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Vane takes delivery of 13th Sassafras-class tug

Mar 3, 2017 03:25 PM

Fishing Creek is the latest in a 20-boat contract with Chesapeake Shipbuilding

Courtesy Vane Brothers

The following is the text of a news release from Vane Brothers:

(BALTIMORE) — Vane Brothers has taken delivery of the 3,000-horsepower Fishing Creek, the 13th Maryland-built tugboat to join the Baltimore-based company’s expanding fleet in the last 10 years.

Designed by Frank Basile of Entech Designs LLC, Fishing Creek is the latest of 20 Sassafras-class tugboats contracted through Chesapeake Shipbuilding of Salisbury, Md. Construction began in 2007 on the first-in-series tugboat Sassafras, which, when delivered to Vane Brothers in 2008, was considered to be the first tugboat constructed in Maryland in more than 30 years and the first ocean-service tug built in the state in more than a half century.

Measuring 94 feet long and 32 feet wide with a hull depth of 13 feet, Fishing Creek is similar in most respects to the previous 12 tugboats built for Vane as part of the Chesapeake Shipbuilding contract. The vessel is equipped with twin Caterpillar 3512 Tier 3 main engines that provide a combined 3,000 hp, and operates with a Jon-Rie Series 500 hydraulic towing winch. Soft-core panels and top-line accoutrements are used throughout, offering the crew a quiet, comfortable living environment. State-of-the-art componentry is at the captain’s fingertips in the wheelhouse, which features mostly wooden accents for a more traditional look.

“Frank Basile and Entech gave us such a great design from which to work 10 years ago that we have made very few changes along the way,” said Vane Brothers senior port captain Jim Demske, who oversees the tugboat construction program. “And keeping these beautiful tugs similar in construction is a great benefit to our crews, purchasing agents and contracted vendors. The tugs are both powerful and practical.”

Named for a location on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Fishing Creek was preceded in August 2016 by Fort McHenry, which pays tribute to the historic Baltimore landmark known as the birthplace of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Next in line from Chesapeake Shipbuilding is the tugboat Cape May, scheduled for delivery this summer.

Fishing Creek has joined the company’s Philadelphia-based Delta fleet and is primarily tasked with towing petroleum barges engaged in the North Atlantic coastwise trade.

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