Monday, June 29, 2015

Small tugs from Quebec

On my recent trip to Quebec I was able to see a large number of small tugs. Three different companies were involved in the tugs I saw, including Groupe Océan:

Océan Uannaq is one of a pair that were built for arctic service, but have been working with the dredging fleet for several years, 

paired with notched barges.

With the two tugs and their barges lashed alongside pushing the dredge Océan Basque 2, the Leclerc tug Réjeanne Polaire does the towing.

Océan Nigig free running on a breezy day.

At Ile-aux-Coudres JFFM Leclerc was at work fitting out their fleet of small tugs and barges for summer assignments in the north. Many of the tugs will be carried aboard ships that service remote northern communities that have no port facilities.

The newer tugs are triple screw like Jack Polaire.

Leclerc's Rénard Polaire is triple screw, while Desgagnés smaller Kingoak is twin screw. Both are ready to wheel out on the next high tide.

Vent, Cercle and Ours Polaire are smaller twin screw tugs in the Leclerc fleet.

Groupe Desgagnés has its own fleet of small tugs and lighters, also used in northern supply work.

Lecelerc also maintains the Desgagnés fleet at their shipyard on Ile-aux-Coudres.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Océan Taiga takes shape

Groupe Océan's latest tug, Océan Taiga is taking shape at the Industrie Océan shipyard in Ile-aux-Coudres, QC.The second in a pair of Robert Allen design ice class 1A Super FS escort tugs is expected to be complete later this year. The 8,000 bhp, 100 tonne bollard pull tug will be used for tanker escort on the St.Lawrence River and  there are hopes that it will be put to work in the far north.

Hull painting has just started around the stern of the tug as it sits in the shipyard in Ile-aux-Coudres.

The huge escort winch is also installed on deck forward.

First tug in the series Océan Tundra , completed last year, awaits its next assignment in Quebec City. It is considerably larger than the EastIsle built Océan Keith Rusby berthed astern.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Granville - multi-tasking

Following the retirement of the Canadian navy's Halifax fireboat Firebird, it is now the job of the HMC Dockyard tugs to perform security patrols to the Defence Research and Development Agency barge in Bedford Basin.

The pups normally work with their masts struck since they are frequently in an out of places where it would be an obstruction.

CNAV Granville is seen storming along on return from that patrol this morning. The three Halifax based Ville class "pup" tugs assist in ship berthing, do barge movements within the dockyard and three other installations around the harbour. They also tow and tend oil booms and fenders and myriad other chores.
Unlike its Halifax sisters Listerville and Merrickville, Granville has changed its name since it was built. It started life as Marysville, but that was too easily confused with Merrickville over the radio, and so was changed to Parksville. There was another pup tug with the same name in Esquimalt, so in 1993 it was renamed again, becoming Granville.
All three were built in 1974 and have 365 bhp driving a single screw, in a nozzle, delivering 7.5 tonnes bollard pull.     


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Svitzer Nerthus and Svitzer Njal arrive

Two tugs that Svitzer Canada will use in its Baffinland contract arrived in Halifax together this morning.
As previously reported: Svitzer will service the contract with two Canadian built tugs, Svitzer Nerthus ex Stevns Iceflower (ii) and Svitzer Njal ex Stevns Icequeen (ii)


The two arrived off Halifax sometime last evening and conveniently boarded their pilots in daylight this morning. It is great to see tugs at the Svitzer dock again, although they will only be here for a matter of a few weeks for Canadianization, which will also include new names.The tugs were temporarily registered in Kingstown, St.Vincent and Grenadines for delivery trip from Fredericia, Denmark. Svitzer Nerthus sailed May 18 and Svitzer Njal May 17 with professional delivery crews. 

A brief tour aboard revealed that they are both in superb condition, and arrived "all found" with complete equipment and spares.

The tugs have Caterpillar main engines totaling just over 5,000 bhp, with Rolls Royce controllable pitch props in azimuthing stern drives and bow thruster.

For the curious the name Nerthus is that of a goddess of legend, and Njal a figure in ancient Icelandic sagas. Svitzer Canada seems to favour place names from the area of operation,  following the word Svitzer, so it will be interesting to see what names these tugs get now.