In December 2015, Cleveland-based Great Lakes Shipyard and Damen Shipyards Group, The Netherlands, signed a licensing agreement at the International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans. The deal said that Great Lakes Shipyard could build two of Damen’s ICE-class Stan Tugs 1907 designs.

On Aug. 10, a keel-laying ceremony was held at the shipyard for the 63'x24', 1,700-hp tugs. The number of tugs under contract has swollen to 10, all of which will be operated by the yard’s affiliate company, Great Lakes Towing Co., replacing existing tonnage. The new boats will be the first tugs to be designed and built to comply with the new Subchapter M Coast Guard regulations, according to Damen officials, who added that Great Lakes will receive full construction, design and engineering support from Damen.

A rendering of the Damen Stan 1907 ICE tugs to be built by Great Lakes Shipyard.

A rendering of the Damen Stan 1907 ICE tugs to be built by Great Lakes Shipyard.

“To achieve the best possible result, Damen will also provide expert assistance based on its experience having constructed around 200 Damen-designed vessels in the U.S. over the years,” said Jan van Hogerwou, the designer’s Houston-based manager for North America.

In addition to the Ice Class specification, the new tugs will be treated with special, high endurance paint capable of withstanding the abrasion that comes with moving through ice. Stan Tugs 1907 can be found operating in locations around the world including Russia, Qatar and the Netherlands.

The partnership with Damen has provided Great Lakes with a portfolio of vessel designs refined to meet the needs of U.S. operators through a process of feedback and continuous development, and the new Stan Tug 1907 ICE design is a continuation of this process,


Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.