On April 8th, 2014 the NYSCC Tug (Tender 4) was launched by a huge crane into the mostly iced-over NYS Erie Canal. Once in the water we waited for NYSCC workers to monitor for hull leaks and shaft stuffing leaks. Once cleared, we fired up the Twin EP-10000s at slow rpm and gradually increased to ½ throttle in small increments all while measuring current and monitoring shaft movements. The torque of the motors actually “turned” the vessel (lifted one side) quite noticeably from the thrust of the 30” propeller while secured to the dock and a rooster tail began to form off the stern. All checked out fine so we decided to back down the throttle to add more lines so we could resume at higher power. By this time we had nearly everyone in the yard watching the results and commenting among themselves.
Joe Fleming the Elco Engineer – asked who wanted to drive. The NYSCC supervisor, Josh, jumped at the opportunity. PFDs were distributed, lines cast off and within a minute the tug headed out in the open water, Josh got a feel for the response of the motor and then headed up the canal to see if he could do some ice breaking maneuvers. The vessel performed beautifully. If there were any doubters there earlier, there were none by the time the tug returned and tied up.