Sunday, May 29, 2016

Svitzer Caucedo - another shoe drops

Returning to Halifax today from the International Tug and Salvage Conference ITS 2016 in Boston, I was interested to see the tug Svitzer Caucedo alongside the Svitzer Canada dock.

A well worn looking Svitzer Caucedo alongside the Svitzer Canada dock.

The tug only took this name in April. Originally it was Caucedo, built in 2004 by East Isle Shipyard in Georgetown, PEI (hull number 79) for Remolcadores Domincanos of the Dominican Republic. That company has formed a joint venture with Svitzer Americas, to establish a widespread Caribbean base of operations.

Remolcadores Dominicanos has just taken delivery of two state of the at Damen ATD 2412 tugs, built by the Damen Song Cam Shipyard in Viet Nam.  ATD denotes Azimuthing Tractor Tug - meaning that the thrusters are mounted forward, rather than aft in the case of an ASD (Azimuthing Stern Drive). The other added feature of the new Damen type is twin skegs aft, as well as a very short but plump hull, which can work equally well over bow or stern.

 A similar tug depicted in this model at the Damen stand at ITS 2016 shows the twin skegs and twin azimuthing drives, mounted forward in tractor fashion.

 For more on the ATD 2412 see:

With delivery of these newer type tugs, the "conventional" ASD Caucedo has apparently proven to be at least partially surplus to current needs in the DR.

Since Svitzer established an operation in Montreal, it has stated that two more tugs would be joing the three already in place. My speculation was for an ice class type from the Danish fleet. However it seems that perhaps Caucedo is a "summer tug" to be used when the the ice class Svitzer Nerthus and Svitzer Njal go north to Baffinland for the July - October season.

Svitzer Caucedo is making its second visist to Halifax. The first time was in May 12-22, 2004 when it was in port for finishing touches on its delivery trip.

As built, the tug was fitted with a pair of V-16 Caterpillars giving 5,072 bhp, but was fitted with neither a towing winch nor firefighting gear.

Remolcadores Dominicanos also operates two other Georgetown built ASDs. Malena is a sister of Caucedo, also built in 2004. The third tug is Ocoa built in 2002 as Atlantic Oak (i)  but sold to RemDom in 2003. (Atlantic Towing had the tug built for service in Halifax, but delayed the start up for a year, and built another tug to the same spec.)
Ocoa is fully fitted with towing winch and firefighting gear, and is a sister to the current Atlantic Oak, based in Halifax. It alos has the capability of working in northern waters. Perhaps one of those will also be on the way back to Canada?


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Secunda now 100 per cent Siem

Norwegian offshore operator Siem Offshore AS has acquired 100% ownership of Secunda Canada LP from by purchasing the 50% held by Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc.

Founded in Halifax in the 1980s, Secunda Marine Services was a pioneer in the Canadian offshore supply business. The original founder sold the company to McDermott International (formerly J.Ray McDermott) in 2007.
Birch Hill bought most of the assets and returned Secunda to Canada in 2012 as Secunda Canada LP. Siem became 50% owners in 2013.

On May 12 Secunda took delivery of its newest vessel Avalon Sea at Remontowa Shipyard in Poland. It will work off Newfoundland, where Secunda now operates most of its fleet and has its operations office.

In 2015 Siem "loaned" the Siem Hanne to Secunda and it was brought under Canadian flag February 2, 2016 to operate out of Halifax. An expected name change to "Hanne Sea" has not taken place (yet).

At one time Secunda Marine Services operated up to 17 or more suppliers and offshore ships, but the owned fleet now stands at seven (not including Siem Hanne and the new Avalon Sea.)
Scotian Sea has a standby contract with Shell for the Stena Icemax Shelburne Basin exploration program. (That operation is currently on hold.)
Venture Sea and Panuke Sea work on the Deep Panuke gas project off Nova Scotia.
Burin Sea and Trinity Sea work off Newfoundland.
The tug Ryan Leet is currently unemployed. It was last reported laid up in Sydney, NS.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Taking a break

 Whitby is finished for the day and returns to base.

Tugfax also will be taking a break for the next ten days or so to attend ITS 2016. 


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Whitby takes a break, and gives a history lesson

The hardworking tug Whitby is taking a break from its labours, this time at pier 9A. Usually when the McNally Marine tug is idle it has moored in Turple's Cove (just south of the MacKay bridge, next to BIO) with its scows.

