The Great Lakes Group


Great Lakes Shipyard Lays Keels for First Tugs to be Built in Compliance with New USCG Subchapter M Regulations

The Great Lakes Towing Company Achieves Significant Milestone with Keel Laying Ceremony of Ten (10) Damen Stan Tugs 1907 ICE to Enhance its Great Lakes Fleet

Cleveland, Ohio. Great Lakes Shipyard laid keels for the first of ten (10) Damen Stan Tugs 1907 ICE to be built for The Great Lakes Towing Company on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. This milestone marks the beginning of a new construction program to introduce two (2) new harbor tugs per year for the next five (5) years at the Shipyard’s facility in Cleveland, Ohio.

Built to ABS Class, GLS Hull Numbers 6501–6510 will be the first tugs built to meet the new USCG Subchapter M Regulations. The ceremony was attended by the following partners:

  • United States Coast Guard
  • American Bureau of Shipping
  • Damen Shipyards
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Great Lakes Shipyard
  • The Great Lakes Towing Company


“This new construction program is further evidence of the innovative spirit the Towing Company has always embraced since its founding over 117 years ago, and reflects the commitment we have to our customers and the entire Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway marine transportation industry. We continuously strive to improve the quality and safety of our products and services, and how well they are delivered to our customers. As leaders in the industry, we believe we have an obligation to make sure our customers receive the best service possible,” says Joe Starck, President of the Towing Company.

Starck continued, explaining how the new tugs will enhance its fleet and help to sustain the quality of its services at the highest level of safety. “The new tugs will replace existing equipment – as each new tug is introduced into our fleet, two (2) existing tugs will be retired from service. These ten (10) new tugs will stabilize our operations, and improve our day-to-day business. The tugs, with the modern equipment and automated machinery onboard, will be ideal for the long-term sustainability of our harbor towing activities, and provide our customers with an even greater level of reliability, performance, and safety, across our entire Great Lakes service network.”


great-lakes-harbor-tug-02 great-lakes-harbor-tug-03


Great Lakes Shipyard to Build First Damen Tugs Under License in U.S.

The Great Lakes Towing Company & Great Lakes Shipyard entered into a partnership with B.V. Scheepswerf Damen Gorinchem (Damen) at the 2015 New Orleans Workboat Show in which Damen will provide engineering for its proven designs and Great Lakes Shipyard will receive full construction, design and engineering support from Damen.

The Stan Tug 1907 ICE for The Great Lakes Towing Company will be the First Damen Tugs to be Built Under License in the U.S. The Towing Company selected this design based on Damen’s reputation for quality and fact-finding visits made by the management of Great Lakes Towing to Damen in the Netherlands that demonstrated that the Model 1907 design exactly matched the client’s needs. In addition to the stout scantlings necessary for operations in ice, the tugs specifications include:

  • Length (LOA): 65’ 00”
  • Breadth: 24’ 00”
  • Depth: 11’ 00”
  • Draft: 9’ 06”
  • Gross Tonnage: Less than 100 GRT
  • Main Engines: Two (2) x MTU 8V4000 M54R (1,000 HP each @ 1600 RPM)
  • Propellers: Twin Screw – Four Bladed, 71” Diameter, Kaplan Style in Kort Nozzles
  • Reduction Gears: Twin Disc MG5321 Quick Shift, Ratio: 5.45:1

 While these are the first tugs to be built in the USA under Damen’s Technical Cooperation program, many Stan Tug 1907 ICE tugs can be found operating around the world.

“We are pleased to continue our relationship with Damen. Our partnership with Damen, as an authorized builder of Damen designs, was a strategic move to provide our customers with the wide product range and international experience of Damen’s design portfolio, combined with quality American craftsmanship and tugboat experience from Great Lakes Shipyard. The Damen license agreement expanded upon our existing product offerings, which already included designs, such as the Handy-size Class tugs, developed under our longstanding partnership with naval architects, Jensen Maritime Consultants of Seattle, WA.  As The Towing Company continues to grow, build new tugs and overhaul the tugs in its existing fleet, the Shipyard will also continue to expand and grow,” says Starck. 


