New Tractor Tug Goes to Work in Boston

Boston’s Most Powerful Harbor Tug and Another High-Horsepower Tractor Go to Work for Constellation Maritime

Boston, May 2, 2007 – Boston’s newest and most powerful harbor tug has been christened, crewed up and has started serving customers of Constellation Maritime Co.

The tug Leo is a 78-foot, 5,000 horsepower Dolphin-Class vessel built at Foss Rainier Shipyard in Oregon. The brand new ASD-powered tug arrived in Boston on March 7 along with the Orion, a 3,000 horsepower, 95 foot Voith-powered tractor formerly in service for Foss Maritime on the Columbia River.

Together, the two high-powered tugs give Constellation, a Foss subsidiary, a one-two punch that amounts to a significant competitive edge in handling ship assists, harbor work, and future tanker escorts.

“These tugs are extremely well suited for the Boston Harbor not only because of their horsepower but because of their maneuverability,” said Marc Villa, Constellation president. “We operate in some very confined areas, and tractors will make a huge difference for us.”

Constellation deck and engine room personnel have been working with Foss trainers in Boston and Long Beach, Calif., to become familiar with operation and maintenance of the two vessels. Massachusetts State Commissioned Harbor Pilots also have joined training sessions to learn how to best use the tugs.

“A lot of people have a tendency to use tractors like conventional tugs, and learning how to operate them effectively is a trick that requires training,” Villa said. “We have expert people in the Foss organization who can help us with that.”

The Leo was christened during a reception attended by about 150 people at the Boston Harbor Hotel on April 19. Among the guests were customers, local dignitaries, U.S. Coast Guard and Navy officials, pilots, and representatives of Foss and its parent company, Marine Resources Group.

Chloe Deeley, daughter of Capt. Chris Deeley, Constellation’s docking pilot, broke the traditional bottle of champagne over the bow. The Rev. Steve Cushing, Executive Director and Sr. Chaplain of the New England Seafarers Mission, gave the blessing at a pier adjacent to the hotel where the reception was held.

“Constellation and Foss have made a major commitment to customers in bringing this equipment to the harbor,” Villa said. “And we believe new customers also will join us to take advantage of the high level of service we will be providing.”