Warren, R.I.-based Blount Boats has signed a contract with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to build an icebreaking diesel-powered steel double-screw tugboat. The tug will to operate in seasonal ice near the entrance to and within the upper Niagara River.

The vessel will replace existing vessels in the NYPA fleet currently used for the installation, removal, and maintenance of the Lake Erie ice boom and various associated marine construction projects.

The naval architectural and marine engineering firm Bristol Harbor Group Inc. developed the contract design and will provide technical oversight during the fabrication process for NYPA.

The 56’x18'6" shallow draft tug will be powered by two Caterpillar series C-9 engines, each rated at 375 hp at 1,800 rpm. The vessel’s hull, machinery, electrical systems and safety equipment will comply and, be inspected in accordance with USCG Subchapter M – Towing Vessels.

Delivery of the vessel to NYPA’s facility on the Buffalo River Entrance Channel is scheduled for fall 2019.



David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.