United States Coast Guard

Great Lakes Shipyard to Build First Tugs in Compliance with USCG Subchapter M Regulations in U.S.

On June 20, 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard announced new towing vessel regulations establishing new requirements for the design, construction, onboard equipment and operation of U.S.-flagged towing vessels. These regulations, which were developed over time with input from the Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) and the towing vessel industry, were incorporated into Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations as the new Subchapter M. By constructing to ABS requirements and utilizing the classification society for auditing to the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, the new vessels are demonstrating compliance to Subchapter M. Under the regulation ABS is fully authorized as a third-party organization to work on behalf of the US Coast Guard. Additionally, ABS has been authorized to conduct auditing under the Americans Waterways Organization Responsible Carrier Program.


Pictured: CWO Robie Moorhouse, Marine Inspector, USCG Marine Safety Unit Cleveland inspecting the keels of all ten (10) Great Lakes Harbor Tugs.

The Maritime Transportation Act of 2004 reclassified towing vessels as vessels subject to inspection and authorized the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to establish requirements for a safety management system appropriate for the characteristics, methods of operation and the unique nature of towing vessels. These requirements make up Subchapter M.

As provided in the Subchapter M regulations, certain regulations are to be phased-in and existing towing vessels will have an additional two years to comply with most of the requirements. With certain exceptions, these regulations apply to U.S.-flag towing vessels 26 feet or more in length and those less than 26 feet moving barges carrying oil or hazardous material in bulk. The rule lays out new compliance options as well as new equipment, construction and operational requirements for towing vessels.


American Bureau of Shipping

Great Lakes Shipyard to Build First Tugs to Comply with USCG Subchapter M Regulations in U.S. to ABS Class


Pictured (Left to Right): John McDonald, Vice President – Central Region, ABS Americas; Scott Tozzi, Principal Surveyor, ABS Cleveland; Roy Bleiberg, Vice President, Engineering, ABS Americas inspecting the keels of all ten (10) Great Lakes Harbor Tugs.

“We are proud to continue serving as a trusted technical advisor to the Great Lakes Towing company and expanding our relationship through this project,” says John McDonald, ABS Regional Vice President for the central United States.

“Building to Class and ISM certification shows a strong commitment to meeting the requirements under Subchapter M, and we at ABS look forward to helping owners and operators identify the right solutions for their fleets.”

Learn more at


Keel Laying Ceremony Acknowledgements & Attendees


United States Coast Guard – USCG

  • Captain Joe DuFresne, USCG Sector Commander, Buffalo, NY
  • LCDR Mickey Dougherty, Commanding Officer, USCG Marine Safety Unit Cleveland
  • PO Lauren Laughlin, USCG D9 Public Affairs (Not Pictured)
  • CWO Robie Moorhouse, Marine Inspector, USCG Marine Safety Unit Cleveland
  • LT Vauna Streeper, Chief of Inspections, USCG Marine Safety Unit Cleveland
  • Nick Suvak, Marine Inspector, USCG Marine Safety Unit Cleveland


American Bureau of Shipping – ABS

  • John McDonald, Vice President, Central Region, Americas
  • Roy Bleiberg, Vice President, Engineering, Americas
  • Dennis Bryson, District Manager, Great Lakes
  • Scott Tozzi, Principal Surveyor, Cleveland



  • Daan Dijxhoorn, Project Manager
  • Andrew McBride, Lead Engineer Shipbuilding


The Buyer: Fifth Third Bank

  • Pat Myers, ‎Vice President Equipment Finance (Not Pictured)
  • Casey Herschler, Surveyor, North American Marine


The Builder: Great Lakes Shipyard

  • Douglas Barrow, New Construction Manager
  • Jonathan Leivo, P.E., Director of Engineering
  • Tim Chase, Project Manager (Not Pictured)


