The INTERCON COUPLER SYSTEM provides a safe and efficient solution to the problems of connecting tugs and barges in ocean and coastwise pushing operations. Principal benefits include the ability to push in the widest range of sea states; the complete elimination of hull contact; fail-safe mechanical connection with redundant controls, and elimination of the expense and hazards of towing lines and related equipment.
In simplest form, the patented Intercon Coupler System provides a single degree of freedom allowing the tug to pitch about a transverse connection between the tug and barge. All other motions are restrained so that tug motions match barge motions in roll and heave. The connection is mechanical – accomplished with two independently mounted ram assemblies, gear driven, and configured for tug installation. The rams stroke transversely, engaging the vertical ladder structures incorporated into both walls of the stern notch. The resulting tug-barge connection is rigid and mechanically locked.