Thursday, May 16, 2013

Riverton - welcome back

1. Unchanged in appearance, except for paint colour, since its Smit-Lloyd days, Riverton arrives this afternoon.
The tug/supplier Riverton arrived back in Halifax after an absence of more than ten years. It was in late 2004 that the boat was sold to Newfoundland owners, and has been working in those waters ever since.
One of the senior citizens of the tug/supply world now, it was built way back in 1975 by Scheepsverf  "De Waal" in Zaltbommel, Netherlands as Smit-Lloyd 112, one of a big fleet of similar suppliers  built for the large Dutch operator Smit-Lloyd.It was powered by a pair of Werkspoor engines giving 7200 bhp, and fitted with thrusters forward and aft.
2. Shortly after arriving in Canada, the name and Smit-Lloyd logo have been painted out on the funnel. Note to two large fairleads at the bow.

In 1984 it was purchased by the Royal Canadian Navy as an auxiliary fleet tug and trials vessel and after a refit was renamed CFAV Riverton (the second tug of that name in the RCN-the first was a Norton class built in 1945, and based in Halifax).
 3. After trialing some equipment in Bedford Basin Riverton returns to the Dockyard. She was assigned pennant number AGOR 121.

After a few years the tug was little used, and in 1984 it was chartered to Secunda Marine Services. As a naval vessel it was not registered, and was therefore a bit unusual working in the commercial sector, without  having a port of registry or Official Number.
 4. The unregistered Riverton on charter to Secunda Marine Services was a bit of an anomaly.
Note the single centre line fairlead forward- the only outward change from its civilian days- it was added by the RCN, but isn't visible in the photo above.

On completion of the charter it was returned to the RCN in 2002 and laid up until sold in 2004.
It was then registered in Canada for the first time February 11, 2005, with St.John's as its port of registry.
Present owners are Cape Harrison Marine, and they use the boat for research and standby work. It will be employed during this summer season as a "chase" boat for a large seismic exploration venture off Nova Scotia operated by Western Geco. It will also be a suppler and crew taxi to the ships that will not need to return to port for fuel or stores.
2. Small articulated cranes and a rescue boat have been added, and she has lost her jackstaff, but those appears to be the only changes.

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