Second Foss Arctic Class Ocean Tug Christened 

June 7, 2016

Powerful Denise Foss ready to join the fleet in the Arctic far North 

SEATTLE, Wash., – The second of three state-of-the-art Arctic Class tugs, the Denise Foss, was christened June 1, 2016 at the Foss Waterway Seaport in Tacoma, Wash. Built at the Foss Rainier, OR. Shipyard, the Denise is designed to operate in the extreme conditions of the far north, and will enter service this summer.

Denise Foss 1

John Parrott introducing Denise Tabbutt.

Foss COO John Parrott conducted opening remarks. Parrott applauded the hard work and dedication of the people, designers, and customers that made this project possible. He also introduced Denise Tabbutt, the vessel’s namesake and one of the three sisters who are primary shareholders of Saltchuk, the parent company of Foss Maritime.

Tabbutt spoke at the event and had the honor of breaking the ceremonial bottle of  champagne across the hull of the Denise Foss. “It’s a proud moment for the people whose vision and leadership inspired the creation of this tugboat class to support our commitment to Alaska and the Arctic,” said Tabbutt. “In order to stay relevant in a fast and ever changing world, it’s important we remain committed to our shared values and continue looking for opportunities to better serve our customers. The Arctic Class tugs are the perfect example of this commitment.”

Denise Tabbutt with some of the Rainier Shipyard team. 
Mike Magill, Vice President of Foss’ Technical Services, praised the team at the Rainier Shipyard–many who were present for the christening–for their commitment to safety, quality, and the obvious pride they take in their work.

“The Rainier shipyard is now gone 879 days without a Lost Time Incident,” said Magill. “In an industry where far too often injuries and accidents are answered with excuses, the Rainier team has taken responsibility to embrace our safety culture and the results bear this out.”

The Denise Foss is ice class D0, meaning the hulls are designed specifically for polar waters and are reinforced to maneuver in ice. The first of the three Arctic tugs, the Michele Foss debut in 2015 and has performed above and beyond expectations. The Michele lead the way in safely pioneering a new route across the North Slope, while operating in extreme conditions of first year ice a meter thick.

Like the Michele, the Denise complies with the requirements in the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Vessels

The Denise Foss

The Denise Foss, ready for the Arctic far North.

Intended to Operate in Polar Waters, including ABS A1 standards, SOLAS and Green Passport. She includes a Caterpillar C280-8 main engine, which complies with the highest federal environmental standards; a Nautican propulsion system; and Reintjes reduction gears. Markey Machinery supplied the tow winch.

The tug has a bollard pull of 221,000 pounds.

The vessel incorporates several environmentally focused designs and structural and technological upgrades, including:

  • Elimination of ballast tanks, so there is no chance of transporting invasive species;
  • Holding tanks for black and gray water to permit operations in no-discharge zones (such as parts of Alaska and California);
  • Hydraulic oil systems compatible with biodegradable oil; Energy efficient LED lighting;
  • and High-energy absorption Schuyler fendering.

The Denise Foss has been designed to withstand the rigors of Arctic operations and is suited to work across the globe as Foss competes for opportunities in the oil and gas industry.

“The christening ceremony is our way of honoring our history,” said Parrott. “The boat sitting behind me represents our future.”

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Founded in 1889, Seattle-based Foss Maritime offers a complete range of maritime services and project management to customers across the Pacific Rim, Europe, South America and around the globe. Foss has one of the largest fleets of tugs and barges on the American West Coast. The company has harbor services and transportation operations in all major U.S. West Coast ports, including the Columbia and Snake River system, Hawaii and Alaska. Foss operates two shipyards and offers worldwide marine transportation, emphasizing safety, environmental responsibility and high-quality service. See for more information.

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