Zed is dead!

December 18, 2013

Third tug, third drydock, third contract After many years on “conventional” shaft and propeller powered vessels, I am quickly coming to appreciate the complexity of Z drives, right angle drives, or whatever these are called in your neck of the ocean. With three dry-docking in three contracts, on three different boats, in one year, I am getting some familiarization with these complex machines. My latest adventure involves a Kawasaki Rexpeller…

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Cold and desolate

December 10, 2013

Pulling up the barge’s spuds on a very chilly day We pulled stakes – literally, the barge was “staked” in – from Deception Bay about three weeks ago (as written at the time when I had no internet service). However the weather deteriorating, and not having an anchor on the barge, meant we steamed around the bay doing circles for three days. Yes, there is no more fun a sailor…

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Its ok to breath now…

Long time visitor and contributor to the site, Bilge Rat, sent me this video a few weeks back. It’s a riveting drama of a tug in a dire spot on the fast moving waters of the Mississippi, and another tug comes to the rescue. Also a good lesson for all sailors, whether sailing on green, blue or brown waters, always keep your watertight doors and hatches closed and dogged! He…

June 26, 2012
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Why TC does not comment

January 31, 2011

I was doing some research on another topic when I came across an interesting article from the Tyee, a BC based, shall we say, left leaning, epub. The articles chronicles the interaction of the paper, with Transport Canada, and their (varying) stance on crewing for tugs operating in Vancouver Harbour. The reason this subject has been in the news this past year, is that Alberta “tar sands” crude, and bitumen,…

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A ray of Sun

January 9, 2011

The largest newspaper, west of the Canadian Rockies, has a feature on west coast tugs in today’s Business section. It features an optimistic outlook by the regional operators after several years of hardships – no pun intended. Seaspan is featured in the story, as is the Catherwood, Jones Marine, Smit, Pilots and others. An interesting read overall, but the history side is of course nothing new to those plying these…

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Steaming Master

October 27, 2010

The SS Master Society is an all-volunteer non-profit group of dedicated individual that today is navigating in troubled waters. Unless new revenue streams are identified and maintained, the SS Master just may find herself without the funds to continue on steaming. For years the society has always been able to rely on a small gaming grant from the BC Lottery Foundation which has now been cut off. The grant was…

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Seaspan swallows SMIT / Rivtow

October 15, 2010

Big news on Canada’s west coast today, my sources have just sent me an email saying that Seaspan has just swallowed SMIT Canada, ex Rivtow. I have from good sources that Boskalis has sold all assets to Seaspan. You can read here, a bit about Rivtow’s prolific presence on the West Coast. Rivtow was at one time a massive industrial entity, the biggest in BC, with the largest fleet on…

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A new Legacy continues

December 16, 2009

I saw this little bit of “news” the other day. Chevron Canada is replacing its venerable fuel dock in Coal Harbour with a new one. There isn’t too many towboaters on the coast who have not the had to stop, and pick up some half million liters (or so), of diesel, from Ron Graham’s Chevron Fuel Dock, sitting, lonely, between Stanley Park and the tall buildings of the downtown core….

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