Thursday, May 3, 2018

Ryan Leet - the yacht

The magnificent tug Ryan Leet has been temporarily relegated to yacht classification. Word has reached me that the current owner has made this change to allow for a trip to the Dominican Republic for a refit sufficient to have its certificates renewed.

I hear that work is currently underway on a gear box that will allow the "yacht" to sail in a couple of weeks from its layup berth in Point Edward (Sydney Harbour).

One can only hope that the vessel will return to tug status and continue to work, despite a couple of years laid up. Its Canadian registration was closed December 15, 2016 and it moved from Mulgrave to Point Edward, in Syndey harbour. Its last significant work was in the summer of 2015 when it did some survey work for the fibre optic cable to Hibernia.

I have covered the history of this tug before, the former Abeille Provence,built in 1978 by Beliard-Murdoch, Ostend, Belgium. It was built in response to the need for large salvage and rescue tugs off the French coast. As ships continued to grow, more power was needed and it and sister Abeille Normandie were sold to Venezuela. Secunda Marine Services picked up the pair in 1990 and they were refitted at Pictou, the Salvor Commander ex Abeille Provence becoming Ryan Leet and Salvor General becoming Magdalen Sea.
Secunda did another refit on Ryan Leet in 1995 installing a pair of V-20 GM EMDs to replace the original SACMs. They also installed a 550 bhp azimuthing thruster up forward. It already had controllable pitch props in nozzles and triple rudders.

In 2004 Secunda sold the Magdalen Sea to Greek owners and it sailed from Halifax as Zouros Hellas. In 2007 it became Tsavliris Hellas. It was in service until last year, but is now laid up in Greece.

Magdalen Sea had a flume stabilization tank forward of the bridge.

Secunda hung on the Ryan Leet even when the company was sold to McDermott, but its days were numbered when a management buyout and eventual sale to Siem lead to a leaner fleet.

Working for Secunda the Ryan Leet did numerous rig tows, several important salvage jobs and worked both in Canada and the North Sea. In its last years it was used for rescue / standby, idling around off offshore gas installations with only its azimuthing thruster to keep station. Although this was very economical operation, it certainly did not take advantage of the tug's towing potential.

It will be a sad when when it finally sails - especially as a yacht - but there is hope that it will return to service as a tug again.


1 comment:

  1. The compartment forward the bridge on the Maggie was a paint locker.