The Kim M. Bouchard is the first ATB from Bouchard Transportation fitted with Nautican Integrated Propulsion Units (IPUs). The vessel is a 10,000-hp, twin screw ATB tug, classed by ABS as an A1 Towing Vessel, Dual Mode ATB, and USCG Subchapter M. The Kim M. Bouchard will pair up with Barge B. No. 270, which has a 250,000-bbl. capacity.
Bouchard, one of the leading operators of ATBs in the United States, is undergoing an expansion of their fleet and have several vessels scheduled for construction. For the first two new tugs, Nautican supplied twin IPUs, with high-efficiency nozzles, propellers, triple rudders and pre-swirl stators.
The units were fabricated and pre-assembled by Nautican in British Columbia, Canada before being disassembled for trucking to the VT Halter site at Moss Point Marine in Escatawpa, Mississippi. Each completed nozzle, with integrated stators, hub and headbox, were shipped on a long bed double drop trailer, with special escort for the oversize load, while the rudders were disassembled to reduce shipping weight and sent on two separate 40’ trailers.
Once on site at VT Halter, the prefabricated units could be installed quickly and easily.
Vessel trials took place in June 2015, with excellent results. Initially the captain and crew remained skeptical that a nozzle unit would provide the needed speed and maneuvering capability, even though the Bouchard designers and naval architects had full confidence that IPU’s performance results would be excellent. With speed trials reaching 17.2 knots, the captain conceded his earlier concerns and was ultimately very impressed with the vessel’s speed and exceptional maneuverability.
The second ATB, The Donna Bouchard, is currently under construction and will also have the Nautican Integrated Propulsion Units installed.
Kim M. Bouchard
10,000-hp, twin screw ATB Tug
Integrated Propulsion Units with nozzles, propellers, triple rudders and pre-swirl stators
Speed trials reached 17.2 knots with increased speed and towing power, and improved maneuverability.