Tug built for Alaskan waters gets a warm welcome in New York

1a Donjon

A tour of the ports of New York and New Jersey aboard Donjon Marine’s tug, the 81-by-28-foot Meagan Ann, affords a mere glimpse of the company’s numerous and diverse operations in one of the world’s busiest harbors.

“This is an interesting job because you never know what you will be doing next,” said the engineer, Ben Ledoux.

Another Donion tug, Thomas D. Witte, pushing a scrap barge.

Meagan Ann was originally Georgeann, built by Marine Power & Equipment of Seattle for Brix Maritime. The tug was rebuilt in 1988 and renamed Olympic. Foss Maritime acquired Brix in 1993 and Constellation Maritime of Boston in 2006. Each of those deals generated another renaming: Joseph T and Scorpius.

Donjon bought the tug in 2008 and painted Meagan Ann on the hull.

While on the West Coast, Meagan Ann was employed in the Alaska trade, hence fully insulated against the cold. “It’s a warm boat in the wintertime,” said the captain, Tom Hallock. “We added AC for the summers here, and the insulation really cuts the noise down.” Hallock explained that although Meagan Ann is still a solid and good working tug, “In her day she was a Cadillac.”

Capt. Tom Hallock at the controls.

The mains, two Caterpillar D-399 diesels with Caterpillar 7261 reduction gears at a ratio of 4.22:1, are shafted to stainless steel, four-bladed, 88-by-58-inch, fixed-pitch propellers. The train produces 2,250 hp.

Meagan Ann was designed for good seakeeping in the big seas encountered en route to Alaska, with a high sheer forward. But the tug is compact with a low profile for tight work in cramped slips.

With Donjon, the tug’s main duties are towing, barge assist and anchor handling. The towing gear consists of a double-drum hydraulic winch outfitted with 1,800 feet of 1.75-inch wire on the towing drum, and 1,200 feet of 1.75-inch wire on the anchor drum. Two 50-ton Beebe deck winches on the aft deck, each with 1.5-inch Spectra line, are used for facing up a tow on the bow.

A PTO on one engine runs the towing and anchor-handling winch. The windlass, which has a 1,000-pound Danforth anchor, runs off of a PTO on the other engine.

Donjon, with its fleet of tugs, derrick barges, dredge barges, crane barges, deck barges, spud barges, drag beam barges, launches, crew boats and scows of all kinds, has a portfolio of projects that includes ship-assist services, marine salvage, ocean and inland towing, emergency response, dredging, diving, recycling, waste transportation — you name it.

Able Seaman Patrick Mosley securing a line to the scrap barge.

Left to right, Capt. Hallock, Mate Craig Golden, Engineer Ben Ledoux, AB Mosley and Ordinary Seaman Charles Schiller.

Meagan Ann, assisted by another Donjon tug, manuevers a scrap barge at the Sims Metal yard in Jersey City, N.J.

Engineer Ledoux in the engine room with the two D-399 Cats that produce a total of 2,250 hp.



Crow pushing two gravel barges.


By Professional Mariner Staff