Tugz International L.L.C., an affiliate of the 101-year old The Great Lakes Towing Company, and a member of The Great Lakes Group
, announced Tuesday that the Broward County (Florida
) Board of County Commissioners, by a 6-3 vote, awarded Tugz a tugboat and towing service franchise for Port Everglades, Florida. This action put an end to the 43-year monopoly on tug service in the port previously held by Seabulk International, Inc., formerly known as Hvide Marine, Inc.
"We are really excited about the opportunity to serve this growing, dynamic port," said Tugz President, Ronald C. Rasmus. "The Z-Drive tractor tugs we are providing for Port Everglades, totaling in the aggregate over 14,000 hp and 375,000 pounds of bollard pull, will include our new 5,000 hp proprietary TRI-Z Class, a revolutionary new design that takes harbor towing to the next level with three (3) Rolls-Royce/Ulstein Z-drive units providing well over 105,000 lbs. of bollard pull in all directions," Rasmus added.
The TRI-Z, to be patented and trademarked by Tugz, was collaboratively designed by Tugz Vice President, Engineering, Joseph P. Starck, Jr., and Jonathan G. Parrott, Director of Engineering, Jensen Maritime Consultants, Inc., Seattle, Wash., to meet specific operating requirements in Port Everglades and, at the same time, provide the excellent multi-mission capability of Tugz' popular 4,000 hp Z-Class design.
Model tank testing was conducted by Ron Burchett, of Ron Burchett Models, Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada, computer generated model testing was conducted by Glosten Associates, Seattle, Washington, and the final design review was performed by naval architect and marine
engineer, Robert G. Allan, of Robert Allan, Ltd., Vancouver, B.C., Canada who stated "the TRI-Z tug concept will outperform all others presently operating in Port Everglades."
Initial service in Port Everglades will be provided with two (2) tractor tugs to be followed thereafter with a 5,100 horsepower newly-constructed tractor tug. These tugs will be the most powerful combination of tractor tugs on the East Coast of the United States and will provide Port Everglades with the best tug fleet on the Coast.
With the introduction of tug services in Port Everglades, Tugz, an affiliate of The Great Lakes Group, plans to expand its tugboat, barge and repair operations to other ports and the Caribbean as a link to its Puerto Rico operation.
The Great Lakes Group, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, owns and operates over 50 tugboats, and is the largest U.S.-flag tugboat company engaged in towing on the Great Lakes. The Group operates across the United States in more than 40 U.S. ports, in all eight Great Lakes states, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and now Florida. What is not so widely known is that the Group's tugboat operations extend from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Hawaii. The Group also charters tugboats to other companies worldwide.