Nichols Brothers delivers fourth tug to Foss


Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) said they have delivered the latest in a series of four new tugs for Foss Maritime.

ASD-90 tractor tugs Jamie Ann, Sarah Avrick, Leisa Florence and Rachael Allen were completed and delivered between April 2020 and June 2021. Foss, a division of the Saltchuk Company, will station two of the vessels in Los Angeles / Long Beach, while that the other two ships will be in San Francisco Bay to provide escort and assistance services to large tankers and container ships calling at California ports.

The fourth vessel in the series, Rachael Allen, will be the first tugboat in the United States to ship with the Sea Machines SM300 autonomous system, including self-transit as well as remote access to the machines on board the tug, allowing the staff to manage and support operations from anywhere on the ship or shore. The technology capacity will be activated in phases over a six to nine month period to ensure full visibility and acceptance of all operational stakeholders.

Foss will use existing staff at its Fleet Monitoring Center to monitor the tug’s systems and operating area via streaming video and sensor data.

The ASD-90 class tugs are a design by Jensen Maritime Consultants. Z-Drive 100 ‘x 40’ Tractor Tugs are built to US Coast Guard Subchapter “M” regulatory standards, with ABS load line certification and UWILD rating.

Each vessel is equipped with two MTU 16v4000M65L series main engines rated at 3,433 hp each that meet US EPA Tier 4 standards, reducing particulate emissions through cylinder combustion technologies and oxide emissions of nitrogen to near zero thanks to a selective catalytic reduction system. The MTU SCR system offers engine optimization with improved efficiency, fuel consumption is reduced by 8% at full power and by 14-22% over a wider operating range compared to previous MTU engines in this power range . MTU engine and SCR are designed with an emphasis on noise reduction, standard features such as resilient mounting, turbocharger air intake mufflers and SCR insulation and noise reduction, the all combined to produce noise levels throughout the ship without traditional exhaust mufflers. MTU engines are also equipped with MTU Go, a digital MTU monitoring system and service that allows continuous monitoring of the engines, including all engine parameters and alarms, with trend and broadcast of engine alarms through the MTU application. Go.

MTU 4000 series motors are combined with Kongsberg US255 azimuth thrusters. Azimuth thrusters are equipped with health monitoring functions allowing local and remote monitoring of thruster bearings and oil condition. The power package produces over 90 tonnes of bollard pull giving the tugs exceptional pulling power and maneuverability. The ships are fitted with two different sets of Mackay Marine Electronics and Markey winches. All four ships are fitted with a Markey DEPGF-52R-75HP forward winch for vessel assistance. Two of the vessels are fitted with a TESS-34AS-75HP rescue winch aft and two are fitted with a DEPC-32 barge handling winch aft.

“The ASD-90 new build program produced three vessels for Foss and one vessel for our sister company, AmNav. They will meet the current and future needs of our customers’ larger vessels calling at California ports, ”said Will Roberts, President of Foss Maritime. “The tugs were built to meet the demands that we believe will soon be required from the rest of the country and the world,” said Roberts. “Foss prides itself on always providing our customers with safe and innovative solutions, and it’s another way to keep that promise. “

The NBBB said his team had persevered despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak and maintained a modified schedule, delivering all four ships during the global pandemic. Jamie Ann’s first job was to help move the massive naval hospital ship USNS Mercy as it left the Port of Los Angeles for its home port in San Diego in April 2020, followed by the fight against l fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard.

“At the onset of the COVID pandemic, NBBB had to dramatically reorganize production to allow the necessary safety protocols to protect our workforce. NBBB responded quickly 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, promoting the safety of our employees and our operations, ”said Gavin Higgins, CEO of NBBB. “I am very proud of the way our employees have responded to the pandemic and their commitment as essential workers. “

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