Great Lakes Towing Company News

04 May 2020

Metal Shark Delivers Towboat to FMT

The new towbaot Stephanie Pasentine is the first buily by Metal Shark at its Alabama shipyard acquired from Horizon Shipbuilding in 2018. (Photo: Metal Shark)

Metal Shark announced Monday its Bayou La Batre, Ala. shipyard has delivered its first newbuild, a 120’ x 35’ river towboat for Florida Marine Transporters, Inc. (FMT) of Mandeville, La.The four-decked, welded-steel, USCG Subchapter “M”-compliant towboat Stephanie Pasentine, which bears the distinction of being Louisiana-based Metal Shark’s first-ever steel newbuild and also its first inland towboat, was designed by John W. Gilbert Associates, Inc.The vessel’s twin Cat 3512C marine diesel engines deliver 2…

20 Apr 2020

MARAD Awards Nearly $20 Mln for Small Shipyards

(Photo: VT Halter Marine)

Two dozen small shipyards in the U.S. have received a combined $19.6 million through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) Small Shipyard Grant Program to help fund upgrades and expansions that often lead to more competitive operations, quality ship construction and improved employee skill.“This $19.6 million federal government investment in the nation’s small shipyards will help maintain the U. S. shipyard infrastructure of our country,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L.

01 Apr 2020

US Shipyards Forge Ahead Through COVID-19

The 56-foot icebreaking tugboat being built by Blount Boats for N.Y. Power Authority (NYPA). (Photo: Blount Boats)

As the novel coronavirus and its impacts continue to spread across America, U.S. shipbuilders, by and large, continue to build. While most yards have been deemed essential to marine transportation and/or national security and have been able to maintain operations, the situation at and around every shipyard is different, and there are several builders across the country that have had to temporarily suspend activity. In either scenario, it’s far from business as usual for America’s…

16 Mar 2020

Winter Work on the Great Lakes

(Photo: Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding)

Along the 1,600-mile, ice gray arch of the St Lawrence Seaway, the 2020 Great Lakes commercial shipping season will lurch back to life on March 25 when the Soo Locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. reopen.The ceremonial opening signals a passage with passable ice and the 114th Great Lakes season for its fleet of 45 venerable lakers. Most of these huge self-loading freight haulers are at least 50 years old, rust free, and fit; American steel sailing on a freshwater sea.To handle Great Lakes cargo…

03 Mar 2020

Sub M Progress – an Update

Credit: Paul C. Lamarre III

Subchapter M, the United States regulatory code dealing with towing vessels and requirements for towing vessel safety, has officially been in place since July 20, 2016, when the U.S. Coast Guard finalized Sub M rulemaking.Since the rules were finalized there have been a couple of important hammer dates. In spring and summer 2018 the first certificates of inspection (COI) were issued. COIs are central within the Sub M program. A vessel needs a COI to legally operate. (All vessels were required to comply with Sub M by July 20, 2018.

24 Jul 2019

Great Lakes Towing Christens Tug Michigan

Photo: Great Lakes Towing

Great Lakes Towing Company (GLT),  the largest U.S.-flag tugboat company engaged in towing on the Great Lakes, has celebrated its 120th anniversary with the christening of their newest tugboat, the Tug Michigan.The Tug Michigan was christened by vessel sponsor, Carolyn Watkins, Chief, Office of Environmental Education and Administrator, Diesel Emission Reduction Programs for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.She was instrumental in helping the company secure funding assistance…

24 Jun 2019

Museum Adds Tug OHIO to Exhibit

Image: The Great Lakes Towing Company

Great Lakes Towing Company (GLT), the largest U.S.-flag tugboat company engaged in towing on the Great Lakes,  christened the new Tug OHIO into service and dedicated the historic Tug OHIO as a part of  the National Museum of the Great Lakes.A press release from GLT said that the newly constructed Tug OHIO is the second Damen Stan Tug 1907 ICE design that Great Lakes Shipyard has delivered to The Great Lakes Towing Company. The tug is 64’x24’x11’, powered by two 1,000-hp MTU 8V4000 Tier III diesel engines, and generates over 30-tons of bollard pull.

21 Mar 2019

2019 Shipping Season to Open for Duluth

USCGC Mackinaw in Duluth. Credit: port of Duluth

Last night’s arrival of United States Coast Guard Cutters Alder and Mackinaw signaled that the 2019 commercial shipping season is soon to commence for the Port of Duluth-Superior and the entire region.The Alder and Mackinaw made their way across Lake Superior from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, opening a 100-foot lane in the ice that will be widened soon by Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley in support of breakout efforts that will also include local tugs from the Great Lakes Towing Company and Heritage Marine.

