Sunday, September 27, 2015

Boa and Boa

The tug Boa Odin arrived this morning towing the Boa Barge 33. The big Norwegian tug towed the barge from Stavanger in 22 days, averaging 6.2 knots.

The tug was built by Astilleros Zamakona Pasaia in 2010 as Svitzer Pembroke. A Robert Allen RAStar 3600 design, it is powered by two GM engines of 4083 bhp driving Schottel ASDs. It is rated at a surprising 97 tonnes bollard pull on its forward winch and 105 t BP on its towing winch. Fitted for salvage, towing and offshore work, it also has firefigthing and escort capabilities. Boa Tugs acquired the tug in 2014.

Its tow, the 12,303 grt barge is semi-submersible for heavy lifts with a carrying capacity of 24,800 tonnes.It was built in 2011 by Nanjing Wujiazui Shipbuilding Co Ltd. The 140m x 36m barge can submerge 8m below deck forward and 12m above deck aft and its 4,690 m3 deck can support 31.5 tonnes/m2.

The barge will load the two sections of the panamax floating drydock Novadock. It was renamed  F.D. Novadock under foreign flag, before it was cut in two. The severed sections have now been plated in and will be used as two floating drydocks by new owners in Florida.

Novadock in the background as the tug eases up on its towline.


Friday, September 11, 2015

A Brace of Suppliers

After last year's major seismic exploration venture in the Shelburne Basin off Nova Scotia, Shell Oil received enough favourable information to begin drilling with the drill ship Stena Icemax..

Canadian supply boat operators had no available/suitable vessels to support the operation and have resorted to chartering in foreign tonnage for the work.

Atlantic Towing Ltd has received Canadian Transport Agency OK to bring in two suppliers on bareboat charter from Tidewater for a year less a day.

Sisters Jones Tide and Breaux Tide arrived in Halifax when I was away in August and their registration was changed from Port Vila, Vanuatu to Halifax, effective August 31.
The suppliers were built by Jiangsu Zhenjiang and measure 3,927 grt and 4,578 dwt.

DOF Rederi AS of Storebo, Norway, through their Canadian subsidiary DOF Subsea Canada Corp have brought in Skandi Flora, which was built in 2009 by STX Norway Offshore in Trondheim. It measures 4469 grt, 5005 dwt.


It was registered in Halifax September 3. So far it is the only one of the boats that has moved, but only to shift piers. 

They are all still awaiting arrival of the Stena Icemax, which was to start work roughly September 1, but is still reported to be in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oh and the Quiz answer from my last post. That is my friend in front of a giant winch reel in a shipyard in Singapore.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Winding Down

Winding down? Over the next few days I will be preparing to take off on my yearly break from computers, e-mails and thus my postings to Tugfax. I expect to back at the keyboard in September.

Q: Is this  a) a giant winch or b) a miniature man?
The answer will be revealed in my next post........

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Océan Arctique returns

After successfully handing off its tows (see Shipfax) the tug Océan Arctique passed Halifax Shipyard where it was completed and transited the Narrows to pier 9C to spend the night and take on fuel.

After fueling the tug will proceed to Sept-Iles where it will re-join it sister tug Océan Stevns to provide tug services under the contract with the Iron Ore Company of Canada.
Much more than a harbour tug, it is fully fitted out for towing including towing winch and stern roller. It also has a knuckle boom crane and carries firefighting monitors.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Return (with some corrections)

In a somewhat surprising return to Halifax, the tug Océan Arctique, which has had its own strange career,  is due July 28 towing two barges.

Originally the second of a two tug order from Nordane Shipping of Denmark, construction of the tug began in 2003 at the Ile-aux-Coudres shipyard of Industrie Océan. Unfortunately, due to issues related to construction of the first tug in the order (Stevns Océan) the yard had to re-organize. This tug was therefore launched September 16, 2004 as a shell only.

Irving Shipbuilding, which was also building tugs for Nordane, took over the shell, and Atlantic Teak towed it to Halifax. The tug was hauled up the old launchway at Halifax Shipyard, where its superstructure was removed. The two halves then moved into the old building hall where it was completed at Stevns Arctic.It  re-launched April 8, 2005 and sailed for Denmark in September 2005.

