Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mister Joe

Although based in Halifax, the tug Mister Joe may be absent for long periods of time. Operated by Beaver Marine Ltd of Halifax (a division of McNally Construction of Hamilton, ON) the tug is used for marine construction projects all over eastern Canada. This has taken her to the Great Lakes, the coast of Labrador, all over Nova Scotia and New Brunswick- even up the Saint John River as far as Gagetown. She has also done some contract towing and other odd jobs.

Built in 1964 by Russel-Hipwell in Owen Sound, ON, she originally went to work as the Churchill River for Rupert's Land Trading Co Ltd (Hudson's Bay Company.) She worked in Churchill Manitoba and Mossonee, Ontario and other ports on Hudson's Bay and James Bay handling supply barges for the parent company.

In the late 1990s she was sold to the Churchill River Tug Co Ltd of Manuels, Newfoundland and was involved in the flurry of activity surrounding the Hibernia Project.

In June of 1997 she arrived in Halifax for the first time, for Beaver Marine Ltd. Since then she has often wintered in Halifax or refitted at Brenton Gray's shipyard in Sambro.

When McNally took over Beaver Marine in 2001, the tug was renamed Mister Joe and repainted in McNally colours. In May and June of that year she assisted in filming of the submarine movie K-19 The Widowmaker, but she never appeared on film. Instead she moved the former Russian submarine and did other chores during the filming.

In 2002 they gave her a major refit at Sambro, installing two new GM engines, totalling 750 bhp, to drive her twin screws.

Her most recent arrival in Halifax was January 5 towing the construction scow Beaver Kay. They offloaded construction equipment at the Halterm container pier for a pier extension.
She then left port to fetch the construciton barge William B. Dilly, arriving back in Halifax about January 12 and leaving January 13 towing it to Yarmouth.
File photo-2009

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