Sunday, April 22, 2012

McNally tugs at Port Hawksbury

A rare assembly of McNally Construction tugs greeted me in Port Hawksbury on April 20.
1. Sandra Mary, Jerry Newberry and Mister Joe together.
Largest of the trio was the venerable Jerry Newberry, built in 1956 as Foundation Victor for seasonal service at Sept-Iles. In 1973 it became Point Victor for Eastern Canada Towing and in 1977 became Kay Cole for Pitts Construction. It passed to McKeil and acquired its current name in 1995. McNally acquired the tug from McKeil and it has been employed towing all over eastern Canada and into Hudson's Bay.
It is now reported to be for sale. It is a single screw tug with a 1280 bhp Fairbanks Morse.
Mister Joe, a 1964 product of Russel-Hipwell in Owen Sound, is a familiar sight in these parts and also ranges far and wide including Labrador. Its original name was Churchill River which it carried until 2001. It is a twin screw tug of 750 bhp.
2. Sandra Mary with a fresh copat of paint.
The pleasant surprise for me was Sandra Mary, also a Russel tug, built in 1962 as Flo Cooper (also for Pitts Construction) A slightly larger version of the Mister Joe, it has 1260 bhp. It usually works on the Lakes but also ranges as far as Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. In fact it just came down through the Seaway April 6 towing the barge Quensa. With fresh paint, it looks quite splendid.
3. Note the extra strong backs and cut down bulwark on the stern of the Jerry Newberry. Sandra Mary has an almost open stern.
McNally operates a large yard in Point Tupper, across the harbour from Port Hawksbury, and is currently refitting a number of scows and construction barges.

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