Friday, July 7, 2017

Bow Steering Towboat and Other Interesting Tow(boat)s

Stuart Pearson posted
This image of the M/V Sally Polk of the Canal Barge Company was taken from the Top of a Grain Elevator in Morris, IL. The small Boat is a Bow Steering Unit especially useful in negotiating Tight Turns, and when the Towboat was headed Southbound with Empties.
Dennis DeBruler I've never seen a Bow Steering Unit before. Thanks for the info. It looks like a full 15-barge tow so, when they get to a lock, does it untie and lock through next to the rear towboat?
Stuart Pearson Dennis DeBruler~~You are CORRECT as to the Locking procedure.

Stuart Pearson posted
M/V Sally Polk of Canal Barge Co. headed Up River in the Morris, IL. area. I captured this image from atop of a Grain Elevator. The small Boat at the head of the Tow was mainly used in Southbound Tows with 15 Empty Barges to aid in Windy Conditions.

There are four truck-to-barge transloading facilities near the bend on the river in Morris, IL. Judging from the angle of the photo, I'm guessing this was taken from the concrete silos of the ADM facility.

Ted Knutsen posted
The mighty Chuck inbound Corpus!
Mel Hartsough: It's a bow thruster, trying to save money from using a tug. 
[Some comments indicate that some steering units don't have propulsion, that they have just a rudder.
They are used on long tows between New Orleans and Corpus Christi because of winds.]

A second in two days.
Joe Butcher posted
Steermasters made it allot easier on the ICW in heavy winds. Just a set of rudders forward, no thrusters.
John Cooke: Never tried it..... taken 900' of tow through the ICWW many times without.
[From comments on Ted Knutsen's post, the ICWW would be Intercoastal Waterway, West. They talk about the stretch between Houston and Corpus Christi being particularly windy.]

20150603 1960
When I was on Ruby Street Bridge, I noticed there was an upbound tow coming, so I got in the car and hustled down to the Jackson Street Bridge. But by the time I got there, the bridge was already up so I concentrated on the tow. I'm glad I did because it was big tow for this part of the river, and it included a pushboat on the bow ---  Mike Planche.  Since most pushboats with a retractable pilothouse are for local movements, that is one of the biggest pushboats that I have seen with a retractable pilothouse.

With 18mm, I was able to get a shot of the whole 11-barge tow:

Evidently when steering help is not needed between locks, it stays on the side.
Mike Spitzmiller posted two photos with the comment: "Something I have not seen before ..... Looks like a side towboat  ??"
Larry Haley: Bow thruster
Joseph Sledd: taking it somewhere safest place to put it in tow a ingram boat sunk one about that size last year below henderson ky just had it tied to the side of thier tow. [They recovered the sunk boat, but didn't bother to fix it.]


I'm going to generalize these notes to interesting tows and towboats.
See also H-tows
Zachary Bryant Moore posted
Mrs. Kay D. Now the Jeffery Stover. North bound with the largest tow ever pushed on the inland river system.
Vaughn McDaniel: Correct spelling is Miss Kae-D
[72 barges. Comments indicate the towboat is now Mark Knoy.]
Larry Mcintosh: I'm a long time towboater and when that bitch came in the Fleet I was working in ....I told all my hands ...this is gonna be a all night deal.
Chadwick Carbo: I remember when she did it Heard the CG fined her for being a hazard to navigation don’t know if that was true or not.
Clark Sigman: That’s a lot of acreage right there.
Evan Houghton: Clark Sigman like 11.5 acres.
Evan Houghton: Clark Sigman it would take around 25,000 acres of corn to fill...or around 4.3 million bushels.
[I assume that 11.5 acres is the surface area of the tow, and I find that to be the more impressive number.]
Don McCallie: I was Traffic Manager at Flowers’s Transportation when we built that tow. 1981. Ronnie Prater was Captain.

Todd Stokes commented on Zachary's post
2nd largest tow now.
“Robert A. Kyle” not sure of the name now but Ingram has it now.
Keith Haley Sr.: Todd Stokes It’s the OH now.
Vaughn McDaniel: Todd Stokes Much of this tow went from Triangle Reserve and dropped at Capitol Baton Rouge. In my opinion shouldn't count.
[10x8+3 = 83. Another comment specified 9 loads, 73 empties and one dead boat (M/V Dave Carlton).]

Leo Powers commented on Zachary's post [higher resolution]
I thought that record belongs to the Robert Kyle!

