Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Ian Mac sold west

A small tug that has spent its entire working career on Lake Huron has been sold west and will be taking up duties in Aberta. Ian Mac was built in 1955 by Mathieson Boat Works in Goderich, ON and has worked in that port ever since, initially for D.B.Macadam Ltd then for MacDonald Marine Ltd. (Capt. Ian MacAdam). The two families, related by marriage, have been involved in shipping since the days of sail, and trace their ancestry to early Scottish settlers in the Huron Tract (some of whom were related to me too.)

Superbly maintained, and always in fresh water, Ian Mac has assisted its fleet mates in berthing ships at the salt pier and grain elevators. However in recent years Groupe Océan moved into the port, taking away core business, first with the converted pilot boat Côte-Nord and since last year with the small Voith-Schneider tug Escorte.

Ian Mac acquired a new wheelhouse (upper photo) in 2001, which has been removed so that the tug can be trucked to Alberta. It was also the "newest" tug in the four tug fleet, with sister tugs Debbie Lynn (1950), Donald Bert (1953) and Dover (1931). Don't let the tugs' ages deceive - fresh water is very forgiving, and these tugs have been kept up to near-yacht standards.

There has been a growing demand for small tugs in Alberta to work in dredging and settling pond maintenance, including icebreaking. Groupe Océan has built two tugs for work in Alberta as have several other companies.


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