Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pup tugs - gofers of the Dockyard

1. Granville on security round, returns from Bedford Basin 2012-02-17.

2. Listerville northbound in the Narrows in 1991 still carries rope fenders.

3. Merrickville in 1990 has the original bow pudding made by Dockyard riggers. When the old hands retired the art of rope work was lost.

4. The original World War II Merrickville hauled out a Purdy Bros. for a refit in 1971.

The Ville class "Pup" tugs are indispensable around HMC Dockyard in Halifax. As Canadian Forces Auxiliary Vessels, they carry civilian crews, but they are always doing navy work. I caught Granville yesterday as it was returning from a security round in Bedford Basin. But it could just as easily be seen docking a warship or handling a scow or a fender.

Scores of the original Ville class pup tugs were built by Russel Brothers in Owen Sound, ON for the RCN during World War II. Most were built in 1944-45 and the ones that the navy kept lasted to 1974 on this coast. (One remained in the CFA on the west coast until the 1990s.)

The current version was built in 1974 and looks to outlast the war-built pups.

There are three pups in Halifax, Granville (ex Marysville), Listerville and Merrickville. Of 365 bhp the have a bollard pull of 7.5 tonnes and are single screw with a steering nozzle.


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