NavCal Marine Services has organized TOWBOAT TOUR as a nonprofit effort to focus totally on getting the word out about the advantages of shipping by barge on the U. S. Inland river system. We are a very strong supporter of the U. S. Inland towing industry and especially interested in container on barge shipping. Click here to follow our project progress. We have written the only book on Towboating and we are currently developing a book on River Navigation.
We now have the preliminary design for a 25’ x 8’, 1/5 scale model, towboat (now under construction) and 25’ x 8’ barge to use on the tour. Tentative plans call for leaving Knoxville and touring the Tennessee River to the Cumberland River. From there the boat and barge would be trucked to Nashville for a Cumberland River tour to Paducah. Then to Pittsburgh for the Ohio River tour to Cairo. Then to St. Paul for the Mississippi tour. We will probably trailer to to Mobile for an upbound Ten-Tom tour and then back to Knoxville.
The barge would have sinage saying:
SHIP BY BARGE
1/15 the cost of truck
The barge would be used for publicity (City Officials) events and for free tours. Local press releases will be sent in advance and the towboat PA system can be used for shore side presentations if needed. A PowerPoint presentation will be available for use at stops. Very large cities might have multi day stops as needed to accommodate presentations and guests.
At this point we are soliciting suggestions and logistical support through our blog. Please give us your thoughts and suggestions. If you have a barging operation in your area please send us information on it so we can include your area in a tour. Our primary need during the tour would be logistical support/advertizing. NavCal would cover all the boat, barge and crew expenses as our contribution to the effort.
The importance of inland shipping from the Waterways Council
“Our nation’s waterways Keep America Moving, provide family-wage American jobs, support exports, and protect the environment. They relieve traffic congestion, are the most energy-efficient mode of surface transportation, and are vital to our agriculture, manufacturing and energy sectors.” WCI waterways benefit video.
The latest multimodal freight comparisons can be found at WCIPub20170429_08445224.
Ever wondered what it is like to be a deckhand?
The video about a deckhand above will give you some idea about what the job is like. If you are looking for good pay plus room and board while you are on the boat this is certainly worth checking out.
July 2017 Workboat Magazine article by Capt Farmer