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After the US and Canadian newbuild orders, ACP began an order of Z-tech 6000s from China, Cheoy Lee and Hin Lee Shipyards.  The first three to arrive in Panama were Veraguas 1, Bocas del Toro, and Darién. Compared with the Canadian boats, these were shorter, wider, and more powerful.  Compared with other Z-Tech 6000s, they had low wheelhouse,  for work around ships’ flares, and two independent forward winches.  They traveled from China to Panama on their own bottoms, with a fuel stop in Honolulu.

At 89.8′ x 38.2, Veraguas I is rated at 61 tons bollard pull, generated by two Wärtsilä 9L20 engines (4826 hp total) propelling stern z-drives, i.e., ASD (azimuth stern drive).

Here she assists Grand Mercury bound for Pedro Miguel locks right after it transits the Culebra Cut.

Virtually identical to Veraguas I are the next two tugs, also Cheoy Lee and Hin Lee built;  below Panama XIV –escorted herself by three pelicans–maneuvers in Miraflores Lake.  All three tugs date from 2007 through 2008.

And here, Ocean Beauty begins a transit for the Atlantic.  Notice here centering in the lock is provided by tugboat Chiriqui III as well as the locomotives.  The new locks–that’s Cocolí atop the distant hill–utilize tugboats only, no locomotives.

 

Also, in the distance, the two white vehicles are on the road that borders the new “third set” of locks.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who is still looking for photos of helm seats, captain’s chairs.  I’d like to do a post on them.  I’m looking for the full range:   luxurious to decrepit or basic.  Email me a photo of the chair and identify the vessel. You don’t need to be sitting in it.  I’ve got photos of three seats so far, but I’d like a half dozen before doing a post.

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