Versatile tractor tug joins Cook Inlet Tug & Barge

Written by Nick Blenkey
Cook Inlet Tug & Barge's latest

The Dr. Hank Kaplan is homeported in Anchorage, Alaska and painted with the recognizable blue and white colors of Cook Inlet Tug & Barge.

The Dr. Hank Kaplan, a versatile and powerful harbor tug, entered service in Alaska earlier this month in the Cook Inlet Tug & Barge fleet.

Delivered to its original owner in 2017 by the Diversified Marine shipyard in Portland, Oregon, the 5,350 hp Robert Allan Ltd designed RAmparts-2400 series tugboat was the first built in North America with a Caterpillar integrated propulsion system featuring CAT engines and Z-drives. CAT also supplied the vessel’s electrical generators.

A member of the Saltchuk Group, Cook Inlet Tug and Barge, LLC traces its Alaska heritage back to 1924 and continues to be committed to Alaska.

“We call ourselves ‘Alaska’s tug and barge company’, and we take seriously our 98-year commitment to the state. This vessel brings additional capability to the Cook Inlet region while further supporting Alaska’s economy”, said Jeff Johnson, president of Cook Inlet Tug & Barge. “We are based in Alaska, operated by Alaskans and acquiring the Dr. Hank Kaplan helps grow our fleet in our namesake’s region of Alaska.”

The 79-by-36-foot vessel is named in honor of the Chief of Medical Oncology at Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle, Wash., who has worked throughout his entire career on cancer research and treatment.

“This tug is built well, extremely powerful and complements the incredibly capable tugs we have in our fleet. It will help us grow our business while meeting our expanding customer needs,” said Mike O’Shea, vice president business development and planning at Cook Inlet Tug & Barge.

Powered by CAT 3516C marine diesel engines paired to CAT MTA 24-TZ-drives, Dr. Hank Kaplan is Caterpillar equipped throughout. Her electrical service is provided by two, Tier III complaint CAT C7.1 generator sets.

The deck equipment consists of a Markey DEPC-46 towing winch, mounted on the bow, and a Markey DEPC-32 towing winch, mounted on the stern.

Capt. Mark Theriault, Cook Inlet Tug & Barge’s director of operations, is excited to see the Dr. Hank Kaplan join the fleet.

“The tug packs 30,000 gallons of fuel, 2,800 gallons of fresh water, and 370 gallons of lube oil—and not only opens up our operating window, but it is also just what our customers have been asking for,” he said.

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