Wednesday, July 24, 2019

VB Hispania makes another scrap tow

The big Spanish owned tug VB Hispania is en route from Montreal to Turkey with another scrap tow, its second this year.

The 1374 gt, 8,050 bhp tug is now a veteran of transatlantic tows with this its sixth tow since 2016. Typically the tows begin in Montreal where the tug connects to a retired Great Lakes ship and sets off down river with a local tug as tethered stern escort. Recent tows have used the Océan Echo II, which stays with the ship until the Escoumins pilot station.

With a short tow line VB Hispania wends its way through the narrow channel north of Ile-aux-Coudres, at a blistering 4.9 knots. Once into the wider river, the tow line is let out and speed increases by several knots. 

The current tow sailed from Montreal July 21 and is giving an arrival date of August 24 in Aliaga. The ship is the former Cedarglen, renamed Eda and reflagged for the trip. As with several lakers it is a sort of hybrid. Built as the bulker Ems Ore in Germany in 1959 it was a 546 ft, 20,000 tonner with island bridge, built to run from Venezuela to Europe. In 1976 Hall Corporation of Montreal acquired the ship and two sisters and had them rebuilt. A new forebody from Davie /Lauzon was grafted to the stern and a new engine installed. The bridge structure was moved aft and landed above the engine room. This resulted in 730ft' x 75ft Seaway size gearless bulker.

It sailed for Halco as Montcliffe Hall until 1988, then N.M.Paterson + Sons as Cartierdoc until 2002 when CSL bought the ship and renamed it Cedarglen. The ship apparently operated until last year when it was laid up in Toledo, OH. It sailed down the Seaway on its own power, arriving in Montreal on May 18 of this year.

VB Hispania flies the Malta flag for the large Spanish tug operator Boluda. It was built in 2011 by Damen Mangalia, Romania, as Triton Responder, but was delivered as Oceanus, and transferred to the parent company and renamed Fairplay 32. In 2015 Boluda acquired and renamed the tug.


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