Handy Size, Ample Power, Ship Handler


Cummins Vessel Reference #797

53×26’6?x14-foot draft, 2X KTA38-M2 1200 HP each at 1800 RPM AG McIlwain design

Steady, smooth, powerful, highly maneuverable,” these were comments by mariners, who were onboard for sea trials of Jones Marine Group’s new tractor tug David J. The new boat was put through its paces in fine form. The boat is an A.G. McIlwain-designed 53 by 26.5-foot handy-sized tractor tug with a hefty14-foot molded depth. The beam offers remarkable stability while the length allows the tug to work in tight spaces.


Tasting the water for the first time.

Built by Sylte Marine of Maple Ridge for Jones Marine Group Ltd, of Chemainus, it is, as company president Daryl R. Jones explains, “A new breed for us, so we have brought in Don Westmoreland, a retired captain who has operated Z-drives in the port of Vancouver. He will be training my crew.”


Jones Marine Group owner Daryl Jones at the launching of the David J.

Jones has built a successful company with a fleet of nine boats. Until now, all were conventional drives. One, the Helen J, has the same Cummins KTA38 engines as the David J, but with an 850 HP rating and conventional drives. It is also a McIlwain/Sylte tug. The Jones firm handles all the ship docking for Chemainus, Crofton and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. “The ships are getting bigger,” explained Daryl Jones, adding that, “the pilots are accustom to have Z-drives in Vancouver.” He expects that the new tug will be able to handle most ships, especially those with bow thrusters, on its own.


The David J through the staple.

The compact tug packs significant power with a pair of IMO II compliant Cummins KTA38-M2 mains each delivering 1200 HP at 1800 RPM through carbon-fiber shafts to a pair of Rolls-Royce Marine US155 P14 Z-drives, with fixed props in nozzles. The soft mounted engines and carbon-fiber shafts serve to isolate vibrations and noise from the tug’s hull.


2400 Cummins horse power in the heart of the beast.

The wheelhouse if further isolated on soft mount pedestals to provide improved crew comfort. The controls are mounted on two consoles port and starboard of the operator’s central position. An angled hatch set forward between the pedestals provides access to the large forecastle.


A well laid out wheel house.

The starboard console includes the winch controls so that the mate/deckhand, in a two-person operation, can step into the wheelhouse from the foredeck and work the winch while in direct contact with the captain. An additional set of controls is mounted near the hawser winch that was supplied by Vancouver’s Burrard Iron Works. “I thought of putting a towing winch on it as well,” said Jones, whose firm also tows log booms, “But I decided that I didn’t want to put those Z-drives anywhere near logs. So it will be a dedicated ship hander.”


Beginning her sea trials.

Like the rest of the Jones Marine fleet the David J will operate as a two-person day boat. A pair of crew boats, including a big RIB that cruises at 30 knots and can do 45 knots, provide quick crew changes when the boats are working.


The David J idling on the Fraser River.

A sad note was the death of respected yard owner and founder Earling Sylte between the time of the David J’s launch and sea trials. In recent months, Sylte had been handing more of the operation of the yard off to his manager Tom Warner, and the yard, which has an additional tug under construction, is expected to continue.

Photos courtesy of Haig-Brown/Cummins

For further information:

Daryl R.Jones
Jones Marine Group Ltd.
P.O. Box 29
Chemainus, BC, V0R 1K1
Mobile: 250 2521012
Office: 250 246 1100
E-mail: daryl@jmstugs.com

Aaron Bruce
Marine Sales Manager,
Cummins Western Canada
18452 96th Ave.
Surrey, BC V4N 3P8
Mobile: 604 220-3765
Office: 604 882 5726
E-mail: aaron.bruce@cummins.com

Steve McIlwain
A.G. McIlwain Ltd.
Marine Architects – Consultants
5007 Pinetree Crescent
West Vancouver, BC V7W 3A2
Phone: 604.922.8622 | Fax: 604.922.2039
Cell: 604 802 5533
Web: agmcilwain.com | agmac@uniserve.com

Alan Haig-Brown

Alan Haig-Brown

Over 30 years as an author for global commercial marine and fishing publications backed with hands-on experience on commercial fishing boats and coastal freighters makes Alan Haig-Brown uniquely qualified to provide vessel reference articles for Cummins Marine. You can find him in shipyards around the world, and on his own website, www.haigbrown.com.

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