Cummins Powers First Towboat Built By Brice Shipbuilding
Central Boat Rentals of Morgan City, La., recently put to work a unique inland, 60-foot pushboat built by Brice Shipbuilding Inc. of Chauvin, La. The Vail Trail (shown above) is an unusual ship in that it has six rudders for improved maneuverability and control.
The four flanking rudders and two steering rudders are controlled by a mechanical-over-hydraulic steering system with full follow-up. Power for the Vail Trail is provided by two matching KTA-1150 marine engines rated at 470 bhp each at 1,800 rpm. The powerful Cummins diesels drive Twin Disc MG 518 marine gears with 6:1 ratios and Coolidge 62- by 50-inch fourbladed wheels.
"The construction and design exceeds American Bureau of Shipping requirements for a new boat," said Don Bordelon, president of Brice Shipbuilding and naval architect for the Vail Trail. "The propulsion system will make the Vail Trail a very responsive towboat." With a 27-foot-high pilothouse, a Vail Trail captain should not have any trouble keeping an eye on barges. In addition, the new boat has a specially designed bow platform located above the main deck for easy access to high barges and for carrying extra equipment.
Electrical power is provided by a Perkins 330 DKM-12 generator set rated 30 kw at 1,200 rpm. The KTA-1150 Cummins engines and the Perkins generator set were provided by Cummins Sales & Service, Inc. The boat will be serviced by the CS&S branch in nearby Morgan City.
Tom Lemmon, CS&S Morgan City branch manager, noted that Cummins was proud to be a part of the first boat built by Brice Shipbuilding and the first Cummins- powered one for Central.