Great Lakes Towing takes delivery of Damen-designed tug

The first of 10 63’x24′ Stan Tug 1907 ICE tugboats has been delivered by Great Lakes Shipyard to its sister company The Great Lakes Towing Co., Cleveland.

Named for the company’s hometown, the Cleveland is a significant milestone in a licensing program agreed to between Damen Shipyards Group and Great Lakes Shipyard following discussions that began in 2014. While the initial agreement is for 10 tugs for Great Lakes Towing, the vessels will also be available to third party buyers on a priority basis.

The Stan Tug 1907 ICE is a compact design capable of 30 tons of bollard pull. Its relatively small size and high maneuverability design make it a good fit for narrow waterways with their many low bridges that characterize the Great Lakes region. The ability to operate safely in icy waters is also essential given the very cold temperatures that occur there in the winter.

The Cleveland got off to a good start, working two ship assists. The first was for Fednav International Ltd., Montreal, and the second was for Rand Corp., based in New Jersey. “Both tows went without a hitch and the feedback then and since has been very positive. One of the pilots on the first day even commented that the new tug made maneuvering much easier. The boat has performed even better than we expected, without the need for the typical ‘tweaks’ that are normally required after completion of a new tug,” Joe Starck, president of Great Lakes Shipyard and Great Lakes Towing, said in a statement announcing the delivery.

Building the Cleveland was something of a learning experience. Several European working practices had to be translated into their U.S. equivalents, and numerous adaptations had to be made to meet U.S. regulations. However, with these achieved for the Cleveland and the production process now fully optimized, the follow-on hulls will be completed more quickly and efficiently, Great Lakes said. “Damen was always there when we needed them,” Starck continued. “It has truly been a pleasure to work with them, and we have really enjoyed getting to know the entire Damen team. They’re a first class organization.”

The Great Lakes Group traces its root back to 1899, and from its headquarters in Cleveland, operates its shipyard, as well as over 40 tugs based in 11 ports.

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