3118 Harrisburg Blvd., Suite 100 Houston, TX 77003 | 281.532.2080 |

Commercial Vessel Designs

The Shearer Group, Inc., and it’s predecessor, Shearer & Assoc., Inc., have been in business for almost three decades, Ed Shearer, P.E. having launched Shearer & Assoc., Inc. in the mid-eighties to design inland towboats and barges. Ed Shearer is the third generation Shearer to work in the inland towboat business, his father, and grandfather before him having run the O.F. Shearer Line from the 1920’s until 1973 when it was sold to American Electric Power, their largest client.

The present day design firm, The Shearer Group, Inc., has completed designs and provided construction support for all types of commercial vessels, including but not limited to: towboats (both conventional and z-drive), liquid barges, dry cargo barges, crane barges and many other vessel types such as dry docks, floating dock facilities and floating casinos.

Recent towboat experience includes a fleet of eight azimuth drive (z-drive) towboats for Southern Towing Company; and several conversions, including a z-drive towboat for Deloach Marine Services, LLC.

However, inland barges are our bread and butter. We have recently completed chemical barge designs, 6 psi oil barge designs, and pressure barge designs for carrying butane and propane. We also design inland hopper barges and crane barges, as well as ocean going (loadline) deck barges. 

As with our sister company, anything that floats is fair game for our naval architects and marine engineers.

Please see the following for more information about our towboat, liquid cargo barge, dry cargo barge, crane barge and miscellaneous vessel designs.

Towboats

Towboats

Design and construction oversight for both conventional and Z-Drive towboats

The Shearer Group, Inc. has completed many towboat designs for both conventional and z-drive towboats for use on the inland waterways. Most notably, The Shearer Group, Inc. recently designed several revolutionary z-drive towboats in the 3,200 HP to 2,400 HP range.

Liquid Cargo Barges

Liquid Cargo Barges

Barges for transportation of various liquid products

Liquid cargo barges are used to transport liquid products such as regular oils, gasoline, and acids; pressurized products such as butane and propane; heated products such as molten sulfur and asphalt; and refrigerated products such as anhydrous ammonia.

Dry Cargo Barges

Dry Cargo Barges

Thousands of dry cargo barges designed; both open and covered hopper barges  

The Shearer Group, Inc., has designed open and covered hopper barges for many clients and thousands of barges have been built to our designs. Our designs are the “standard” for the inland industry, but vary enough as to require new analyses of the structure, cargo-carrying capabilities and deck fitting arrangement and outfitting.

Crane Barges

Crane Barges

Design of many deck barges that can be used with both mobile and pedestal cranes 

Our naval architects are intimately familiar with the regulations that govern the use of cranes on barges, and have design experience ranging from small inland construction barges to ocean going heavy lift barges. 

Misc. Vessels

Misc. Vessels

Anything that floats is fair game for our naval architects and marine engineers

In addition to towboats and barges, The Shearer Group, Inc. has designed floating dry docks, floating dock facilities and floating casinos.