New Lake Erie tug for NY Power Authority

The first of two 45’ twin-screw 940-hp tugboats was delivered to the New York Power Authority on Oct. 20. The tug will maneuver massive ice booms that protect the Niagara Power Project.

Designed by the Bristol Harbor Group Inc., Bristol, R.I., and built by Great Lakes Shipyard, Cleveland, the Daniel Joncaire II is designed to operate in the ice of eastern Lake Erie, where the waters go on into the Niagara River and hydroelectric plants. The annual ice boom installation protects the power plant intakes from being blocked by heavy ice floes.

The tug is part of a $4.9 million two-vessel contract. In late 2017, Great Lakes will deliver the B-1 Breaker II, a tug of the same design, but with changes and tweaks based on what NYPA crews experience with the first vessel this winter. Both are designed and built to meet new Subchapter M standards for inspected towing vessels.

The tugs will replace a pair with the same names that have put in a combined 80 years of service, and are being retired. The new boats have a markedly modern profile, with pilothouses 15’ above the waterline for better visibility while maneuvering, compared to deck-level houses on the old vessels.

The tugs evolved from an earlier 2009 project when Bristol Harbor Group was involved in the design/build process for NYPA’s new 80’x34’ ice boom handling barge, the Havasu II, built in 2010 by Great Lakes. That led power authority officials to conduct a study comparing initial and long-term costs to repair and update their existing tugs, or replace them. Based on the analysis, NYPA deciding to replace the old Daniel Joncaire and B-1 Breaker.

Reinforced for operations in seasonal ice, the new design employs a heavy stem for light icebreaking, and shell reinforcement along the ice belt. Along with the elevated pilothouse, there is a spacious work deck aft to help the crew make boom connections, and operate the boats for the NYPA’s other marine construction projects.

The Oct. 20 launch of the Daniel Joncaire II at Cleveland was followed by a keel laying ceremony for one of Great Lake’s 74’x30’x11.5’ HandySize-class 3,400-hp twin screw tugboats, to be built for Regimen de Pensiones y Jubilaciones del Personal de la Empresa Portuaria (“Regimen”), a pension benefits plan for port employees and retirees. The tug will handle harbor towing operations in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala’s largest Pacific Ocean port. The pension group operates a commercial tugboat service in the port, under the local port authority franchise, for the purpose of ensuring future retirement benefits.

Jensen Maritime, Seattle, designed the tug for harbor work and coastal towing. It is to be built to American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) standards, with two Cummins QSK-50 main diesel propulsion engines, each rated at 1,700 hp at 1,600 rpm compliant with EPA Tier 3 emission standards.

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Ashley Herriman

Ashley Herriman is WorkBoat's online editor.

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