Marine Inland Fabricators Launches Tow Steering Unit

Marine Inland Fabricators recently launched and delivered its first tow steering vessel at its Panama City, Fla., yard to a major U.S. towing company.

The tow steering unit has a length of 36 feet 8 inches, beam of 18 feet and hull depth of 7 feet. Power for the unit is supplied by two Detroit Diesel 6-71 engines through 2.5:1 reduction gears and 36- by 24-inch propellers.

The unit, which will be used to tow liquid barges, was developed by Marine Inland Fabricators in close cooperation with the customer. The operators are convinced of the superiority of tow steering units over bowthrusters, as they enable the tow boat to drive its tow around bends and gain speed over the thrusters which simply push sideways. "We are told that they decrease trip times significantly and they tow more safely with these units," said Stewart Sumpton, a principal of Marine Inland Fabricators.

In describing the steering unit, Ronnie Posey, Marine Inland Fabricators superintendent, said, "The boat has no pilothouse—its engines and steering are remotely controlled from the towboat." Marine Inland Fabricators is a builder of workboats and barges and specializes in smaller truckable type units.

For free literature describing the capabilities of Marine Inland Fabricators,

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