Friday, November 21, 2014

Call out for Wijsmuller tug

A group in Ijmuiden, Netherlands is looking for an old Wijsmuller tug to restore. They want to bring it back to Ijmuiden to pay tribute to the famous tugboat company. They have their aim set on four potential tugs in various parts of the world, all in dubious condition at this point. However based on the experience with other old Dutch tugs that have been restored, they may be on to a good thing.

We did not see many Wijsmuller tugs in Halifax, but in the fall of 1978 and again in 1980, Bureau Wijsmuller, as it was known then, based a tug in Halifax on standby for salvage work. They used the old Purdy's Wharf as their salvage station, but I don't think they got any business and the Wijsmuller logo was not seen in Halifax again until 2000.

Jacob van Heemskerk was stationed here in 1978. Built in 1964 it was a single screw (with nozzle) tug of 3550 bhp. It was sold to the Philippines in 1981, renamed Hurricane II and broken up in Manila in 1995.

 The slightly smaller Noord-Holland was stationed here in the autumn of 1980. Built in 1965 as a single screw tug of 2950 bhp, it was re-engined in 1970, had a nozzle added in 1971 and re-engined again in 1975 to 4200 bhp. It was sold in 1984 becoming Sierra and in 1989 it was sold again and renamed Asetec. It was sold at auction in 2001 and a rather cryptic note in Lloyd's 2013 says "whereabouts unknown."

On January 14, 2000 Wijsmuller stunned the tug world by buying the Cory Towage Group from Ocean Group plc, and thus Eastern Canada Towing (ECTUG) became a Wijsmuller company. The tugs were gradually repainted, with white superstructure, red visor, blue funnel with white stripe and black cap, blue mast and trim and  the "global link" logo prominently displayed.

By summer 2000 Point Chebucto was repainted except for the winch. Two Wijsmuller logos appeared on the bridge front.

Point Halifax in full Wijsmuller colours.

Point Valiant's winch remained in black paint.

Pointe Sept-Iles had its line reels painted blue, and a section of deck painted blue aft.

It was well into the year 2000 by the time this scheme was completed on most of the ECTUG fleet. In fact the smaller tugs were not completely repainted when in 2001 Svitzer, in another stunning move, swallowed Wijsmuller and the repainting started again!. First to go was the Wijsmuller logo, and the Svitzer cross appeared on the white stripe of the funnels, but it took a long time to completely repaint the tugs again.


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