Page 43: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (November 2019)

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WORKBOATS SOUTHERN TOWING COMPANY

Are the Z-drives as robust as conven- off the exterior edges of the propeller. you have more of an effect on slowing awesome, it is just a phenomenal orga- tional? No. But life is a compromise and You can have a cort nozzle that solves down the vessel at 90 degrees than you nization. in certain applications it can outperform that, but as the thrust comes out, the do turning them around 180 degrees. It’s We now have Z-drive simulations and conventional propulsion. In other appli- rudder has to redirect it and it doesn’t like a big brake. And the ability to stop a it has really helped our folks, as initially cations, conventional solutions are more do it with 100 percent ef? ciency. In a tow with a Z-drive in a distance, call it, we went out to the West Coast for the appropriate. way, when you turn a rudder at a 10 or say, “stopping distance,” is dramatically Z-drive simulation training, so we’re 20-degree angle, it’s almost like a brake. improved with the Z-drives versus con- blessed to have it right here in the inland

So when you look at some of the per- It creates a drag. So the more times you ventionals. And one that a lot of people system. Bless The Seamen’s Church and formance parameters that you count steer, the more drag you’ve inserted into don’t talk about is the ability to back up what they do, not only from an educa- as the key to the Z-drive, what are the the propulsion model and the less ef? - quickly, safely. tional point of view, but what they do for top advantages? ciency you have. The ‘best of the best’ (captain) may be our mariners.

Maneuverability. They can maneuver No vessel can maneuver a tow into or able to back, maneuver and steer a tow Bottom line, you give them the oppor- so much better than conventionals. The out of a dock as good as the Z drive. And in the reverse direction, which is dif? cult tunity and then you put them out on a conventional propeller, as the propeller then you start talking about bumps and with a conventional drive. The Z-drives boat and you let them try. In fact when designers look at it, they have to be able bruises on your barges, a lot of which make it easier, and the enhanced maneu- the downturn in the industry came in late to back with a certain amount of ef? cien- come when you’re docking, undocking, verability really improves our margin of ’15-’17, a lot of people cut their wheel- cy. In order to give a propeller the abil- going into a lock, leaving a lock. And safety. house development programs. We kept ity to back, it takes away from forward sometimes those bumps and bruises turn ours, and to some extent accelerated it. performance. The nice thing about the into incidents. How has it been getting the captains You have to invest in people. On my ? rst

Z-drive is it is designed 100 percent to The safety contribution that Z-drives of your boats to adopt the Z-Drive? day here I told everybody I was going to go in one direction because the thruster makes to marine transportation – espe- The ones that want to get involved get invest in boats, barges, and people. And itself turns 360 degrees. And in conven- cially barge marine transportation – is involved and we aggressively try to in- if it didn’t ? t those categories, I wasn’t tionals, you have the rudder that directs dramatic. If you want to stop, you can vest in them. The Seamen’s Church In- going spend money on it until the orga- the thrust, and some of that thrust slips turn these thrusters at 90 degrees and stitute simulator system in Paducah is nization was where I wanted it to be.

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StearnsFlotation.com / Jeffrey.Gayer@StearnsFlotation.com www.marinelink.com 43

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