The Great Lakes Group


The Great Lakes Towing Company Expands Fleet with Addition of Four More Great Lakes Harbor Tugs

The Great Lakes Towing Company, which operates the largest fleet of shipdocking tugboats on the U.S. Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Seaway, has announced the addition of four (4) more tugboats to its fleet.

The four (4) newly purchased tugs will be named after four (4) of the Great Lakes; Tug MICHIGAN, Tug HURON, Tug ONTARIO and Tug ERIE. The Company’s Tug SUPERIOR has been in service for years, operating in the Port of Detroit.

“These four (4) tugs will be immediately added to the fleet, and provide some new life and operational stability to our day-to-day business,” says Gregg Thauvette, Vice President – Operations, The Great Lakes Towing Company. Thauvette continues, “The equipment and machinery onboard, including the towing gear and firefighting equipment, are ideal for our operations across the Great Lakes, and will help us to continue to provide harbor towing services to our customers in more than 35 U.S. ports, in all 8 U.S. Great Lakes’ states.”

In addtion to the four (4) newly purchased tugs, Great Lakes Shipyard is in the process of reactivating the Tugs LOUISIANA and PENNSYLVANIA from its existing fleet, both of which have been out of service for several years. Once completed and back in service, the Company plans to also reactivate the Tugs IDAHO and CALIFORNIA, which were taken out of service over the last two seasons. The Company is also in the process of drydocking, refurbishment and major maintenance on 15 tugs from fleet as part of the Company’s ongoing Major Fleet Overhaul Program. The schedule for this program includes:

Recently Completed:


In Progress:

  • OHIO

Next to be Overhauled:


“As The Towing Company continues maintain and upgrade the tugs in its fleet, the Shipyard will also continue to expand and grow,” says Joe Starck, President of the Towing Company and Great Lakes Shipyard. Starck further explains that, “We are currently in progress of building one of two (2) new tugboats for New York Power Authority (NYPA) Niagara Power Plant’s operations in Buffalo, NY and we are also building two (2) small work barges the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Rock Island District. We also have many other very interesting new construction projects on the table.  This new vessel construction business is in addition to our ongoing regular, in-house, commercial and government repair and modification work, where we regularly perform routine drydocking, maintenance, emergency repairs and custom fabrication services.”