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.