Master Marine delivers 78′ towboat to Marquette

October 21, 2015

In August Marquette Transportation took delivery of its latest towboat from Master Marine in Bayou La Batre, AL.

The 78’×34’×11′ St. Peter is now part of Marquette’s Gulf-Inland division, based in Harahan, LA.

By Michael Crowley     10/1/2015

Several things set this towboat apart from others in Marquette’s fleet. The St. Peter is powered with Z-drives, which puts her in limited towboat company. She’s just “the third or fourth one that’s been launched,” said Kimia Jalili, with Entech Designs in Houma, La., the St. Peter’s designer.  In addition, the towboat has a fairly shallow draft. “It’s one of the first towboats with Z-drives and a pretty good shallow draft,” said Jalili. “Most of the Z-drive boats have deeper drafts — nine feet to nine-and-a-half feet.” Master Marine’s Steven Authement said that the shallow draft is a big difference between a towboat built at his yard and at others. “One thing about our Z-drives is we have one of the lowest drafts out there for 2,000 horsepower — eight-foot draft fully loaded.” This isn’t the first Z-drive towboat Master Marine has built and it won’t be the last. “The towboat operators love them,” Authement said. “They have such control and direct power, where you need it and when you need it — 100 percent in any direction.” Another difference between the St. Peter and other towboats of its size is its four decks. “Most of the 72 and 78 footers have three decks,” said Jalili. That and the fact the main deck house extends all the way back on the deck allows for a larger accommodations area.  “The accommodations area on the main deck is pretty large,” said Jalili. Authement called the lounge on the main deck “huge.” There’s also a galley and mess area on the main deck, as well as walk-in pantries, laundry room and bathroom.  Above that, the 01 deck has two staterooms with double bunks, a single stateroom for the relief and another for the captain. The 02 deck has the electronics room and an exercise room. “They like the exercise room,” noted Authement, “so we are putting them on every boat for [Marquette].” When it comes to the business of moving barges, the St. Peter has a pair of 1,000-hp at 1,800 rpm Caterpillar C32s that are matched up with ZF AT 5111 WM-FP Z-drives from ZF Marine Propulsion Systems. The Z-drives have 65″, 4-bladed propellers in nozzles.  The propulsion combination gives the new towboat a running speed of 10 knots in a loaded condition.  Also in the engine room are two 80-kW Marathon Mariner gensets driven by John Deere 4045AFM85 generator engines. Patterson 40-ton, electrically powered deck winches secure the barge tows. Master Marine has orders for more Z-drive towboats for Marquette and is building two at a time. The next towboat was due to be launched by mid-September.   — Michael Crowley –

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