Saturday, April 25, 2015

Jim Kilabuk - heading west (again)

The veteran tug/supplier Jim Kilabuk at pier 9c thins morning. The berth should be a familiar one to the vessel that has worked out of Halifax off an on since its first arrival in these waters almost twenty years ago.

The proverbial painted ship upon a painted sea, arrived this morning.

Built by Yarrows Ltd in Esquimalt in 1975, for Canadian Marine Drilling it was orginally named Canmar Supplier IV. Canmar was a subsidiary of Dome Petroleum, a company that had invested heavily in Beaufort Sea offshore oil, and the tug/supplier was one of several built to work in the western arctic area. It is powered by a pair of GM engines totaling 7200 bhp, giving it a bollard pull of 90 tonnes, and is purpose built for harsh weather.
When Dome got in to financial trouble the company was sold to Amoco Canada in 1987. However oil work in the Beaufort came to an end and in 1995 the tug was sold to Northern Transportation of Hay River, AB.The company was known for its Mackenzie River barging operations and coastal work in the arctic.

Already twenty years old, and apparently laid up for some time, the tug was placed under the Trinidad + Tobago flag and was first renamed Holly B.(unofficially), then Pernell J. It arrived in Halifax May 11, 1995, and while refitting at Dartmouth Marine Slips was renamed Jim Kilabuk, and returned to the Canadian flag. 

Since then the vessel worked on the charter market for offshore work and general towing. It has also returned to the western arctic via Panama least once (in 2006). However work has been hard to find in recent years, and the boat was laid up in Newfoundland for the last two years.

A sister tug Alex Gordon (ex La Marr J, Hazel Ward, Canmar Supplier III) remains laid up in Newfoundland.

The future Jim Kilabuk arriving in Halifax May 11, 1995 as Pernell J.

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