Tugs “Virtually” Christened For Great Lakes Service

By Mike Brezonick17 December 2020

The Great Lakes Towing Co. and Great Lakes Shipyard’s employees joined together at the company’s Cleveland, Ohio, facilities to christen the new tugs Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Customers, vendors and the public were able to join virtually for the live-streamed event.

The newly constructed tugs are the fourth and fifth tugs, respectively, in a series of 10 Damen 1907 ICE design harbor tugs that Great Lakes Shipyard is building for The Great Lakes Towing Co.’s operations. The tugs are 64 ft. long, 24 ft. wide with an 11 ft. draft.

Each is powered by twin MTU 8V4000 Tier 3 Series 4000 diesel engines rated 1000 hp apiece. The engines are teamed with a Canal Marine designed drive system that incorporates a Logan FlexaDrive hybrid system that enables the tugs to operate on electric power when at idle, underway at low speeds or loads without utilizing the main engines. This reduces engine emissions and engine wear, resulting in lower maintenance costs, Great Lakes said.

The tugs’ have a bollard pull of more than 30 tons and their compact size and high maneuverability make them suitable for the narrow waterways and low bridges that characterize harbor towing on the Great Lakes.

“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is remarkable that the Towing Co. has persevered with the successful completion of these two new tugs, despite the adversity the pandemic brought to bear, not only on us, but the industry, not to mention the country, and the entire world,” said Joe Starck, the Towing Co.’s president. “The Towing Co., as always, showed its resilience and its resolve to muscle through these difficult conditions.”

The sixth tug, not yet named, is slated for a summer 2021 completion. Additional follow-on tugs of the same design are available for purchase by third-party buyer, Great Lakes said.

To view a video of the christening, click here.


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