22 Oct 2018

Metal Shark Open for Business in Alabama

(Photo: Metal Shark)

Metal Shark announced it has secured a contract to build three 120’ x 35’ river towboats for Florida Marine Transporters, Inc. (FMT), signalling the U.S. shipbuilder’s entry into the towboat market.The four-decked, welded-steel, USCG Subchapter “M”-compliant towboats were designed by John W. Gilbert Associates, Inc. and will be powered by twin Cat 3512C Tier 3 marine diesel engines rated at 1,911 HP each. Construction is underway at Metal Shark Alabama, with deliveries commencing in 2019.With the FMT contract…

24 Jul 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: GREAT LAKES BUSINESS and The Great Lakes Group

Joe Starck, Great Lakes Group President

Embracing and spanning the full breadth of Great Lakes geography and business mix, GLG’s Joe Starck has his multi-missioned firm looking to the future – in more ways than one.The Great Lakes Group (GLG) takes its beginnings from its 1899 incorporation by industrial icon John D. Rockefeller, who formed the Great Lakes Towing to satisfy the demands of a Midwest industrial revolution that brought bigger ships to the region. Existing vessels, unable to keep up with demand, were supplemented and replaced by a fleet of as many as 100 tugboats; the first steel tugs in the region.

13 Jun 2018

Green Marine Elects New Chairman of the Board

William D. Friedman (Photo: Port of Cleveland)

President and CEO of the Port of Cleveland, William D. Friedman, was elected chairman of the Green Marine’s Board of Directors following the corporation’s Annual General Meeting on May 31, during GreenTech 2018, in Vancouver B.C. Friedman has been sitting on the Green Marine Board since 2013.The Port of Cleveland is one of the environmental program’s founding members. “I’ve been engaged on the Green Marine board for the last five years, and the Port of Cleveland has adopted a similar commitment as a member.

04 May 2018

Coating Selection Delivers Fleet Uniformity – Even After Touchups

(Photo: courtesy of The Sherwin-Williams Company)

A 10-tug build project leads to federal standard color update for Great Lakes Towing Company.Attention to detail enables uniformity. And when you’re refreshing a renowned tugboat fleet with a 117-year history, you want to ensure a uniform look across all vessels to portray a strong brand image. Doing so means achieving uniform coloring throughout the fleet. It also means having uniform colors on each vessel between dry dockings – such that maintenance coatings don’t stand out…

12 Apr 2018

Season’s First Saltie Heads for Duluth-Superior

© Dianne Temple / MarineTraffic.com

The first ‘saltie’ of the 2018 commercial navigation season is on its way to the Port of Duluth-Superior. The 656-foot bulk carrier Federal Weser is scheduled to pass beneath Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge by 10 p.m. tonight and is expected to start loading Monday morning at the CHS terminal on the Superior side of the harbor. If all goes according to plan, the ship should depart late Tuesday or Wednesday with 21,400 metric tons of durum wheat bound for Algeria. The Federal Weser, part of the Fednav fleet, last visited the Twin Ports in 2015.

04 Jan 2018

Great Lakes Towing, Shipyard to Hire 100

(Photo: The Great Lakes Group)

The Great Lakes Towing Company and Great Lakes Shipyard have announced plans to hire 100 employees before the end of January 2018 to support continued growth driven by client demand. The company said it is seeking candidates to fill a wide range of positions, including shipyard welders, shipfitters and more. “At The Towing Company, we’re looking for great people to join our team,” said Joe Starck, the company’s president. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, The Towing Company is the owner and operator of the largest fleet of shipdocking tugboats on the U.S. Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence River Seaway.

29 Dec 2017

Best Workboats of 2017

Harley Marine Services

Marine News showcases the best of North America’s 2017 workboat deliveries. There is something for everyone. Notwithstanding the lingering offshore energy downturn, there were plenty of bright spots for North American shipyards in 2017. If a hull was delivered in 2017, we took a look at it, with several areas as a focus for inclusion into this edition. For starters, it is always exciting when a domestic yard delivers a vessel – or multiple vessels, for that matter – to foreign buyers. We can compete in a foreign arena; on price, quality and on-time delivery. This year was no different.

