Joe Gregory, owner of New Generation Shipbulding of Houma, La., reports that his firm’s latest delivery will join the La Porte Texas-based Martin Marine fleet of 29 inland push boats and 54 inland marine tank barges. Martin also operates four offshore tug/barge units.
The latest delivery, one of New Generation’s 75 X 30 X 10-foot pushboats, is the Rex Dobson. With an operating draft of 8.5-feet these towboats have a 32-foot eye level from the wheelhouse. The wheelhouse has huge windows extending to the deck level forward and a full walk around exterior deck extension. The elevation is gained by having the wheelhouse sit atop three lower decks. These contain five crew cabins providing accommodation for up to seven crewmembers. A well-appointed galley, with granite counter tops, and mess, with large flat-screen TV, occupy the forward part of the main deck cabin with the aft part or fiddly providing storage over the main engines.
The main engines, as has become the norm on this class of towboat, are a pair of Cummins QSK38-M each of which develop 1,000 HP at 1800 RPM. The engines are fitted with Twin Disc MG5321 gears with 6.39:1 reduction turning open stainless-steel five-blade Kahlenberge 74- by 53-inch propellers on seven-inch shafts. Each propeller has two forward mounted flanking rudders with a single steering rudder behind. The props and rudders are protected by stump-jumpers fabricated from six-inch square half-inch tubing.
Main deck equipment includes two 40-ton electric winches mounted forward. Auxiliary power is provided by a pair of Cummins 6BTA5.9- liter powered 85 kW generators.
The vessel’s owner, Jason Adams, named it for New Generation’s structural superintended Rex Dobson who survived a bad stroke last year. And so it was he who broke the mandatory bottle of bubbly over the bow that bears his name.