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The keel of the lead vessel in Foss Maritime’s new class of EPA Tier 4-compliant ASD 90 tractor tugs has been laid the Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland, Washington.

The tugboat is the first in series of four 90-short ton bollard pull tugs designed for Foss by Seattle-based Jensen Maritime.

“The new tugs are designed to upgrade our fleet and improve the company’s ability to provide timely harbor and port services to a variety of customers,” said John Parrott, President and CEO of Foss Maritime, following the keel laying ceremony on February 25. “By offering lower maintenance down time, greater operating efficiencies and lower emissions, these new tugs help expand our nearshore and offshore capabilities.”

The design of the tugboats is based on Jensen’s Valor design meeting Tier IV emission standards, meaning they utilize high-efficiency catalytic after-treatment technology to reduce emissions. In addition, the Z-Drive Tractor tugs will be built to United States Coast Guard Subchapter “M” regulatory standards, with ABS loadline certification, and UWILD notation.

The vessels will be equipped with two MTU series 4000 main engines, Rolls-Royce US255 azimuth thrusters and Markey winches. The vessels will also include condition-based monitoring for the Z-drives and main engines.

The 100-foot by 40-foot tugs are multi-functional to include ship assist and escort capabilities as well as towing. Additionally, Jensen designed the tugs with some of the most advanced safety features in the industry, including a single 900 GPM fire pumps and monitors, which will be powered from an on-board generator.

Foss plans to operate the tugs on the U.S. West Coast, performing ship-handling duties within ports and harbors.
Delivery of the first four vessels will begin in winter 2020.

“Foss is celebrating our 130th anniversary this year, and I can’t think of a better way to kick off our 130 years than by laying the keel of our next generation of harbor tugs,” said Parrott. “These new vessels will not just expand our fleet, but will add new vitality with the latest innovative technology.”

In addition to the ASD 90 program, Foss’ fleet expansion plans also includes the ongoing construction of the K?pena class vessels for Foss subsidiary Young Brothers, and the acquisition of four new nearshore vessels for Foss subsidiary Cook Inlet Tug & Barge.