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Great Lakes Towing Acquires Sarter Marine Towing

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 7, 2022

© Peter Sinclair /

© Peter Sinclair /

Sarter Marine Towing Company Inc. announced it has agreed upon definitive terms for the sale of Sarter to The Great Lakes Towing Company.

Under the deal, The Great Lakes Towing Company purchased Sarter tugboats Donald J. Sarter and William C. Selvik, as well as all supporting machinery and equipment and most other shoreside assets. The remaining five tugs in Sarter’s fleet will be chartered to the Towing Company under a long-term bareboat charter arrangement. The acquisition closed on March 23, 2022.

Great Lakes has retained all Sarter Marine employees and will supplement the business with administrative and financial support to help support and enhance Sarter’s current book of towing business in the region.

Last fall, The Great Lakes Towing Company stationed two tugs in Sturgeon Bay, including one of its historic “G” tugs and a former Navy YTB. With the Sarter Marine Towing fleet, Great Lakes will continue to provide ship assist services to Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS), the domestic fleet of U.S. and Canadian lakers, and visiting foreign flag salties. The combined companies will also continue to provide icebreaking assets for ice work in Sturgeon Bay and surrounding waters.

“The acquisition of Sarter Marine significantly enhances the Towing Company’s capabilities in Northern Green Bay and Lake Michigan. We look forward to integrating Sarter’s marine transportation capabilities and reach into the Towing Company’s operation, while continuing to provide superior service to the customers we have been privileged to serve for years,” says Joe Starck, President, The Great Lakes Towing Company. “This is really a win-win outcome for everyone involved.”

“The Sarter Marine Towing Team is excited to partner with Great Lakes Towing. They have been a pleasure to work with,” said Julie Sarter, President and Owner of Sarter Marine Towing.

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