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Nichols Brothers Completes Four Tug Series for Foss

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland, Washington has delivered the fourth and final 90ton bollard pull ASD90 tractor tug to Foss Maritime, a division of the Saltchuk company.

NBBB has now completed and delivered the fourvessel build series including the MV Jamie Ann, MV Sarah Avrick, MV Leisa Florence, and MV Rachael Allen, all delivered between April 2020 and June 2021.

Two of the vessels will be stationed in Los Angeles/Long Beach, while the other two will be in the San Francisco Bay providing escort and assist services to large tankers and containerships calling on the California ports.

Designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants, ASD90 Class are 100’ x 40’ ZDrive tractor tugs built to United States Coast Guard Subchapter “M” regulatory standards, with ABS loadline certification, and UWILD notation.

The tugs’ two MTU Series 16v4000M65L main engines are rated at 3433 HP and meet the US EPA Tier 4 standards, reducing particulate emissions through in cylinder combustion technologies and nitrogen oxide emissions to near zero through a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system.

The MTU SCR system is designed with a high focus on noise reduction and provides optimization of the engine delivering improved efficiencies, fuel consumption is reduced by 8% at full power and 1422% over a wider operating range compared to previous MTU engines in this power range.

The MTU Series 4000 engines are paired with Kongsberg US255 azimuth thrusters, equipped with Health Monitoring features allowing local as well as remote monitoring of the thrusters bearings and oil condition. The propulsion package produces over 90 tons of bollard pull giving the tugs exceptional pulling power and maneuverability.

The fourth vessel in the series, the MV Rachael Allen, will be the first tugboat in the United States delivered with the Sea Machines SM300 Autonomous system, including transit autonomy as well as remote access of the tug’s onboard machinery, allowing personnel to manage and support operations from anywhere on board the vessel or from shore. The capability of the technology will be activated in stepped phases over the course of six to nine months in order to ensure full visibility and acceptance.

“The ASD90 newbuild program produced three vessels for Foss and one vessel for our sister company, AmNav. They will meet the current and future needs of the largest vessels of our customers calling on California ports,” said Will Roberts President of Foss Maritime. “The tugs were built to satisfy the requirements we believe will soon be required of the rest of the country and the world,” said Roberts. “Foss prides itself on always offering customers safe and innovative solutions, and this is one more way that we are delivering on that promise.”

Deliveries of the series continued despite COVID19 challenges. In fact, the first tug in the series, the MV Jamie Ann, had its first job assisting in moving the Naval Hospital Ship USNS Mercy as it departed the Port of Los Angeles for her homeport in San Diego in April 2020, and later participated in firefighting on the USS Bonhomme Richard.

“At the onset of the COVID pandemic, NBBB had to significantly rearrange production to allow for safety protocols required to protect our workforce. NBBB reacted rapidly and while it certainly had a significant impact on production, we were able to keep working and never had a cross infection at any of the facilities. Foss was an incredible team player with encouragement toward the safety of our people and operations” said NBBB CEO Gavin Higgins. “I am very proud of the way our employees responded to the pandemic and their commitment as essential workers”.

The opinions expressed herein are the author’s and not necessarily those of News2Sea.

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