Frigid weather didn’t chill the mood during a dual christening Dec. 16 in Cleveland.
Seafarers-contracted Great Lakes Towing Company welcomed the new tugboats Pennsylvania and Wisconsin during a brief but spirited ceremony that was shown live online. Employees from Great Lakes Towing and from Great Lakes Shipyard (builder of both boats) attended.
SIU members recently approved a new six-year contract with Great Lakes Towing that raises wages and maintains benefits. The company provides harbor assist and towing services to ships in more than 40 U.S. Great Lakes ports.
During the christening, Great Lakes Towing Company President Joe Starck said, “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is remarkable that the [company] 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. The Towing Company, as always, showed its resilience and its resolve to muscle through these difficult conditions.”
The tug Pennsylvania was christened by vessel sponsor Louise Kandzer, girlfriend of Gregg Thauvette, the company’s senior vice president-operations; and the tug Wisconsin was christened by vessel sponsor Sally Stevens, wife of Robert Zadkovich, vice president-business Development.
The new boats are the fourth and fifth tugs, respectively, in a series of 10 64-foot Damen 1907 ICE design harbor tugs that Great Lakes Shipyard is building for Great Lakes Towing. In a news release, Great Lakes Towing noted, “The tugs are 64’x24’x11’, powered by two 1,000-hp MTU 8V4000 Tier III diesel engines, and generate over 30-tons of bollard pull. Their propulsion systems include the Canal Marine designed Logan FlexaDrive Hybrid power system, allowing the tugs to operate on electric power while at idle, underway at low speeds, or when under low loads, without the need to utilize the main engines, thereby reducing emissions and the cost of engine maintenance. The tugs’ compact size and high maneuverability make them ideal for the narrow waterways and low bridges that characterize harbor towing on the Great Lakes.”
The sixth tug, not yet named, is slated for a summer 2021 completion.
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