Chesapeake delivers final push tug in series to Vane Brothers

(BALTIMORE) — Vane Brothers took delivery this month of the final boat in a series of four 3,000-horsepower Salisbury-class push tugs. Named Charles Hughes, Vane’s newest addition is the 20th Maryland-built towing vessel to join the company’s fleet since 2008.

Designed and constructed by Chesapeake Shipbuilding of Salisbury, Md., Vane’s Salisbury-class push tugs have a molded depth of only 10.5 feet, making them well suited for working in confined, shallow-draft waterways. Charles Hughes’ operational area is the Northeast.

Vane Brothers photo

Charles Hughes’ three sister tugs, Salisbury, Annapolis and Rock Hall, were delivered in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively. All four Salisbury-class tugs comply with U.S Coast Guard-enforced Subchapter M safety standards.

“Vane Brothers takes pride in providing our customers and crews with vessels constructed to the highest standards,” said Vane Brothers President C. Duff Hughes. “The Charles Hughes is another powerful, peak-performing tug that maximizes maneuverability where it is needed most.”

To create the Salisbury-class design, Chesapeake naval architect John Womack worked in collaboration with Vane Brothers port captain Jim Demske, who has overseen construction of 48 tugboats for Vane over the past two decades.

“Chesapeake has such a talented group of shipbuilders right in our backyard,” said Demske. “Each tug capitalizes on safety, comfort and productivity.”

Along with the four push tugs, Chesapeake Shipbuilding has supplied 16 3,000-hp model-bow tugs.

Charles Hughes is named in honor of the late Charles F. Hughes, former Vane Brothers chairman of the board and the father of Vane’s current president. Charles Hughes was a U.S. Navy veteran, Johns Hopkins University graduate, and Vane Brothers executive from 1951 to 2004.

A previous push tug Charles Hughes, built in 1975 and rated at 1,800 hp, was acquired by Vane Brothers in 1991 and sold in 2019. The classic-looking name boards from the first Charles Hughes were refinished and are now proudly mounted on the new Charles Hughes.

– Vane Brothers

By Rich Miller