Vigor Fab to build three tugs for Tidewater Barge Lines

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JANUARY 22, 2014 — Tidewater Barge Lines, Vancouver, WA, has awarded Vigor Fab, Portland, OR, a contract to construct three new tugboats. Construction of the first tug starts Friday, Jan. 24, with the keel laying at Vigor’s Portland shipyard.

The 102 ft x 38 ft x 11 ft draft tugs will be Tidewater Barg’s first newly built vessels in nearly 30 years, although it has rebuilt and repowered several vessels.

Designed by CT Marine, of Edgecomb, ME, the state of the art newbuilds have been specially designed to service the Columbia River market. Each will have two Caterpillar 3516 engines delivering a combined 4,500 HP and EPA Tier III compliant to provide upgraded environmental standards for cleaner emissions and a lower environmental impact. The tugs will be fitted with Reintjes marine gears supplied by Karl Senner, Inc., Kenner, LA. Karl Senner, has been the exclusive North American distributor for Reintjes Marine Transmissions since 1972.

The tug design also features ergonomic accommodations and comforts proven to minimize fatigue and reduce injuries amongst crew.

Delivery of the first tug will be in December 2014, with the second and third to follow in 2015.

“Tidewater has provided top-notch tug and barge service for more than 80 years,” said Bryan Nichols, sales manager of Vigor Industrial. “We’re honored they chose us to help make this critical investment in their future.”

Vigor’s 60-acre shipyard, oversized 800 foot build way and extensive fabrication bays provide the capacity and flexibility for new builds of all types.

In recent years, Vigor has methodically increased its capacity to build new vessels for commercial customers. The company’s investments in infrastructure and personnel have given it a strong competitive position to go after and win a diverse range of new construction projects including barges, ferries, fishing vessels and now tugs.

“Vigor will put its considerable experience to work building these new tugboats to the highest standards. These new builds are evidence of how we are inspiring confidence in our customers and growing our shipbuilding business,” said Mr. Nichols.

“Vigor is a great fit for this project,” said Bob Curcio, President & CEO at Tidewater Barge. “The company has proven itself as a competitive shipbuilder with the capacity we need and the quality we demand. We are eager to start our newbuild program and be able to put these tugs to work for our customers “

“These tugs are a welcome addition to the growing Tidewater fleet,” added Mr. Curcio. “We are excited to make the investments necessary to address the needs of our customers for best-in-class, modern and environmentally friendly equipment. The investments we are making will serve the needs of our customers for many years to come.”

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