Foss Christens Arctic Class Ocean Tug

Powerful Michele Foss designed for the most extreme conditions

TACOMA, Wash., April 13, 2015 – The first of three Arctic Class tugs being built at the  Foss Rainier, Ore. Shipyard was christened Thursday, April 9, at the Foss Waterway Seaport in Tacoma, Wash. The vessel, the Michele Foss, will see its first assignment on an oil field sealift this summer from South Korea to the Alaskan Arctic.

Mike Magill, Vice President of Foss’ Technical Services, made opening remarks at the christening, praising the hardworking men and women who constructed the vessel.

“As we know, a construction project of this magnitude requires significant teamwork to accomplish,” Magill said.

Arctic Class Tug Michele Foss

Arctic Class Tug Michele Foss

“Engineers, craftsmen, purchasing and logistics experts, to name a few, have gone beyond the call of duty to deliver this vessel safely, on time and on budget.”

Ken Hawkins, Executive Director of the Mission to Seafarers – Seattle, delivered the invocation to bless the vessel.

The vessel’s namesake is Michele Seaver, one of the three sisters who are primary shareholders of Saltchuk, the parent company of Foss Maritime. Seaver had the honor of breaking the ceremonial bottle of champagne across the hull of the Michele Foss.

Mike Garvey, Seaver’s father and one of the founding shareholders of Saltchuk, said he hoped the vessel would share some of his daughter’s finest qualities: an adventurous spirit, a commitment to working hard, and a passion for being the best at what she does.

The Michele Foss is ice class D0. This means the hulls are designed specifically for polar waters and are reinforced to maneuver in ice. The vessel complies with the requirements in the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Vessels Intended to Operate in Polar Waters, including ABS A1 standards, SOLAS and Green Passport.

The Michele Foss includes a Caterpillar C280-8 main engine, which complies with the highest federal environmental standards; a Nautican propulsion system; and Reintjes reduction gears. Markey Machinery supplied the tow winch.

Michele Seaver with son, Aiden, and husband, Rick

Michele Seaver with son, Aiden, and husband, Rick

The tug has a bollard pull of 221,000 pounds.

The vessel incorporates several environmentally focused designs and structural and technological upgrades, including:

  • Elimination of ballast tanks, so there is no chance of transporting invasive species;
  • Holding tanks for black and gray water to permit operations in no-discharge zones (such as parts of Alaska and California);
  • Hydraulic oil systems compatible with biodegradable oil;
  • Energy efficient LED lighting; and
  • High-energy absorption Schuyler fendering.

The Michele Foss has been designed to withstand the rigors of Arctic operations and is suited to work across the globe as Foss competes for opportunities in the oil and gas industry.

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