The Great Lakes Towing Co., Cleveland, celebrated its 120th anniversary with the christening of its newest tug, the 64'x24'x11' Michigan. The new tug is the third in a series of five Damen 1907 ICE design harbor tugs that Great Lakes Shipyard is building for Great Lakes Towing.

The tug is powered by two 1,000-hp MTU 8V4000 Tier 3 diesel engines and generates over 30 tons of bollard pull. Its propulsion system includes a Logan FlexaDrive Hybrid power system, allowing the tug to operate on electric power while at idle, underway at low speeds, or when under low loads, without the need to utilize the main engines, reducing emissions and the cost of engine maintenance.

The tug’s compact size and excellent maneuverability make it ideal for the narrow waterways and low bridges that characterize harbor towing on the Great Lakes.

The tugs Cleveland and Ohio were the first new tugs built in the series as part of Great Lakes’ fleet renewal program. The fourth tug, Pennsylvania, will be completed later this year. The fifth unnamed tug is slated for a spring 2020 completion. Additional follow-on tugs of the same design are available for purchase by third party buyers.

The tug Michigan was christened by vessel sponsor Carolyn Watkins who heads up Diesel Emission Reduction Programs for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. She was instrumental in helping the company secure funding assistance through the EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant (DERG) program for the fleet’s new construction program.

“Through decades of changes, experiencing both the highs and lows, the company has endured, and remained a critical link in the Great Lakes transportation system, and we have always tried to be an outstanding corporate citizen. We are proud to be celebrating 120 years, and we look forward to many more,” Joe Starck, president, said during christening ceremonies. “The new tugs demonstrate our commitment to the shipping industry on the Great Lakes and to our customers. It is our mission to provide the highest level of service to the vessels and companies we work for. The new tugs will allow us to continue to do just that…but even better: cleaner, safer, and even more dependable.”

Great Lakes Towing Company was incorporated on July 7, 1899. With the largest U.S.-flag tug fleet on the Great Lakes, the company provides harbor assist and towing services to both domestic and foreign-flag vessels in more than 40 U.S. Great Lakes ports.