A jaunty little 475 bhp tug, built in 1978, it is tied up to the crane barge Derrick No.4 with two dump scows Pitts No.1 and Pitts No.2.

The ratchet technology that raises and lowers the bottom dumping doors on Pitts No.1 is as old as the hills, but still gets the job done.

The assortment of names used by the McNally Marine fleet gives a floating history of the Canadian dredging and marine construction business.

A huge price fixing scandal in the 1970s saw several of the old line companies liquidated to pay hefty fines. Many of their officers were convicted of conspiracy and  sentenced to jail. And new jurisprudence was made when it was determined that company officers can be the "directing mind" behind the corporation which can also be found responsible for his actions.

The dredging and construction equipment was scattered about and picked up by others and eventually found its way to McNally (which was not involved in the collusion racket.)

Whitby, ON was the home base of McNamara Construction. A major player in the scandal, it was re-organized after the convictions as McNamara Corporation of Newfoundland, the first listed owners of the tug of the same name. Whitby afterwards passed through former McNamara subsidiary and successor company Cartier Construction Inc. before McNally bought them out.

C.A.Pitts and his company Pitts International Inc were also implicated in the scandal, and had a large fleet. They were the owners of the dump scows Pitts No.1 and Pitts No.2, both built in 1962 by Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd in Kingston, ON. McNally eventually acquired both scows when they acquired Pitts.

Derrick No.4 was built in 1963 by Marine Industries Ltd of Sorel, one of the firms in volved in the price fixing and kickback scheme through their ownership of J.P.Porter + Company and its subsidiary Richelieu Dredging. The first owner of the crane barge was likely Marine Industries Ltd, who named it C-304, but it passed on to Dufresne Construction in 1966 becoming their M-28. In 1972 Canadian Dredge and Dock Co Ltd purchased the barge and the next year renamed it Derrick No.4 .  CD+D was eventually acquired by McNally.

The only McNally acquisition not represented in this photo is Beaver Marine, but the company also has remnants of that company's plant in its fleet too.

For more on the dredging business stay tuned to Shipfax over the next few days.

nb 1960s era ads from trade publications Canadain Ports and Shipping Directory and Canadian Ports and Seaway Directory


Friday, May 13, 2016

Teclutsa - fresh from the showroom (not)

The US flag tug Teclutsa tied up at Sackville Landing today, and obervers would be forgiven for thinking it is fresh from the builders shipyard. In absolutely superb condition, despite a trip all the way from Oregon, in fact the tug is 43 years old.

Its origin helps to explain its suprising appearance.
Built in 1973 by Marinette Marine of Marinette, WI  it was part of a large order of tugs for the US Navy. Delivered as Pawhuska YTB-822 it immediately headed for southern waters where pusser US Navy maintenance was applied year round. There is so little evidence of painted over scale on the house, that the scrapers and paint pots must have been in constant use until it was struck from the naval register in 2002.
With dimensions of 107' loa x 29' x 16.3' depth of hull, it is fitted with a big Fairbanks Morse 2,000 bhp enginer driving a single 12' diameter screw.  It is also equipped for firefighting and has heavy naval fendering all round, including the buffers mounted to the deck house.

In 2005 it was acquired by Coos Bay Towboat Co in Coos Bay, OR and renamed Teclutsa. The new owners fitted it with a flap rudder and a 350 bhp Schottel bow thruster, more than making up for its stodgy manouverability. They have also, thanks to a temperate climate, contunued with the same level of care.

The tug is still listed for sale by Marcon, but that sale has taken place (probably subject to delivery), and it is presumably on its way to new owners, likely on the Great Lakes.

The gleaming water cannon would be an impressive sight to see in action, but it would be equally interesting to hear that 5 bell air horn!


Friday, May 6, 2016

Small Tugs - Big Lift

A trio of small tug/workboats operated by RMI Marine were hard at work this afternoon hauling the barge Timberland. The barge is carrying two new bridge deck sections for the Angus L. Macdonald bridge from the fabricator's yard to the bridge site.

The workboat/launch Captain Jim was in the lead towing Belle D which was in turn towing the barge.

Halifax Tugger was bringing up the rear with some pushing power.

At the bridge, the barge will be anchored in position (they are now working over the deep water channel) and the new sections will be hoisted up into place. The old section will be lowered to another barge, Océan Abyss.