Caterpillar Celebrates Christening of First North American Vessel with Complete Cat® Marine Solution

Published Jun 23, 2017
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Dr. Hank Kaplan - Cat Marine propulsion system (photo: Harley Marine Services)
Dr. Hank Kaplan – the first vessel in North America to feature a complete Cat Marine propulsion system with both Cat power and Cat azimuth drives (photo: Harley Marine Services)

Caterpillar has announced the christening of Dr. Hank Kaplan, the first vessel in North America to feature a complete Cat Marine propulsion system with both Cat power and Cat azimuth drives. Owned by Seattle-based Harley Marine Services, this tug has a length of 80 feet, a beam of 36 feet and a depth of 13 feet 7 inches. The vessel is equipped with two 3516C marine propulsion engines, each delivering 2675 hp (1995 kW) to a pair of MTA 524-T azimuth thrusters specifically designed for high performance applications.

“Caterpillar is proud to power a vast number of vessels in the Harley Marine fleet,” says 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,” says Frake.

The new Cat MTA 524-T azimuth thruster is the latest iteration of Caterpillar Propulsion’s proven thruster line, specifically optimised for the unique operation profile of a tug. Based on the standard MTA design, this updated version includes features to maximise bollard pull, simplify installation and maintenance, and increase manoeuvrability.

“We’ve taken pride in helping Harley Marine continue to expand their fleet over the last twenty years,” says Rob Coon, managing director of Caterpillar Financial Products Division. “The christening of this vessel signifies a successful team effort between Cat Financial, Cat Marine, Peterson Power, and Harley Marine. It’s exciting to see the culmination of our close relationships now result in Harley Marine christening the very first vessel in North America with a complete Caterpillar solution,” adds Coon.

Cat dealer Peterson Power out of Portland, OR led the efforts on the project, helping refine the spec and eventually supporting the installation and service of these systems. Further enhancing the total Cat Solution, Cat Financial provided construction and term financing for the entire vessel.

Designed by Robert Allen Limited in 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 vessel was named after the Chief of Medical Oncology at Swedish Cancer Institute, Dr. Hank Kaplan, as a tribute to his tireless dedication to cancer treatment and research. Harley & Lela Franco along with the entire Harley Marine organisation have been instrumental in supporting Dr. Kaplan’s fundraising efforts. Over the past five years alone, their annual fundraising event has contributed a remarkable USD 2,500,000 in funding to the Swedish Cancer Institute that has made a tremendous impact on the lives of cancer patients and their families.

Tags: Caterpillar Marine, Harley Marine


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