[January 31, 2022]


Vane Brothers, a premier Jones Act marine transportation provider headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, took delivery this month of the final boat in a series of four 3,000-horsepower Salisbury Class push tugs. Named the Charles Hughes, Vane’s newest addition is the twentieth Maryland-built towing vessel to join Vane Brothers’ fleet since 2008.

Designed and constructed by Chesapeake Shipbuilding Shipbuilders and Naval Architects of Salisbury, Maryland, Vane’s beautifully appointed Salisbury Class push tugs have a molded depth of only 10.5 feet, making them well suited for working in confined, shallow-draft waterways. The Charles Hughes’ operational area is the Northeast United States.

The Charles Hughes’ three sister tugs, the Salisbury, Annapolis and Rock Hall, were delivered in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively. Along with providing exceptional crew comfort, reliability and operational efficiency, all four Salisbury Class push tugs comply with federally mandated, U.S Coast Guard-enforced Subchapter M safety standards.

According to Vane Brothers President C. Duff Hughes, “Vane Brothers takes pride in providing our customers and crews with vessels constructed to the highest standards. The Charles Hughes is another powerful, peak-performing tug that maximizes maneuverability where it is needed most.”

To create the Salisbury Class design, Chesapeake Naval Architect John Womack worked in collaboration with Vane Brothers Port Captain Jim Demske, who has overseen construction of 48 tugboats for Vane over the last two decades. “Chesapeake has such a talented group of shipbuilders right in our backyard,” says Demske. “Each tug capitalizes on safety, comfort and productivity.”

Along with the four push tugs, Chesapeake Shipbuilding has supplied sixteen 3,000-horsepower, model-bow tugs.

The tug Charles Hughes is named in honor of the late Charles F. Hughes, former Vane Brothers Chairman of the Board and the father of Vane's current President, C. Duff Hughes. Charles Hughes was a U.S. Navy veteran, Johns Hopkins University graduate, and Vane Brothers executive from 1951 to 2004.

A previous push tug Charles Hughes, built in 1975 and rated at 1,800 horsepower, was acquired by Vane Brothers in 1991 and sold in 2019. The classic-looking nameboards from the first Charles Hughes were refinished and are now proudly mounted on the new Charles Hughes.




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



 About Vane Brothers
The Vane Brothers Company has served the maritime industry from its Baltimore headquarters since 1898, providing a wide range of maritime services. Today, the company has a fleet of 130 tugboats and barges working out of multiple locations on the U.S. East, West and Gulf coasts, in the Great Lakes region, and in the Caribbean.