Bayou in the late 1870s.

The new tug is powered by three GM/Stewart & Stevenson 16V149TI t u r b o c h a r g e d dieselgenerator sets, each 1,000-kw, 600-volt ac—a total of 4,020 bhp through Ross Hill SCR controllers driving two General Electric 567 dc motors and Philadelphia Gear reduction gearing. The 106-foot by 34-foot by 16-foot vessel has twin four-bladed, stainless-steel propellers turning in Kort nozzles.

The Captain W.D. Haden is fitted with a Markey TES-32, single-drum electric towing winch with a capacity of 2,100 feet of 2-inch wire. Bollard pull is 115,- 000 pounds ahead, 92,500 pounds astern. Other equipment includes central air-conditioning and heating, all-electric galley, foam firefighting system, Halon-protected machinery space, gyrocompass, autopilot, Loran, radar, Fathometer, SSB radio, two VHFs, and intercom. A 60-kw auxiliary generator is driven by a Detroit Diesel 4-71 engine.

With the exception of main propulsion machinery, the other three vessels—W.D. Haden II, Barbara H. Neuhaus, and Mark K — are basically identical. They have a length of 95 feet six inches, beam of 32 feet, and depth of 16 feet.

All are fitted with the same auxiliary equipment and outfit as the bigger Captain W.D. Haden. All four tugs are classed + A1 by the American Bureau of Shipping, and carry a crew of 10.

The W.D. Haden II, built at the McDermott shipyard in Morgan City, La., is powered by a 3,070- bhp GM Electro-Motive Division 16-645-E7A diesel driving a stainless steel propeller in a Kort nozzle through Reintjes WAV 3400, 5:1 reduction gear. This boat is equipped with two 100-kw auxiliary generators driven by Detroit Diesel 8V-71 engines.

The Barbara H. Neuhaus, built at Diamond Manufacturing Company's yard in Savannah, Ga., has the same power plant and auxiliaries as the W.D. Haden II. Diamond also built the Mark K, which is powered by a Nohab Polar F 212V-D825 and Reintjes WAV 3400, 4:5 reduction gear.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 25,  Oct 1980

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.