Horizon delivers 19th towboat to Florida Marine

David Krapf
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Horizon Shipbuilding, Bayou La Batre, Ala., has delivered the A.B. York, a 120’x35′ towboat, to Florida Marine Transporters (FMT), Mandeville, La. It’s the 19th towboat delivered to FMT by Horizon and the ninth 120’ towboat.

“After the delivery of the A.B. York this brings the total horsepower delivered to FMT by Horizon to nearly 100,000 and counting,” Travis Short, president of Horizon, said in a statement. “It is hard to grasp that nearly a decade has passed. Horizon appreciates the privilege to have been given the honor to build incredible boats for a truly incredible company.”

The A.B. York, designed by Gilbert Associates, has a 10’ draft. The retractable pilothouse towboat has four decks and is outfitted for service in areas restricted to overhead clearances and draft limitations. Two 2,000-hp 3512C Caterpillar engines supplied by Louisiana Machinery power the towboat. The engines are coupled to Twin Disc MG5600 reduction gears with a 5.04:1 ratio, supplied by Sewart Supply. The Cats turn 100″ 5-bladed, stainless steel wheels from Sound Propeller on 10″ shafts. Two 175-kW Caterpillar C9 generators supply auxiliary power. The A.B. York is an open-wheel boat that holds 58,000 gals. of fuel.

“We’ve built a lot of towboats for FMT,” said Mike Sims, project manager for the A.B. York. “This boat is not a thoroughbred racehorse but more like a Clydesdale. It’s big and beefy with lots of oomph. Our craftsmen stepped up and built an excellent boat. She’s quiet but powerful and can push a bunch of loaded barges while the crew relaxes in superior accommodations.”

Horizon utilized Gordhead management software to ensure the A.B. York remained on schedule and on budget. This software has reduced production man-hours and shortened delivery schedules.

Another 120’ retractable pilothouse towboat for FMT is in production at Horizon, with delivery scheduled for the spring of 2017. The delivery of this vessel will bring the total number of FMT towboat deliveries by Horizon to 20 and the total vessels delivered to FMT by Horizon to 30.

The A.B. York. Horizon Shipbuilding photo.