Last week I journeyed to Main Iron Works in Houma, La., where the venerable shipyard is building two new 100’x34′ tugs — Chesapeake Coast and Discovery Coast — for Dann Marine Towing in Chesapeake City, Md.
Robert Dann Jr. met me in the galley of the Chesapeake Coast, a look of pride on his face. He took me for a tour of the boat, relishing the opportunity to show me what had caused that look.
This was another of those moments I often write about that raises the question: Would I rather be roaming around in a new, state-of-the-art tugboat that few outside of the shipyard have seen or would I rather be in the office?
No contest. (That’s always the answer.)
When we got to the wheelhouse at the end of the tour, I realized that Dann had enjoyed it as much as, or even more so, than I. Talk about a guy who loves his work. He also has great respect for Main Iron Works. “We’ve had a relationship with them for about 40 years,” he said. “Coming here, I know we’re going to get a great boat.”
Dann said he expected to take the Chesapeake Coast on sea trials sometime this week. Sure, it’s work, but for Dann, it’s also fun. “These two will go into our fleet in Maryland, but they can operate anywhere,” he said.
Look for Kathy Bergren Smith’s article about Dann Towing and the Chesapeake Coast and Discovery Coast in the upcoming December issue of WorkBoat.