Tami Hubbard Grant posted
What kind of vessel is this passing Riverbend?
Mary Lowrey Barton: Seen them helping guide those LONG pipe in tow and keeping together!
Clint Cartwright: Dredge helper boat.
Martha Pitts Yawn: Richard said it is a "grasshopper" - used to make up barge tows. I'm sure there's another name for it.
Jim Comer: Ran one just like it when building the I-65 bridge at Decatur, lot's of fun moving the cranes and derricks and concrete trucks around.
Ron Lewis: Shift boat made to move barges around at the dock.
Dean White: Dredge tender...
Shannon D Gurganus: Bridge tender or dredge tender boat! Seen that exact same type building bridges all up and down the rivers!
Tyler Bullock: It's a little push boat it was pushing around at crane barge on a contract with the core of engineers the crane barge is unloading rock off a barge my company is pushing from Tuscaloosa to moundsville Al to the Indian reservation where they are trying to keep the bank from washing out but the boat was sold yesterday and it is headed back to mobile.

Jim Colby shared
This little feller was recently spotted on the Black Warrior River below Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It got me wondering about "teeny" Towboats. I just saw a post here with a teeny red towboat. So what are some other "teeny" Towboats on this site, and is there a more proper name than "teeny" for them?
Austin Forbess: Truckable is the proper term. [Some comments on the post also said truckable. But the first comment had a smiley face.]
David Webster: No License required less than 26ft long.
Jay Allan: Probably a dredge tender, for moving pipeline.
Sam Evans Strickland: I ran one once for a construction company. They are truckable and are used on inland lakes. We built water intake systems for towns.
Bela K. Berty: On the Ohio River, some call them "Lunch Bucket operations."
[The were a lot of comments about it being top heavy and some replies like: "You’d be surprised! The hulls are thicker than topside sheathing, plus the weight of the engines, fuel and running gear make for a very low center of gravity."
Below is a small sampling of comments that provided photos.]

Jason T. Roberts commented on Jim's share

Jack Brown commented on Jim's share
Coming to the Rescue.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Jim's share
This was docked at a marina during the Summer when the marina has no boats in storage.
Note that the pilothouse is on a scissors jack so that it is retractable. All the towboats in the Chicagoland area are retractable because the bridges on the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal no longer move. I noticed that, as small as it is, it has twin screws.
July 5, 2015
License: Creative Commons Attribution: Dennis DeBruler (CC BY)
, that's pretty interesting. The towboats that I've seen on the Black Warrior River with retractable pilot houses use hydraulic pistons. Thank you for sharing this with us .😀 👍

Dennis DeBruler commented on Jim Colby's comment
All of the other ones that I have seen do use hydraulic rams. Here is one on the Des Plaines River in Joliet, IL. It was pushing three barges.

A topic that is on my mind is why do they run with just 15-barge tows. Why not put a barge on either side of the towboat and run with 17 barges? Here is a case where they are filling those "holes" on the hips. A crane barge on the port side and a towboat on the starboard side.
Screenshot @ 0:19

One reason to leave the port hip position open is to leave room for refueling barges.
Bard Lucky Rivero posted, cropped
Paul G Blazer this fine Louisiana morning

Sam Schropp posted three photos with the comment:
Once upon a time a friend of mine was telling me that his buddy had bought a barn from the state of Illinois which had to be moved from its location on the Wildlife Refuge near the Brussels Ferry Landing on the Illinois River, to Martin Landing on the UMR. I suggested using a towboat and barge and calling Merle and Teddy Inman at West Point Landing to do the job.
 Merle and Teddy had met when Teddy was flying an airplane cross country by herself. She flew over Calhoun County and thought it was so pretty she wanted to land and take a look around. She met Merle and a life well lived followed.
The tug in the photo is the West Point, built by Merle and Teddy from the ground up on their property below Lock 25. I have some more pictures around somewhere that I will post when I find them.



Mike Spitzmiller posted
Follow the Leader on the Ohio...

Mike Spitzmiller posted two photos with no comment.
[Judging from the prop washes, the starboard towboat is along for the ride.]


One of six photos posted by Jeff Wilkes
M/V St. Paul & the Marquette shoving 12 loads up bound at the Savannah Hwy Bridge !! What ever it takes to get it done !!
[They must have important loads to use that much horsepower for just 12 barges. The Mississippi must have a strong current here when the river is running high. The trees in the background does show the river is above normal. But hydrographs show Fulton below 11 with Action at 15 and Bellevue below 12 with Action at 16. [ncrfc] That doesn't sound very high.]

I gather that tandem towboats on the Lower Mississippi is common when going northbound. A comment indicates they don't do tandem towboats going southbound. This is a view from one of the two towboats approaching the I-55 Bridge at Memphis, TN.
Russell Pottharst posted, cropped

Billy Walker commented on Russell's post

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