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Topic review - Tugs and long tows
Author Message
  Post subject:  Re: Tugs and long tows  Reply with quote
Canadian tugs can run with 4 crew We have tugs that do 2 week trips with just 4 crew Capt Mate and 2 cook/deckhands Everyone works 6&6 Some tugs have an engineer Only the largest tug have a cook
Post Posted: June 20, 2021, 4:21 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Tugs and long tows  Reply with quote
Standards are different between U.S. & Canada. U.S. tugs are often running with just 4 aboard. Captain, mate, mechanic, & deckhand. A Canadian tug that's doing more than day work is required 6 minimum. Captain & mate, watchman for each watch & an engineer for each watch. Canadian tugs on regular runs will almost always have a dedicated cook.
Post Posted: June 12, 2021, 9:19 am
  Post subject:  Re: Tugs and long tows  Reply with quote
johnfrombrighton wrote:
Steamboater wrote:
On long tow jobs like Sarah Dann and blue crane I have these questions..
How many crew would be on the lead tug?
Are responsibilities divide up in typical 4 hr wagon watch, 8 hrs off
Who looks after food supply and cooking?
How is fuelling planned?
This is a considerable amount of sea time. As a former member of the Esso lakes fleet any replies will be appreciated!


Steamboater

Grew up in Sarnia. Remember watching the Esso boats (the type with superstructure amidships) in the river and thinking how little freeboard they had when they were loaded. Were you ever in storms on this type of tanker? I could imagine waves washing over the deck.

Would be good to hear storm stories.


I have often wondered about the small amount of freeboard these vessels had. Was this possible due to the buoyancy of the liquid cargoes they carried?
Post Posted: June 11, 2021, 9:14 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Tugs and long tows  Reply with quote
Steamboater wrote:
On long tow jobs like Sarah Dann and blue crane I have these questions..
How many crew would be on the lead tug?
Are responsibilities divide up in typical 4 hr wagon watch, 8 hrs off
Who looks after food supply and cooking?
How is fuelling planned?
This is a considerable amount of sea time. As a former member of the Esso lakes fleet any replies will be appreciated!


Steamboater

Grew up in Sarnia. Remember watching the Esso boats (the type with superstructure amidships) in the river and thinking how little freeboard they had when they were loaded. Were you ever in storms on this type of tanker? I could imagine waves washing over the deck.

Would be good to hear storm stories.
Post Posted: June 11, 2021, 6:28 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Tugs and long tows  Reply with quote
I sailed as Chief Engineer on Ocean Tugs in early 2005, Not US flag Not UMS rated. 6on6off watch system, 6weeks on 3 weeks off with pay. We Had a crew consisting of Captain, Mate, Chief & 2nd Engineer 3 ABs and a Cook. Most non U.S. Tugs carry cooks to the best of my knowledge, makes hiring voyage crews easier.
Post Posted: June 11, 2021, 2:02 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Tugs and long tows  Reply with quote
Since an ocean going tug has enough fuel for a month does it have ballast tanks to fill as the fuel is consumed?
Post Posted: June 11, 2021, 1:09 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Tugs and long tows  Reply with quote
In the past 25 or so years, ocean towing has changed quite a bit, especially coastal towing like this trip Sarah Dann is making. Smaller tugs with smaller crews. Only enough crew for two watches, partly unmanned engine rooms, no cook, etc. The luxury of 4hrs on / 8hrs off is generally long gone.

Tugs doing these tows should have plenty of fuel, water and stores on board for the whole trip, maybe even a month or more.
Post Posted: June 11, 2021, 8:10 am
  Post subject:  Re: Tugs and long tows  Reply with quote
Is there a different crew atmosphere on these tugs in comparison to conventional ships? My cousin was in the US Navy back in the 1980s and spent time on both submarines and surface warships. He always said that the crews of subs had a far less distinction between officers and enlisted personnel. Although he claimed that there was a strong sense of comradery on all of the ships he served, he also said this feeling seemed to be just a little stronger among the sub crews. I know it is like comparing apples to oranges but are the smaller crews of the tugs a little more tight-knit than those of larger ships?
Post Posted: June 11, 2021, 7:45 am
  Post subject:  Re: Tugs and long tows  Reply with quote
This brief article mentions that Western Towboat is using five person crews to tow rail barges to Alaska. The 2800 mile round trip voyages take between 15 to 21 days depending on weather.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/tough-tugs-big-cargo-and-very-long-trips-all-the-way-to-alaska/

Since they custom built their tugs for this service, I assume that they can make the round trip without refueling, or restocking.
Post Posted: June 10, 2021, 10:40 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Tugs and long tows  Reply with quote
Don't know any specifics about the Sarah Dann tow, or Dann Ocean Towing. But a lot of ocean going tugs of that size run with a crew of around 6. 6 hour on/ 6 hour off watches are typical, with more and more towing companies providing a day off for every day worked (7/7, 14/14 or 21/21) Deckhands generally get cooking duty, although the officers might help out is well.

When the Thomas Dann (another tug of similar size in the same fleet) caught fire in 2016 towing a cement barge from New York to Florida, it had a crew of 6 on board. Captain, mate, engineer, two AB's and a barge attendant. The Patrice McAllister, a similar size tug, also had 6 onboard when it caught fire on Lake Ontario, although it was not towing anything at the time.

As for fueling, I would assume that fuel levels are monitored by the engineer and refueling plans are made in consultation with home office staff. Probably the same with food and supplies.
Post Posted: June 10, 2021, 10:22 pm
  Post subject:  Tugs and long tows  Reply with quote
On long tow jobs like Sarah Dann and blue crane I have these questions..
How many crew would be on the lead tug?
Are responsibilities divide up in typical 4 hr wagon watch, 8 hrs off
Who looks after food supply and cooking?
How is fuelling planned?
This is a considerable amount of sea time. As a former member of the Esso lakes fleet any replies will be appreciated!
Post Posted: June 10, 2021, 12:23 pm

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