Sunday, September 09, 2007

Tugs of the Savannah

Approaches to Mona Passage: 19 07 N, 068 05W , Spd : 13.4 Kts, Co - 172 T

There is a large lobby of ship enthusiasts that are ardent admirers of the Tug. The tugs are the work horses of the marine industry and are typically small vessels with a strong engine, built more for the power then for the speed. In fact a normal
cruising speed of a tug rarely crosses 10 kts.

Pictured above are a couple of tugs that passed by in the Savannah river. The Edward Moran is a typical tug used for ship handling & it is really beautiful. The tug is a classic and is built along the lines of the tugs made in the late 70's & eighties.
I won't be surprised if that really was the age of the old lady as some of these vessels can last a long time in the rivers fresh water.

The second tug, ugly by most descriptions, including some of my own, is the tug "Savannah" The reason that its front is cut off into a blunt end is because its really meant to carry barges. The US applies cabotage law along its coast. Under this law,
only US vessels can carry oil & cargo along its coast. What this law has resulted in is that bigger ships like ours brings oil from Abroad & discharges the cargo in a couple of ports of US. Then this cargo is transferred to smaller barges (Though
barges bigger than the Asian Standards) and then pushed along the coast by barges such as the Savannah. These type of tugs are designed to fit in behind the barges & the once they are tied snugly, push the barge.

If an older tug like the Edward Moran had to shift a barge, then she would have to tow it around, which is a much harder proposition, require greater skill & dedication. So now we have these deformed punk tugs running all over the US coast.

Well maybe they won't look so bad once tugs like the Edward Moran aren't around to remind us.

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