[FEBRUARY 26, 2019]


Work has been completed on the last of three articulated tug/barge (AT/B) units built for Vane Brothers by Conrad shipyards based in Texas and Louisiana. The 4,400-horsepower AT/B tug Wachapreague hooked up with the 80,000-barrel barge Double Skin 803 for the first time in mid-February.

This and other new vessel construction projects are part of an ongoing process to ensure that the Vane Brothers fleet remains as safe, modern, and productive as possible.

Captain Jim Demske, who oversees new tug construction for Vane, explains that the 110-foot-long, 38-foot-wide Wachapreague is a “true sister to her two predecessors,” the Assateague and Chincoteague, both of which were delivered in 2018 along with the DS-801 and DS-802.

The DS-803 has the same dimensions as the DS-801 and DS-802 (405 feet long by 74 feet wide), but is equipped with additional heating elements specifically to aid with carrying asphalt.

Steve Magdeburger, Vane Special Projects Manager-Barge Construction, is pleased with the quality of workmanship that has come out of the Conrad yards. He adds, “Over the course of these three units, as well as many other barges in the past, we have forged a strong relationship with the builder. They have been very responsive to our needs.”

Along with the three Conrad units, Vane has received one AT/B tug from St. Johns Ship Building in Florida, while another is on its way. The Jacksonville and Charleston are 100-foot-long, 4,200-horsepower Elizabeth Anne Class vessels fitted with an innovative Beacon Finland JAK-400 Hydralok AT/B coupling system. This system allows the AT/B tugs to be securely linked to the 50,000-barrel DS-504 and DS-506 barges, respectively. Both barges were built a decade ago, but have been recently modified as AT/B barges at Lyon Shipyard in Virginia, under the supervision of Vane Shipyard Project Manager Paul Leonard.

The Jacksonville/DS-504 unit has been part of Vane’s Bravo Fleet working in New York since last year. The Charleston/DS-506 unit is expected to be delivered by St. Johns this spring.

Another 4,200-horsepower Elizabeth Anne Class vessel, the New York, has also been delivered by St. Johns. This traditional hawser tug just underwent sea trials in February.

From Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland, construction has been completed on the 3,000-horsepower tug Cape May, while her two sister tugs, the Cape Fear and Cape Henry, are in the works.


For more information, contact Blaise Willig at bwillig@vanebrothers.com

 About Vane Brothers
The Vane Brothers Company has served the maritime industry in the Port of Baltimore and along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard since 1898, providing a wide range of maritime services. Today, the company has a fleet of nearly 150 tugboats and barges working out of seven locations: the ports of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah and Jacksonville.