Wednesday, November 14, 2012

William J. Moore and McClearys Spirit - headed south [updated]

After many months of layup the tug William J. Moore and its barge McClearys Spirit arrived in Halifax this morning bound south.
Following up on the post of July 28: the pair spent the rest of the summer idle in Montreal, Sorel and finally Trois-Rivières before sailing November 7. Still registered in Canada, to K-Sea Canada Corporation, they have been reassigned to work in Curaçao. While in Halifax they will likely be reflagged.
The double hull clean fuel barge and the tug are connected with a quick release Bludworth notch/pad system, which allows independent movement as an articulated tug/barge (ATB).
The reason for this move has received considerable comment on Boatnerd and Diesel Duck. I have no inside information, so will only repeat what has already been reported. The barge apparently did not pass its five year survey. The barge was working under charter to Ultramar, and that company preferred to find tankers on the sport market, even if it meant bringing in foreign flagged ships. It could do this because other Canadian flagged tankers were not available.
Both tug and barge have long histories, although they were extensively rebuilt in 2002. Perhaps their age had more to do with the situation than anything else.
K-Sea Canada is an offshoot of the US K-Sea Corp which was taken over by another large operator in 2001, Kirby Corp, and is now one of, if not the largest tug/barge operator in the US.

On Friday November 16, the tug and barge sailed from Halifax, still flying the Canadian flag, and giving Freeport, Bahamas as its destination. Of note, V-Ships Canada appears to be managing the tug/barge. They also manage CSL ships among many others world-wide. 


  1. I was the master of the William J Moore for that trip well we made it to Curacao Dec.5 after refueling in Freeport. The voyage went better than expected.

  2. I used to work on this tug when she was called the ALICE A. I worked on her for 8 years until she was sold to mckeil marine.