First of 10 Stan Tug 1907 ICE vessels completed by Great Lakes Shipyard for The Great Lakes Towing Company

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The first of 10 Stan Tug 1907 ICE vessels has been delivered by Great Lakes Shipyard to its sister company The Great Lakes Towing Company, both based in Ohio, US.

Named Cleveland, she is a significant milestone in a licensing programme agreed between Damen Shipyards Group and Great Lakes Shipyard following discussions that began in 2014. While the initial agreement is for the series build of 10 tugs for Great Lakes Towing, the vessels will also be available to third party buyers on a priority basis.

The Stan Tug 1907 ICE is a compact design capable of 30-tons of bollard pull. Its relatively small size and high manoeuvrability make it ideal for the narrow waterways with their many low bridges that characterise the Great Lakes region. The ability to operate safely in icy waters is also essential given the very cold temperatures that occur there in the winter.

The Cleveland got off to a good start as on her first morning in service she “was put to work for two ship assists. The first was for Fednav International Limited, Montreal, and the second was for Rand Corporation, based in New Jersey,” reported Joe Starck, President of Great Lakes Shipyard and the Towing Company.

“Both tows went without a hitch and the feedback then and since has been very positive. One of the pilots on the first day even commented that the new tug made manoeuvring much easier. The boat has performed even better than we expected, without the need for the typical “tweaks” that are normally required after completion of a new tug.”

As was expected, the build of the Cleveland was something of a learning experience, not least because various European working practices had to be translated into their American equivalents, and numerous adaptations had to be made to meet US regulations. However, with these achieved for the Cleveland and the production process now fully optimised, the follow-on hulls will be completed more quickly and efficiently.

“Damen was always there when we needed them,” continued Mr Starck.

“It has truly been a pleasure to work with them, and we have really enjoyed getting to know the entire Damen team. They’re a first class organisation.”

The Great Lakes Group traces its root back to 1899, and from its headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, operates its shipyard, as well as over 40 tugs based in 11 ports.