New 770-ton vessel hoist dedicated at Great Lakes Shipyard

On July 29 in Cleveland, Great Lakes Shipyard held a dedication ceremony for its new 770-ton mobile vessel hoist America. The name America was chosen by Great Lakes Towing, parent of Great Lakes Shipyard, to commemorate a company tug of the same name acquired in 1899 when the company was founded.

The vessel hoist was manufactured by Marine Travelift Inc., Sturgeon Bay, Wis., and was shipped to Cleveland on 25 trucks. It was assembled on site by shipyard personnel with Marine Travelift providing supervision and training. The hoist will allow simultaneous new construction and repair of multiple boats and barges to permit expansion of the shipyard’s vessel repair and marina service capabilities, as well as provide support to offshore wind projects in Lake Erie.

The acquisition and installation of the Travelift completes the third of four planned phases of a $24 million shipyard expansion project. To date, according to the company, the expansion has created 30 new full-time jobs retained another 37 jobs. Up to 10 more jobs will be created and are directly attributable to the shipyard’s new affiliation with Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine and the establishment of the Rolls-Royce Great Lakes Regional Service Center in Cleveland. Great Lakes Towing is the largest U.S.-flag tugboat business engaged in towing on the Great Lakes. 

The principal speaker at the dedication was John D. Porcari, deputy secretary of transportation for the U.S. Department of Transportation, who spoke about the maritime industry’s value to the economic recovery that continues in the United States. Also delivering remarks at the dedication was Joseph P. Starck, president of the Great Lakes Towing Company and Great Lakes Shipyard. 

Dr. Rebecca Starck, sponsor of the new vessel hoist America and wife of Great Lakes Towing President Joe Starck, christened the 770-ton Marine Travelift: “May God bless this mobile hoist America and all who work in our shipyard.” 

To see the remarks by Porcari and Starck, and one of the best champagne splashes you’re likely to witness, watch the below video:

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