The Great Lakes Group


The Great Lakes Towing Company’s New Harbor Tug “CLEVELAND” Completes First Harbor Assist at Port of Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio. The Great Lakes Towing Company proudly announces the first harbor assist for its tug CLEVELAND; the first tugboat to be built in the United States to meet the new USCG Subchapter M Regulations. On Monday, July 17, 2017, the tug CLEVELAND assisted the M/V FEDERAL SAGUENAY for Montreal-based Fednav, Canada’s largest ocean-going dry-bulk shipping company. The vessel arrived at the Cleveland Main Entrance at 0600 hours, where the new harbor tug began the assistance, turning the bulk carrier with fleetmate Tug ILLINOIS for a stern first placement at the Port of Cleveland Dock 26. The M/V FEDERAL SAGUENAY originated from Ebsjerg, Denmark and made a stop in Cleveland while en route to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Tug CLEVELAND’s crew included Capt. Brad Sheppard and Deckhand Tim McKenna and Tug ILLINOIS included Capt. Scott Baker, Crewmen Branden Fadenholz and Aaron Burnett.

Historic Launch: “The Workhorse of the Great Lakes”

The Great Lakes Towing Company’s Shipyard, known as Great Lakes Shipyard, proudly launched the tug CLEVELAND at The Company’s headquarters on May 25, 2017 and the Shipyard delivered the tugboat to The Towing Company on June 30, 2017. Present on the portside and starboard side of Tug CLEVELAND is a white “Workhorse” logo, paying homage to The Great Lakes Towing Company’s tugs from the early 1900s, which were known as the “Workhorses of the Great Lakes.”

“This iconic symbol is a nod to The Company’s rich history and tradition of power, salvage, speed and steadfastness. The harbor assist for our good friends at Fednav is a perfect start for the new tug, and we look forward to regularly operating her for service to all our customers, as she becomes the workhorse in the Port of Cleveland.

Spirit of Innovation

This was the first of ten (10) Damen Stan Tugs 1907 ICE planned to be built for The Great Lakes Towing Company by Great Lakes Shipyard, and 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.

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

This new construction program is evidence of The Towing Company’s innovative spirit and reflects its commitment to its 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.

The launching 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


Tugboat Specifications

Tug CLEVELAND is the first Damen tug to be built under license in the U.S. The Towing Company selected the Stan Tug 1907 ICE 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. In addition to the stout scantlings necessary for operations in ice, the tugs specifications include:

  • Length: 63’05”
  • Beam: 24’02”
  • Depth (Amidships): 11’01”
  • Design Draft: 10’00”
  • Displacement: 165 long tons (Operational Lightship)
  • Tonnage: Less than 100 GRT
  • Main Engines: Two (2) x MTU 8V4000 M54R (1,000 HP each @ 1600 RPM)
  • Propellers: Twin Screw – Three Bladed, 71” Diameter, Kaplan Style in Kort Nozzles
  • Reduction Gears: Twin Disc MG5321 Quick Shift, Ratio: 5.45:1