The Operator: The Great Lakes Towing Company

  • Joe Starck, President
  • Gregg Thauvette, Vice President, Operations
  • Lindsay R. Dew, Director of Operations & Compliance (Not Pictured)
  • Mark Delventhal, Director of Technical Service & Business Development


About The Great Lakes Towing Company & Great Lakes Shipyard

Great Lakes Shipyard is a full-service shipyard for new vessel construction including new workboats and barges, truckable products, custom fabrication, ship maintenance and repairs, in a world-class facility that includes state-of-the-art equipment such as a 770-ton mobile Travelift and a 300-ton floating drydock. GLS facilities are located at the Company’s headquarters on the Old River Channel of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio. GLT’s shipyard expertise includes designing, building and maintaining its own fleet, as well as an extensive list of commercial and government tugboats, supply boats, ferries, barges, cruise boats, large yachts, and many other types of vessels, including larger domestic and foreign cargo vessels. The shipyard is a major contractor for the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, EPA, and many other federal, state and local governments, attesting to its high-quality workmanship, on-time performance, and competitive pricing. Learn more at


Great Lakes Shipyard is a division of The Great Lakes Towing Company, an industry leader since 1899, providing essential, commercial tugboat services such as harbor assist and towing, icebreaking and cargo transportation in more than 35 U.S. ports, in all 8 U.S. Great Lakes’ states, including Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New York, and the St. Lawrence River. Learn more at


About Damen

Damen Shipyards Group operates 32 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 9,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 5,000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers some 160 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardized ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality. Damen’s focus on standardization, modular construction and keeping vessels in stock leads to short delivery times, low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale values and reliable performance. Furthermore, Damen vessels are based on thorough R&D and proven technology. Damen offers a wide range of products, including tugs, workboats, naval and patrol vessels, high speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, vessels for the offshore industry, ferries, pontoons and superyachts.

For nearly all vessel types Damen offers a broad range of services, including maintenance, spare parts delivery, training and the transfer of (shipbuilding) know-how. Damen also offers a variety of marine components, such as nozzles, rudders, anchors, anchor chains and steel works. In addition to ship design and shipbuilding, Damen Shiprepair & Conversion has a worldwide network of 15 repair and conversion yards with dry docks ranging up to 420 x 80 meters. Conversion projects range from adapting vessels to today’s requirements and regulations to the complete conversion of large offshore structures. DSC completes around 1,500 repair and maintenance jobs annually. Learn more at


About American Bureau of Shipping – ABS

Founded in 1862, ABS is a leading international classification society devoted to promoting the security of life and property and preserving the natural environment through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine and offshore assets. As a technology leader and trusted advisor to the maritime industry, ABS is at the forefront of aiding designers, builders, owners and operators in complying with the new Subchapter M requirements. Learn more at


About Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bancorp, established in 1858, is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $144 billion in assets and operates 1,191 full-service Banking Centers, including 94 Bank Mart® locations, most open seven days a week, inside select grocery stores and 2,541 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Wealth and Asset Management. Fifth Third also has an 18.3% interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2016, had $305 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $26 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.”  Learn more at


About United States Coast Guard – The Ninth Coast Guard District

The U.S. Coast Guard is one of the five armed forces of the United States and the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security. Since 1790 the Coast Guard has safeguarded our Nation’s maritime interests and environment around the world. The Coast Guard is an adaptable, responsive military force of maritime professionals whose broad legal authorities, capable assets, geographic diversity and expansive partnerships provide a persistent presence along our rivers, in the ports, littoral regions and on the high seas. Coast Guard presence and impact is local, regional, national and international. These attributes make the Coast Guard a unique instrument of maritime safety, security and environmental stewardship. Learn more at

The Ninth Coast Guard District is responsible for all Coast Guard operations throughout the five Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence Seaway and parts of the surrounding states including 6,700 miles of shoreline and 1,500 miles of the international border with Canada. The 6,000 active duty, reserve, civilian and auxiliary men and women who make up the Ninth District deliver multi-mission services in search and rescue, maritime safety and security, environmental protection, maritime law enforcement, aids to navigation and icebreaking. Learn more at