With the pending need to replace many single hull tankers in the U.S. in the coming years, The Manitowoc Company, Inc. showed the depth of its capabilities with the delivery of the 127-ft. tug, Ocean Reliance, the first of two tugs built at Manitowoc's Marinette Marine subsidiary. Ocean Reliance and sister tug Coastal Reliance are mated with 155,000-barrel, double-hulled petroleum barges, which were built at Manitowoc's Bay Shipbuilding subsidiary, for VMS
, a Crowley Maritime subsidiary. Ocean Reliance is powered by 9,280-hp engines and is equipped with an Intercon coupling system that will link the ocean-class tug with its 512-ft. barge. Both tug/barge units are fully compliant with the provisions of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA '90), which mandates that any vessel carrying crude oil or refined petroleum products in U.S. waters must be double-hulled. Both of Vessel Management's new tug/barge units will operate in the Pacific Northwest and are among the largest and most-sophisticated vessels of their type ever constructed in the U.S. Tom Byrne, president of Manitowoc Marine Group, said at the time of the launching: "These vessels continue the long, proud tradition of shipbuilding that launched The Manitowoc Company 100 years ago. This century of success stems from working closely with our customers to assure that they get the high-quality vessels they need. Always on time and always on budget is the formula that guides us everyday in all that we do."