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


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