On the Waterfront
Louisiana towing company is bullish
November 27, 2012
The economic recovery may be shaky,
but New Orleans-based TradeWinds Towing is
bullish. The tug company, which provides coastwise and ocean towing, recently
added a third boat to its fleet.
Rachel Smith, the company’s
managing director, told me that she and her brother Dominique “felt that by
purchasing the tug now, TradeWinds Towing would be ready when the towing
markets improve next year, as we believe they will.”
The Leslie outruns Sandy.
They learned that the 3,000-hp Leslie Foss was up for sale through broker
Marcon International. “We liked it because it meshed well with our existing
fleet,” Rachel said. “It fit our profile of a tug that is both maneuverable and
able to make long distance tows.” They then pulled the trigger on expansion.
Within a week of taking delivery of
the tug, she was called to Norfolk, Va., to tow the ex-Navy ship Sylvania, a 561'x79' dead ship, to the
scrappers in Brownsville, Texas. The Leslie
Foss has “sea legs,” Rachel said, with a 96,000-gal. fuel capacity and a
good track record of ocean voyages. However, there were some anxious moments on
the maiden voyage as the tow had to outrun Sandy off the coast of Florida.
The 112'x31'x13'6" Leslie Foss was built in 1970 in Morgan
City, La., at the McDermott yard. With Foss, she did duty on the Pacific coast
and in the Gulf and Caribbean.
Photos courtesy of TradeWinds Towing
TradeWinds Towing’s tug purchase
may well become opportunistic. As the Washington
manufacturing may well be returning to the U.S. as natural
gas, a key ingredient in many processes, keeps getting cheaper.
Methanex, the world’s largest
producer of methanol, is dismantling a whole plant in Chile and moving it to
Louisiana next year. Fire up the Leslie