Foss Maritime Expanding Ocean Tug Fleet

By Joseph Keefe
Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Tug and barge operator is building three new Arctic Class deep-sea tugs at Northwest shipyard

Responding to new oil and gas industry opportunities, Foss Maritime Company is building the first three tugs in an innovative Arctic Class of tugs, a fleet expansion that broadens its capacity to take on large projects in extreme environments. Construction on the first tug starts in early 2013 at the Foss’ Rainier, Oregon shipyard, which will be expanded by an additional 10,000 square feet, and will require additional staff, in part to accommodate this project. The delivery date for the first hull is December of 2014, with the second to follow in December of 2015, and the third, a year later in December of 2016. Glosten Associates is Foss’ naval architecture partner on the project.
Gary Faber, Foss’ President and Chief Operating Officer, said in a prepared statement, “These vessels will be built using the latest advances in technology and equipment. We want to increase efficiency, improve safety and performance and reduce environmental impact. These concerns are paramount to our customers, our stakeholders and our crews involved in offshore drilling and other project work in extreme environments.”
Specifically, the new tugs will meet American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) A1 requirements, including standards for hulls, machinery, towing, anchors and cable, ABS Ice Class requirements, SOLAS requirements for on-board rescue boat and davit; and – in keeping with the FOSS emphasis on protecting the environment – the Green Passport, which requires an inventory of shipboard hazardous materials that make decommissioning of vessels far safer.
The new tugs are designed to withstand the rigors of Arctic operations and will be positioned to compete for opportunities in the oil and gas industry. Foss has five assets committed to an Arctic offshore exploration project in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, and the newbuild project will position the Washington-based operators to provide services and support with tugs, landing craft, crew boats and barges. The lack of infrastructure in the rapidly thawing Arctic regions increases the need for suitable, robust tonnage for that purpose. And, Faber said that additional ABS-classed tugs and support vessels are already under consideration.
 The three new tugs will be designed to achieve in excess of 100 metric tons of bollard pull and will be used primarily to tow barges with oil field modules, rig topsides and project cargoes throughout the world. Machinery will include Caterpillar C280-8 main engines, which comply with the highest federal environmental standards, and Reintjes reduction gears. Markey Machinery will supply the tow winch. Other environmentally focused designs and structural and technological upgrades include the elimination of ballast tanks, holding tanks for black and gray water to permit operations in no-discharge zones (such as parts of Alaska and California), hydraulic oil systems compatible with biodegradable oil, Energy efficient LED lighting; and High-energy absorption Schuyler fendering.
According to John Tirpak, Senior Vice President, Global Services at Foss, the tugs are not being constructed with a specific client in mind. He added, “We will market them as the market emerges in Alaska.”
Tirpak talked about the specific requirements for building tonnage for Arctic conditions. “The most important design consideration when building workboats for the Arctic is definitely safety and ability to perform consistently meeting our customer’s expectations. We also need the boats to operate under difficult and changing conditions and for different purposes, so versatility is also paramount.” The class ice notation was critical, as well, he said. “Certification for ‘ice class’ requires increased shell thickness and frame strength in the vicinity of the waterline, and additional modifications for the propeller/nozzle, rudders, propulsion engines, sea chest, propulsion shafting and reduction gears.”
Already with one of the largest fleets of tugs and barges on the American West Coast, Foss operates two shipyards and offers worldwide marine transportation emphasizing safety, environmental responsibility, and high-quality service. In this case, the primary impetus for building the boats was simple. Tirpak explained, “Foss is building these new tugs in response to new oil and gas industry opportunities. We are well known for our ability to safely operate in extreme environments. This investment in our fleet will broaden our capacity to take on new projects in the Arctic.” And, as the entire maritime industry and its energy cousins look north to new opportunities, the boats arguably arrive, just in the nick of time.

(As published in the March 2013 edition of Marine News -

  • John Tirpak, Senior Vice President, Global Services at Foss

    John Tirpak, Senior Vice President, Global Services at Foss

  • Markey type TDSD-40UL Towing Winch, 3000 ft. of 2.5” wire each drum, 200,000 lbs. line pull

    Markey type TDSD-40UL Towing Winch, 3000 ft. of 2.5” wire each drum, 200,000 lbs. line pull

  • John Tirpak, Senior Vice President, Global Services at Foss
  • Markey type TDSD-40UL Towing Winch, 3000 ft. of 2.5” wire each drum, 200,000 lbs. line pull

Maritime Today

The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter November 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Bulk Carrier Trends

Frontline 2012, Frontline Merger Completed

Frontline 2012 Ltd. has completed its previously announced merger with Frontline Ltd. , with Frontline as the surviving legal entity and Frontline 2012 becoming

Scorpio Bulkers Sells Six Ships for $227 Mln

Scorpio Bulkers Inc. has entered into agreements with unaffiliated third parties to sell two Capesize dry bulk vessels and four newbuilding Capesize dry bulk vessels

Opportunities for Growth as Chinese Economy Evolves

The global breakbulk and heavy-lift markets have had to navigate choppy waters in recent years.   Not necessarily due to a shortage of freight, but as a consequence of unsustainably low freight rates.


Gulf and Hendry Marine Consolidate Operations

Gulf Marine Repair Corporation, a southeastern tug-barge shipyard, announced it is consolidating operations with Hendry Corporation, its affiliated company and fellow shipyard,

Volvo Penta IPS for New Tampa Bay Pilot Boat

The new Chesapeake-class MKII launch delivered this month by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding to the Tampa Bay Pilots Association features integrated engine and drive from Volvo Penta.

Cat C9.3 ACERT to Debut at WorkBoat

Caterpillar Marine unveils Cat C9.3 ACERT power solutions for the commercial marine market   Caterpillar Marine has launched the Cat C9.3 ACERT Marine platform,


Damen Crane Barge and Anti-Pollution Barge Delivered

Damen Shipyards Sharjah has delivered two barges, a Crane Barge 4920 and an Anti-Pollution Barge 2405, to BINCO, a contractor in the Middle East with over 30 years

VT Halter Launches Barge for Bouchard

VT Halter Marine, Inc. (VT Halter Marine), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems) and Bouchard Transportation Co. announced that Barge B. No.

McAllister Towing – 150 Years of Family Business

“Early in 1864, a young man names James McAllister stood on board a sailing vessel where he served as a mate. The boat was about to set sail from the Red Bay of

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2579 sec (4 req/sec)