In late June, SLSDC Associate Administrator, Thomas Lavigne, and Executive Officer, Mike Howard, traveled to Houma, Louisiana for the keel-laying ceremony for the Corporation’s new tug which is currently under construction at Gulf Island Shipyard. The keel-laying marks the birth, and official start, of construction for a vessel. Once delivered, the vessel will replace the aging, but ever reliable, Robinson Bay.
When completed, the vessel will be 118 feet in overall length with a 45-foot beam. The vessel will be in the TUNDRA class as designated by Robert Allan, the naval architect firm that designed the vessel. The vessel will be ice-classed and will be capable of breaking up to 36 inches of ice while maintaining three knots.
The vessel will have a knuckle boom crane on the stern and be able to work three full-size buoys off the back deck without the use of the buoy barge. There will be modern, state-of-the-art equipment in the wheelhouse and engine room, and the vessel will have berthing for up to 14 crew members. Once delivered, the vessel will be one of the most powerful tugs in the Great Lakes region.
Upcoming milestone dates for the vessel are as follows:
- November 2018 – Hull assembly will be completed and rolled out of shed. The hull will be flipped right side up and rolled back into shed for installation of major equipment to include, main engines, Z-drives, generators, and most engineering equipment.
- March 2019 – Vessel will be rolled out of shed for final time and the superstructure (deck house and wheelhouse) will be attached to vessel.
- June 2019 – Vessel christening, launch, and dock trials will be completed.
- July 2019 – Sea trials will be completed.
- August 2019 – Vessel to depart shipyard for delivery trip to Massena.
- September 2019 – Vessel to arrive in Massena.
For more information about the new vessel, please contact SLSDC’s Executive Officer Michael Howard at Michael. Howard@dot.gov.