Great Lakes Towing adds four more tugs to fleet

The following is the text of a news release from The Great Lakes Towing Company:

(CLEVELAND) — The Great Lakes Towing Company, which operates the largest fleet of ship-docking tugboats on the U.S. Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway, has announced the addition of four more tugboats to its fleet.

The four newly purchased tugs will be named after four of the Great Lakes: tug Michigan, tug Huron, tug Ontario and tug Erie. The company’s tug Superior has been in service for years, operating in the Port of Detroit.

“These four tugs will be immediately added to the fleet, and provide some new life and operational stability to our day-to-day business,” says Gregg Thauvette, vice president, operations, The Great Lakes Towing Company. “The equipment and machinery onboard, including the towing gear and firefighting equipment, are ideal for our operations across the Great Lakes, and will help us to continue to provide harbor towing services to our customers in more than 35 U.S. ports, in all eight U.S. Great Lakes’ states.”

In addition to the four newly purchased tugs, Great Lakes Shipyard is in the process of reactivating the tugs Louisiana and Pennsylvania from its existing fleet, both of which have been out of service for several years. Once completed and back in service, the company plans to also reactivate the tugs Idaho and California, which were taken out of service over the last two seasons. The company is also in the process of dry docking, refurbishment and major maintenance on 15 tugs from fleet as part of the company’s ongoing major fleet overhaul program. The schedule for this program includes:

Recently completed

New Jersey
North Dakota
New York

In progress

North Carolina
Rhode Island

Next to be overhauled


"As the towing company continues maintain and upgrade the tugs in its fleet, the shipyard will also continue to expand and grow,” says Joe Starck, president of The Great Lakes Towing Company and Great Lakes Shipyard. “We are currently in progress of building one of two new tugboats for New York Power Authority (NYPA) Niagara Power Plant’s operations in Buffalo, N.Y., and we are also building two small work barges for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Rock Island District. We also have many other very interesting new construction projects on the table. This new vessel construction business is in addition to our ongoing regular, in-house, commercial and government repair and modification work, where we regularly perform routine dry docking, maintenance, emergency repairs and custom fabrication services.”

By Professional Mariner Staff