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Maritime Reporter
 Magazine - November 2009 - Page 68
FEATURE BOATBUILDING For Reinauer Transportation Senesco Builds the First Facet Tugs Story and Images by Don Sutherland The world's first Facet Tug, the Ruth M. Reinauer, was delivered by the Senesco Shipyard in Kingston, Rhode Island, last April. The Ruth's sister, the Laurie Ann Reinauer, is scheduled for launch at just about the time this is published. Both vessels represent a new style of ATB design and construction, insofar as the Facet Tug has not an inch of curved steel anywhere. It's composed completely of flat steel, multiple chines taking the place of shaped steel. The result is that a smaller shipyard can make a large tug -- the Ruth and the Laurie Ann are 116-feet overall, with 4000HP of MTU 16V 4000 M60 power -- at a moderate cost. The half-year of experience gained between the two launches revealed only one area for improvement. "Shortly after the Ruth was delivered," said Senesco project manager George Wu, "it was decided that performance would be a little better if the pitch of the propellers was slightly increased." Another specification given by Mr. Wu was the building time of the newer tug, which he described as "10% shorter" than the original. Well sure, when you get to the second one, a lot of the things you had to figure-out for the first one are already settled. Even progressions like moving the tug from the construction area to the drydock from which it will be launched went quicker with the Laurie Ann. Senesco used a brace of Scheuerle shipyard transporters to move the finished 82-foot tall boat to its launching point. The trek took five hours for the Ruth -- "we stopped every few minutes to check everything," said George Wu, "but following that experience it was more routine with the Laurie Ann," whose corresponding journey to the drydock took only about an hour. Also trimmed was the part that was most challenging on the Ruth, the construction of tanks within tanks, which make the vessel effectively a double-hull tug. The operating space inside the tanks was tight for the workers, and ventilation was always an issue. With the first tug under their belt, the Senesco workers found the second one all the more accommodating. Before its first tugs, Senesco had about a decade of building tanker barges in the 80,000- George Wu, Senesco's project manager for the Facet Tugs, provides a sense of scale for the large vessel. The compliments for the shipyard's workers in building these first Facet Tugs have been consistent in their praise, and generally nonstop. (Photo: Don Sutherland) 68 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News
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