MOBILE, Ala. – Silver Ships Inc. has delivered the largest maritime survey vessel of its series, designed for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to the Corps’ Venice sub-office in Venice, Louisiana, the company announced in a statement from the August 16. . The 49-foot marine survey vessel, Tobin, is the latest addition to Silver Ships’ Endeavor series of workboats.
Tobin is custom designed for the US Army Corps of Engineers to hydrographically map the mouth of the Mississippi River. This mission-specific vessel will allow researchers to accurately and efficiently obtain and document data on the rapidly changing waters of the Mississippi River. With the intention of keeping waterways open and preventing obstacles to marine navigation, Tobin is equipped to handle difficult river terrain. The bespoke vessel will conduct river condition surveys to enhance the safety of maritime operations.
“Tobin will join a fleet of vessels operating out of USACE’s Venice sub-office that works year-round to provide river condition data to vessel operators,” said Jason Powers, director of development. commercial for Silver Ships. “This data is critical to the safe and efficient transportation of goods on the Mississippi River.”
The vessel is powered by two Caterpillar C18 Tier 3 engines of 800 hp each to achieve optimum speeds, avoiding search delays, which is important given the frequent changes in Mississippi River conditions. The single Caterpillar C2.2 Tier 3 generator provides 25 ekW of electrical power for Tobin’s air conditioning, echo sounder and other electrical needs.
“Thompson CAT is proud to partner with Silver Ships for its power requirements,” said Richard Tremayne, director of marine business for Thompson. “Together, our engineering teams have designed and built important boats like Tobin for many years. High performance electrical installations are always fun puzzles to solve with talented companies like the team at Silver Ships.
Tobin runs with upgraded features such as MGX5136RV Twin Disc marine gears, Michigan Wheel propellers, Furuno navigation and communication systems, Delta ‘T’ Systems engine room ventilation, Arid Bilge Series 4 system and Ayres panels.
With speeds of up to 28 knots, the survey vessel allows researchers to quickly acquire data and avoid inconsistencies caused by changes in the river bottom. Additionally, Tobin is equipped with state-of-the-art technology including the EchoTrac, E-20 survey system, which is the key component enabling the vessel to take survey action. The E-20 uses a single-beam transducer that charts river depths and monitors water changes that could potentially be hazardous to marine navigation.
The name of this ship honors Thomas G. Tobin who worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers in the New Orleans District for over 30 years. As a skilled engineer and brilliant programmer, Tobin has developed systems that automate the processing and mapping of daily surveys of collected boating conditions. He was part of the Engineering Division channel improvement team and he was successful with their automated design functions that ensure successful Mississippi River operations. Mr Tobin died in February 2016, aged 54, after a courageous battle with cancer. Mr. Tobin dedicated his skills to the mission of the Corps and had a broad, lasting, and significant impact on the entire District and the citizens of South Louisiana.