Crowley Maritime Corporation took delivery of the Vigilant, a new Z-Drive tugboat that is being chartered from BayDelta Maritime, Inc., for use in Crowley's ship assist and escort business in Cook Inlet, Alaska.
The nimble, powerful, ice-strengthened tug will be stationed at the Tesoro Alaska Company
's Nikiski refinery in Cook Inlet on a year-round basis to provide enhanced safety and environmental protection for tankers docking there. The tug was built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Inc., in Langley, Wash., and is the second tug acquired by Crowley in the last year for use in its Pacific Northwest and Alaska operations.
While the 100-ft.-long Vigilant looks very similar to its sister tug Valor, which Crowley acquired last year, the boat has been modified for use in the harsh Alaskan waters. The tug's hull has been strengthened for use in ice, boasting a 3/8-inch belt of steel along the hull, which adds 80 additional tons of steel to the boat. The vessel's decks are also heated, along with some of the tanks, for added protection and improved operation.
"We look forward to bringing this technologically advanced tug and Crowley's experienced and safety-minded crews to this assignment for Tesoro," said Bruce Harland, Crowley's vice president of Alaska services. "Crowley and Tesoro are committed to safeguarding lives, property and Alaska's pristine environment in Cook Inlet."
The Vigilant also has other noteworthy features including 6770 horsepower engines, a bollard pull in excess of 90 tons, and a speed of 14 knots. The horsepower ratings are among the highest among Z-drive tugs, with 92 metric tons forward and 90.5 metric tons astern.
Crowley has provided various marine, petroleum distribution, and energy support services in Alaska since
1953, and today has offices and operations throughout the state.