First Damen tugs to be built under licence in the USA
An agreement was signed this week at the New Orleans Workboat Show between Damen Shipyards Group and Great Lakes Shipyard, USA, for the latter to build two Stan Tugs 1907 ICE at its facility in Cleveland, Ohio. The vessels will be Ice Class and operated by the yard’s affiliate company, The Great Lakes Towing Company. The tugs will replace existing tonnage and this will be the first time that Damen tugs have been built under licence in the USA.
Under the licence, Great Lakes Shipyard will receive full construction, design and engineering support from Damen. To achieve the best possible result, Damen will also provide expert assistance based on it experience with construction of nearly two hundred Damen designed vessels in the US over the years.
The Stan Tugs 1907 were chosen based on Damen’s reputation for quality and fact-finding visits made by the management of The Great Lakes Towing Company to Damen in the Netherlands. These visits demonstrated that the Stan Tug 1907 exactly matched the Towing Company’s needs. In addition to the Ice Class specification, the tugs will also be treated with special, high endurance paint capable of withstanding the abrasion that comes with moving through ice. Stan Tugs 1907 can be found operating in locations around the world including Russia, Qatar and the Netherlands.
The partnership with Damen has provided Great Lakes Shipyard with a portfolio of proven vessel designs for customers in the United States. Most of the designs have been very refined, through the progression of multiple builds. It is the high degree of refinement to the Stan Tug 1907 ICE design that will be of considerable benefit to Great Lakes Shipyard during the construction process and to The Great Lakes Towing Company in its use and operation of the new tugs.
While these are the first tugs to be built in the USA under Damen’s Technical Cooperation programme, over 200 Damen vessels have been built under licence in the USA since the mid-1990s. These include eighty 26-metre patrol boats for the US Coast Guard, built by Bollinger Shipyards; 55 Fast Crew Supplier 1204 class, built at Horizon Boat Builders and Trinity Shipyard; and 25 Fast Crew Supplier 1605 class vessels built by Blount Boats. Licences for 58 Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters based on Damen’s 47m Stan Patrol 4708 have also been sold.