Tugz International L.L.C., an affiliate of The Great Lakes Group
, christened three "Z" Class multi-purpose reverse tractor tugs at MARCO Shipyard, Seattle, completing the second phase of the company's fleet expansion and upgrade program, which now exceeds $30 million. The christening ceremony marks the 100 year anniversary of The Great Lakes Towing Company
, whose early shareholders included John D. Rockefeller and James R. Sinclair.
Z-Three, Z-Four and Z-Five, as the tugs are called, will be operated under a U.S. Navy contract to provide harbor towing services at the U.S. Naval Base, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants, Seattle, the 95 x 32 ft. tractor tugs have 4,000 hp with a bollard pull in excess of 110,000 lbs., and operate at a design speed of 14 knots with a three-man crew. The Z-class design was developed to accommodate an entire range of towing services, including ship handling duties, salvage, firefighting, oil recovery, tanker escort, and ocean and coastal towing of vessels and barges. The new tugs have been modified to meet the special needs of the Navy and include special above- and below-water fendering systems to accommodate assistance to submarines.