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New Nichols Brothers tug enters the waters

A tug boat prepares for launch at the docks of Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland on Wednesday, June 26.  - Celeste Erickson / The Record
A tug boat prepares for launch at the docks of Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland on Wednesday, June 26.
— image credit: Celeste Erickson / The Record

Workers at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders launched a newly built tug boat into the waters of Holmes Harbor on Wednesday.

The tug is the second built for Harley Marine and the eighth in a series of ship assist tugs for the company. The first of the two was launched in March.

“Ship assist tugs are now in every port on the West Coast,” said Matt Nichols, chief executive officer. “These tugs out-pull 90 percent of the tugs in this area of ship assist tugs.”

The tug is powerful and environmentally clean, Nichols said. The 100-foot, Z-Drive tug weighs 575 tons and has the ability to pull 92 tons with 7,000 horsepower. Two Caterpillar C 175 diesel engines power the machine and measures 104 feet in overall length with a 40-foot beam.

Meanwhile, Nichols Brothers is working on the second of two 144-car ferries ordered by Washington State Ferries. The company is building the superstructure for the main contractor, Vigor Marine of Seattle. It is scheduled to be delivered to Vigor in January 2014 for final assembly.

 

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