The Great Lakes Group


The Great Lakes Towing Company Christens New Tugs PENNSYLVANIA and WISCONSIN in Virtual Ceremony

On Wednesday, December 16, The Great Lakes Towing Company and Great Lakes Shipyard’s employees joined together at the Company’s Cleveland facilities to celebrate the christening of the new tugs PENNSYLVANIA and WISCONSIN. 

Customers, vendors, community, friends, family, and the public were invited to join virtually for the live streamed event

“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is remarkable that the Towing Company has persevered with the successful completion of these two new tugs, despite the adversity the pandemic brought to bear, not only on us, but the industry, not to mention the country, and the entire world.  The Towing Company, as always, showed its resilience and its resolve to muscle through these difficult conditions.” 

Joe Starck, President, The Great Lake Towing Company 

The Tug PENNSYLVANIA was christened by vessel sponsor, Louise Kandzer, girlfriend of Gregg Thauvette, the Company’s Senior Vice President-Operations; and the Tug WISCONSIN was christened by vessel sponsor, Sally Stevens, wife of Robert Zadkovich, Vice President-Business Development. 

The newly constructed Tugs PENNSYLVANIA and WISCONSIN are the fourth and fifth tugs, respectively, in a series of ten (10) 64-foot Damen 1907 ICE design harbor tugs that Great Lakes Shipyard is building for The Great Lakes Towing Company’s operations.  The tugs are 64’x24’x11’, powered by two 1,000-hp MTU 8V4000 Tier III diesel engines, and generate over 30-tons of bollard pull. Their propulsion systems include the Canal Marine designed Logan FlexaDrive Hybrid power system, allowing the tugs to operate on electric power while at idle, underway at low speeds, or when under low loads, without the need to utilize the main engines, thereby reducing emissions and the cost of engine maintenance.  The tugs’ compact size and high maneuverability make them ideal for the narrow waterways and low bridges that characterize harbor towing on the Great Lakes. 

The sixth tug, not yet named, is slated for a Summer 2021 completion. Additional follow-on tugs of the same design are available for purchase by third party buyers. 

All photos are courtesy of Paul C. LaMarre III.