One Cat That Likes The Water

By Mike Brezonick22 June 2017

Caterpillar announced the christening of the tug Dr. Hank Kaplan, which the company said is the first vessel in North America to utilize a complete Cat Marine propulsion system with both Caterpillar engines and power and Cat azimuth drives.

Owned by Seattle-based Harley Marine Services, the tug is 80 ft. long with a beam of 36 ft. and a draft of 13 ft. 7 in. The vessel is equipped with two 3516C marine diesel propulsion engines, each delivering 2675 hp (1995 kW) to a pair of MTA 524-T azimuth thrusters specifically designed for high performance applications.

The new Cat MTA 524-T azimuth thruster is the latest iteration of Caterpillar Propulsion’s thruster line, specifically optimized for the unique operation profile of a tug. Based on the standard MTA design, the updated version is engineered to maximize bollard pull, simplify installation and maintenance and increase maneuverability, the company said.

Cat dealer Peterson Power, Portland, Ore., led the efforts on the project, helping refine the spec and eventually supporting the installation and service of the systems. Cat Financial provided construction and term financing for the entire vessel.

“Caterpillar is proud to power a vast number of vessels in the Harley Marine fleet,” said Tom Frake, vice president of Caterpillar’s Global Power Solutions Division. “With the christening of Dr. Hank Kaplan, Harley Marine will be the first North American customer to feature our fully integrated propulsion system as well as our legendary power products.

“Our ability to offer a complete solution to the tug industry simplifies design and build as well as product support for customers, while showing our commitment to the marine industry.”

Designed by Robert Allen Limited of Vancouver, the tug was built at Diversified Marine in Portland, Oregon and is a sister class vessel to the recently built Michelle Sloan and Lela Franco. The new vessel was named for the chief of Medical Oncology at Swedish Cancer Institute as a tribute to his tireless dedication to cancer treatment and research.

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