06 Sep 2017

MARAD Awards $9.8 Mln to US Shipyards

© wi6995 / Adobe Stock

Aiming to support shipbuilding modernizations that will increase productivity and allow U.S. shipyards to compete more effectively in global markets, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has awarded $9.8 million to 18 U.S. yards through its Small Shipyard Grant Program. “Small shipyards play a significant role in our country’s maritime sector, which contributes to our economy, security, and infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

22 Aug 2017

Great Lakes Shipyard Builds First Damen Stan Tug

Handover Ceremony Photo: Damen

The first of 10 Stan Tug 1907 ICE vessels has been delivered by Great Lakes Shipyard to its sister company The Great Lakes Towing Company, both based in Ohio, U.S. Named Cleveland, the vessel marks a milestone in a licencing program agreed between Damen Shipyards Group and Great Lakes Shipyard following discussions that began in 2014. While the initial agreement is for the series build of 10 tugs for Great Lakes Towing, the vessels will also be available to third party buyers on a priority basis. The Stan Tug 1907 ICE is a compact design capable of 30-tons of bollard pull.

21 Apr 2017

ABS Wins Great Lakes Towing SubM Contract

Photo: Great Lakes Towing Company

ABS said it has been awarded a Third Party Organization (TPO) contract by The Great Lakes Towing Company (GLT) to support compliance with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Subchapter M regulations. “Every organization operating towing vessels in U.S. inland waterways will have to comply with Subchapter M,” said ABS Americas Division President Jamie Smith. The recently signed contract with GLT, which is a member of the American Waterways Operators (AWO), establishes ABS as the company’s TPO, providing surveys for its fleet and audits of its Responsible Carrier Program (RCP).

06 Jan 2017

Tug Huron Goes to Work in Duluth

Photo: Kenneth Newhams / Great Lakes Towing Company

The Great Lakes Towing Company said it has repositioned its Tug Huron to Duluth, Minn. on Monday, January 2, 2017 to enhance capabilities for icebreaking, harbor assist and other services essential to commercial shipping in the Duluth-Superior region. The Tug Huron’s first icebreaking operation of 2017 took place late Wednesday evening, January 4 when she assisted longstanding customer, Canada Steamship Lines M/V Thunder Bay in the Port of Duluth. In addition to Huron, the Towing Company’s harbor fleet in Duluth now includes to Tugs Arkansas…

06 Dec 2016

From Across the Big Pond

Stan Tug 3711 - (4x) to be built by Conrad Shipyard for Young Brothers (Photo: Damen)

With familiar faces, new partnerships and Houston office, Damen widens its North American profile with a flurry of new work orders. With a flourish and a flurry of new business, Damen’s new U.S.-based office officially opened in Houston, Texas on July 1, 2016. Registered as Damen Area Support North America BV Co., it has been established to provide a local presence and work hand-in-hand with the North American market, offering a full range of ready built, standard and custom design vessels as well as the products and services of Damen Shipyards group ‘License to Build’ program.

11 Aug 2016

Great Lakes Shipyard Lays Keel for 10 Damen Tugs

Photo: Damen

A keel-laying ceremony was held on August 10 at Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland, Ohio for 10 Damen Stan Tugs 1907 ICE. The new Ice Class vessels will be the first tugs to be designed and built to comply with the new Subchapter M Coast Guard regulations, and will be operated by the shipyard’s affiliate company, The Great Lakes Towing Company, replacing existing tonnage. Damen’s Houston-based manager for North America, Jan van Hogerwou, confirmed that under the license, Great Lakes Shipyard will receive full construction, design and engineering support from Damen.

10 Jun 2016

Gov’t Officials Tour Great Lakes Shipyard

(Photo: The Great Lakes Group)

U.S. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez traveled to Cleveland on Monday, June 6, to meet with Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, Chairman Ronald Rasmus of The Great Lakes Towing Company and members of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Workforce Investment Board to discuss the crucial role that sector strategic partnerships play in equipping workers with the skills they need to compete in today’s labor market. “Sector strategies” are employer-driven partnerships of industry…

25 Apr 2016

Great Lakes Shipyard Hires Skeeter as GM

Photo courtesy of The Great Lakes Towing Company

The Great Lakes Towing Company announces the addition of Nikita Skeeter, a maritime professional with over 25 years of experience in shipbuilding and production management, as General Manager of Great Lakes Shipyard. Skeeter’s management experience includes multiple, simultaneous shipyard projects with budgets up to $1 billion, as well as responsibilities for more than 400 maritime professionals and production tradesmen including: Design, engineering, welding and pipefitting, electrical, painting, carpentry and more.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News