McAllister Towing celebrates 150 years in maritime industry

(NEW YORK) — McAllister Towing, a fifth-generation family tugboat company based in New York City, celebrated its 150th year in the maritime industry. In 1864, James McAllister arrived in New York and purchased two sail lighters. Lighters shuttled cargo between ships, piers and docks throughout the New York region in the days before bridges and tunnels. After moderate success, James brought additional family from Ireland to New York and acquired more vessels. This was the simple beginning of McAllister Towing, a family business that grew with the nation.

McAllister honored this extraordinary achievement on Sept. 19 by hosting over 800 guests of the maritime industry, employees and family at a gala event at Pier 60 in NYC. The evening’s highlights included christening the company’s newest tractor tug the Buckley McAllister. This traditional ceremony was led by the Rev. David Rider of The Seamen’s Church Institute and the Rev. Daniel Meeter of Old First Reformed Church. The sponsor of the christening was Janet McAllister, daughter of president Buckley McAllister and a sixth-generation family member. The event also included a water display from FDNY’s Marine Division Fireboat 343, performances by the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums and Atlantic Wave, an all-star group of Irish musicians and singers arranged precisely for this milestone and remarks from the leaders of McAllister Towing.

After 150 years, McAllister Towing is still leading the way in the maritime industry. Since James’s humble beginning, five generations of the McAllister family have owned and operated the company.  The company has grown to a fleet of over 75 tugs in 12 major ports: Portland, Maine; Providence, R.I.; New York; Philadelphia; Baltimore; Norfolk, Va.; Wilmington, N.C.; Georgetown, S.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Port Everglades, Fla.; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. McAllister Towing can proudly proclaim to be the only remaining family tug company whose history dates back to the 1860’s. The company is headquartered in New York and is currently led by Chairman Capt. Brian McAllister (fourth generation) and his sons President Buckley McAllister and CFO Eric McAllister (fifth generation).

By Professional Mariner Staff