Sunday, April 15, 2018

Point Valiant - long time no see - UPDATED

The Svitzer Canada dock in Halifax is usually devoid of tugs, since the entire Canadian fleet is based in Point Tupper, but it had a welcome addition this morning. The Point Valiant put in its first appearance in Halifax since the fleet was transferred in 2010. (Svitzer and Atlantic Towing Ltd formed two joint ventures: Halifax Marine Towing to service Halifax and Point Tupper Towing for the Strait of Canso with ATL tugs working Halifax and Svitzer tugs in the Strait.)

Built by Industrie Océan in Ile-aux-Coudres, Point Valiant was acquired by then Eastern Canada Towing  Ltd (ECTUG) while still under construction.  Intended to be Océan Jupiter for the parent company Groupe Océan, it was offered to ECTUG instead and delivered to Halifax in December 1998. It was the second in what was originally a class of four tugs designed by Robert Allan Ltd. One was sold overseas, and two, Océan Intrepide and Océan Jupiter remained with Groupe Océan.
Groupe Océan has since gone on to build two more tugs of the class, but with extended wheelhouse. All four work in the Port of Montreal. They are powered by Mitsubishi high speed engines giving 4,076 bhp.

The current Point Valiant is the second tug to carry the name,. The first was built as Foundation Valiant in 1963, became Point Valiant (i) in 1973 and  André H. in 1995 when ECTUG sold it to Trois-Rivières Boatmen. When Groupe Océan acquired that company from the Houde family, they retained the tug's name. When seen in Quebec City last summer, it was in need of a major refit.

The current Point Valiant appears to be en route to Lunenburg for its own refit is en route to Sambro, NS where it will be slipped for pre-purchase survey. I have it on good authority that the tug has been sold to west coast owners and will be transported by heavy lift ship. Stand by for more updates!


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Tidewater boats arrive

To support the oil rig West Aquarius while it drills the exploration well Aspy D-11,  BP hired Halifax based Horizon Maritime to provide three vessels. Horizon's own supplier Horizon Star has been working for some time now to deliver riser pipe to the rig as it was mobilized in Newfoundland.

This week the rig (which is a self-propelled deep water semi-submersible) arrived at the drill site and the two other suppliers arrived in Halifax today (April 11) for the first time. Although they were initially based in Mulgrave, the drill riser and pipe is coming through Halifax.

Both of these suppliers have been bareboat chartered from Tidewater, one of many supplier companies with a large fleet of laid up boats in its 300 vessel fleet. ( It is estimated that about 36% of the world's Platform Supply Vessels are unemployed).

First to arrive this morning was Troms Sirius, a 4210 grt ship built by STX OSV. The hull was built in Tulcea Romania and finished by STX Soviknes in Sovik, Norway in 2012. It has diesel electric propulsion driving twin azimuthing drives, and is fitted with all the mod cons including Fire Fighter 2 and dynamic positioning.  It was registered in Canada March 9.

Tied up at pier 9C it was loading conventional drill pipe when I happened by, but there is still considerable riser pipe on the dock to be delivered to the rig when needed.(Riser pipe is encased in white buoyancy material whereas the drill pipe that actually goes down the drill hole is exposed steel. Small diameter pipe is drill pipe, large diameter is casing pipe.)

This afternoon the second PSV, Lundstrom Tide, arrived. A vessel of the same class,  it was built in 2013, and has slightly different stats of 3943 grt, and 9,430 hp driving twin z-drives.

It tied up at pier 25, likely awaiting its turn at pier 9C. It was registered in Canada April 4.

The drilling program is expected to take 60 days and is taking place about 250 km offshore in the Scotian Basin.. 


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Boa Bison en route Halifax

The "monster" tug Boa Bison sailed from Rotterdam April 3 bound for Halifax. It has in tow the semi-submersible Boa Barge 37 .

The 7,328 grt anchor handling tug / supplier was built in 2014 and its two Wartsila main engines develop 26,969 bhp giving a 275 tonne bollard pull. Used mainly in the North Sea oil patch, the tug has been laid up for two years for lack of activity in that sector. It has been recommissioned for this tow, but it is unknown where it will go after reaching Halifax about April 17.

The 15,185 grt, 29,500 dwt heavy lift semi-sub barge will be delivered to Halifax Shipyard and the Royal Canadian Navy for a four year contract to float out the new Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessels under construction in Halifax, and as a general purpose drydock.

Specifications and drawings of both tug and barge are available on Boa's web site:

 Thanks to pilot Hans Hoffman for supplying these photos, taken after he disembarked from the tug off Rotterdam.