In a surprise move, Groupe Océan acquired the two tugs on a charter arrangement when they took over the tug contract for the Iron Ore Company of Canada in Sept-Iles, QC in 2013. The two sister tugs arrived in company at Ile-aux-Coudres, QC, August 7, 2013. Renamed Stevns Océan and Océan Arctique they were are stationed at Sept-Iles, but the collapse of world iron ore demand resulted in the reassignment of Océan Arctique to general towing and winter pilotage work in Quebec City. [Turns out that  Océan Arctique was in Quebec for repairs and is still based in Sept-Iles, although temporarily replaced by Océan Yvan Desgagnes.]

 Left to right: André H. Océan Arctique, Océan Echo II, Océan Charlie. Note the gangways in stalled on Océan Arctique's deck house, similar to those on Océan Charlie. These are used for winter pilot boarding at Quebec City Sept-Iles, which keeps the pilot well above the level of any ice in the river bay. Stevns Océan has been similarly equipped.
Adding to the surprise factor, its arrival in Halifax again, is the nature of the tow. More of that will be covered in Shipfax on the day.


Friday, July 24, 2015

That sinking feeling

A rash of tug sinkings in the past year has left the Canadian taxpayer on the hook for big bucks.

In July 2014 the former RCN tug St.Charles, later Chebucto Sea, but since 2012 carrying the unlikely name of Matterhorn sank at her berth in Mount Carmel, NL and remains sunken and leaking petroleum. Its registration was suspended July 31, 2014.
The Coast Guard has finally become fed up with the Owner's lack of action in cleaning up and raising the vessel and have issued an ultimatum (now past) . The Coast Guard will do the clean up and bill the owner, but so far have indicated that they will not be raising the wreck - that is up to the owner.
Believed to be associated with another Newfoundland tug owning concern, the owner is a single ship company and may well be able to dodge the bullet and get out from under the obligation by walking away.

That is certainly the case with Chaulk Determination, the former Commodore Straits and Haida Brave, which  sank at Trois-Rivières, QC December 26, 2014. Its owner claimed an inability to pay for cleanup. The Coast Guard hired Groupe Océan to raise the wreck, which they did most capably, but the $1 million plus tab was picked up by the taxpayer.

It has recently been announced that the tug will be towed to Matane, QC and broken up by Méridien Maritime - again at some cost to the taxpayer.

The most recent sinking of a tug and workboat in Cornwall, ON, will have a happier outcome at least for  the taxpayer anyway, since the owners have acted responsibly and stepped up to the plate with their salvage plan and have begun work to raise Lac Manitoba and L.C.M. 131 which capsized in turbulent waters June 22. 

It is not yet clear if either vessel will be worth repairing after they are raised. Lac Manitoba was built in 1944, and rebuilt in 1999. The former TANAC tug was operated by Nadro Marine an affiliate of McKeil Workboats. The latter company has taken charge of the salvage. L.C.M. 131 is a landing craft type workboat operated by West Front Construction Ltd which had voluntarily come to the assistance of Lac Manitoba when it was overwhelmed and sank nearby.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

End of the Line for May C

It is not often that I report on a tug being scrapped, but such is the unfortunate news regarding the small tug May C owned by Aecon Atlantic Industrial Inc, (previously known as Aecon Fabco) operators of the Pictou, NS shipyard.. I have just received photos from a reader showing the tug cut up at the shipyard.

Built in 1972, the tug is not old by Canadian standards, and it had been re-engined. It only passed into Aecon's hands in 2011 and it did not see extensive use. It looked pretty good, superficially, when I reported on it as recently as April of this year:

Even as late as June 20 it still appeared intact, but remained hauled out at the shipyard. There must have been a severe problem with the tug to warrant such a drastic solution.

I also covered the tug's history in a post in 2011 when it was operating as Mary Steele for Superport Marine Services Ltd of Port Hawksbury, owners from.1996.

Leaving Halifax with Superport Marine's barge in tow.

Its longest tenure was with the federal Department of Public Works as Tignish from 1981 to 1996.

 Tignish often tied up at the Queen's Wharf in Halifax - much has changed since then.
With the retired CSS Acadia in the background - both were members of the "buff funnel' fleet of Canadian government ships.
It was built as Jacques Rochette and renamed Techno-Rochette in 1975.

Perhaps Aecon will build a new tug for themselves, but I have no news on that front yet.