Foss christens second Arctic Class tug

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Denise Foss

JUNE 7, 2016 — Foss Maritime reports that the second of three state-of-the-art Arctic Class tugs, the Denise Foss, was recently christened at the Foss Waterway Seaport in Tacoma, WA.

Built at the Foss Rainier, OR, shipyard, the Denise is designed to operate in the extreme conditions of the far north, and will enter service this summer.
In his opening remarks, Foss COO John Parrott applauded the hard work and dedication of the people, designers, and customers that made the project possible.

The vessel was christened by its namesake, Denise Tabbutt, one of the three sisters who are primary shareholders of Saltchuk, the parent company of Foss Maritime.
Ms. Tabbutt  broke the traditional bottle of  champagne across the hull of the Denise Foss.

“It’s a proud moment for the people whose vision and leadership inspired the creation of this tugboat class to support our commitment to Alaska and the Arctic,” she said. “In order to stay relevant in a fast and ever changing world, it’s important we remain committed to our shared values and continue looking for opportunities to better serve our customers. The Arctic Class tugs are the perfect example of this commitment.”  

Mike Magill, Vice President of Foss’ Technical Services, praised the team at the Rainier Shipyard — many who were present for the christening — for their commitment to safety, quality, and their obvious pride in their work. “

The Rainier shipyard has now gone 879 days without a Lost Time Incident,” said Mr. Magill. “In an industry where far too often injuries and accidents are answered with excuses, the Rainier team has taken responsibility to embrace our safety culture and the results bear this out.”    

The Denise Foss is ice class D0, meaning that the hull is designed specifically for polar waters and reinforced to maneuver in ice.

The first of the three Arctic tugs, the Michele Foss, made its debut in 2015 and has performed above and beyond expectations. The tug led the way in safely pioneering a new route across the North Slope, while operating in extreme conditions
of first year ice a meter thick.

Like the Michele, the Denise complies with the requirements in the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Vessels Intended to Operate in Polar Waters, including ABS A1 standards, SOLAS and Green Passport.

She has a Caterpillar C280-8 main engine that complies with the highest federal environmental standards; a Nautican propulsion system; and Reintjes reduction gears. Markey Machinery supplied the tow winch.
The tug has a bollard pull of 221,000 pounds.  
Environmentally focused features include:

  • Elimination of ballast tanks, so there is no chance of transporting invasive species;
  • Holding tanks for black and gray water to permit operations in no-discharge zones (such as parts of Alaska and California);Hydraulic oil systems compatible with biodegradable oil;
  • Energy efficient LED lighting; and
  • High-energy absorption Schuyler fendering.
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