The following is the text of a news release from Damen Shipyards Group:
(CLEVELAND) — A keel-laying ceremony was held Wednesday at Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland for the first of 10 Damen Stan Tugs 1907 ICE. The vessels will be ice class and operated by the yard’s affiliate company, The Great Lakes Towing Co., replacing existing tonnage. These will be the first tugs to be designed and built to comply with the new Subchapter M Coast Guard regulations.
Damen’s Houston-based manager for North America, Jan van Hogerwou, said that under the license, Great Lakes Shipyard will receive full construction, design and engineering support from Damen. “To achieve the best possible result,” he said, “Damen will also provide expert assistance based on its experience having constructed around 200 Damen-designed vessels in the U.S. over the years."
The 10 1907 tugs will be the first in the U.S. to be designed and built to comply with the Coast Guard Subchapter M regulations under ABS classification. These came into effect in July this year and set new standards of seaworthiness for the towage industry and also establish new rules for safety management, including protocols and inspection requirements.
The Stan Tugs 1907 were chosen based on Damen’s reputation for quality and fact-finding visits made by the management of The Great Lakes Towing Co. to Damen in the Netherlands. In addition to the ice-class specification, they will be treated with high-endurance paint capable of withstanding the abrasion that comes with moving through ice. Stan Tugs 1907 can be found operating in locations around the world including Russia, Qatar and the Netherlands.
The partnership with Damen has provided Great Lakes Shipyard with a portfolio of proven vessel designs for customers in the United States. Most of the designs have been refined to meet the needs of U.S. operators through a process of feedback and continuous development, and the new Stan Tug 1907 ICE design is a continuation of this.
While these are among the first tugs to be built in the U.S. under Damen’s Technical Cooperation program, over 200 Damen vessels have been built under license in the U.S. since the mid-1990s. These include 80 26-meter patrol boats for the Coast Guard, built by Bollinger Shipyards; 55 fast crew supplier 1204 class, built at Horizon Shipbuilding and Trinity Shipyard; and 25 fast crew supplier 1605-class vessels built by Blount Boats. Licenses for 58 Sentinel-class fast response cutters based on Damen’s 47-meter Stan Patrol 4708 have also been sold.