His Majesty's Canadian Dockyard in Halifax operates six tugs through the King's Harbour Master. All are crewed by civilians and are not commissioned Royal Canadian Navy naval vessels, but are designated as Canadian Naval Auxiliary Vessels. Three of the tugs are the Glen class of 1750 bhp Voith-Schneider tractor tugs and three are Ville class "Pup" tugs. A new tug program is underway to build replacements for the 1977 era Glens but the even older Villes remain in service with no sign of replacements any time soon.
Those small pups can be seen bustling about the harbour conducting many duties including ship berthing, fender handling, securing to mooring buoys and security rounds. I have covered these tugs here before and in a previous post I called them Gofers of the Dockyard.
The three Villes in Halifax were built by Georgetown Shipyard in Prince Edward Island in 1975, and were named Listerville YTS 592, Merrickville YTS 593 and Marysville YTS 594. The last of the trio was later renamed Parksville then in 2003 renamed Granville. The pennant designations were also changed from YTS (Yard Tug Small) to YTL (Yard Tug Little).
The tugs are powered by a 365 bhp Caterpillar engine driving a single screw in a steerable nozzle, giving a bollard pull of 7.5 tons. They seldom stray very far from Halifax, but I did notice the Merrickville in Sambro today. Yesterday the Granville was returning from the static Sound Range trot buoys in Macnab's Cove and was heading into a stiff northerly breeze, which it weathered with its usual dignity.
A familiar task for the Pups is moving inflatable (Yokohama) fenders to berths outside the Dockyard for visiting naval vessels. They are secured in such a way as to still provide visibility.
As befitting their miniature size the tugs deploy tiny Yokohamas as hull fenders of their own.