Built in 2002, by Marine Power and Equipment of Seattle, Washington (hull #356) as the Deborah W. However the tug was completed by Halter Marine of New Orleans, Louisiana for Sun Towing Corporation of Berwick, Louisiana.
The tug was originally designed to tow 480(ft) triple deck Ro/Ro barges from Seattle, Washington to Alaska. However, the market collapsed and the tug partially completed round bottom hull, with decks, houses and a pair of General Electric diesels each languished for years. The tug was moved to the Gulf of Mexico where Halter Marine in New Orleans acquired the hull but never completed it.
Eventually the hull was acquired by Sun Towing and its President, Captain Mike Smith, who acquired the boats from his father in exchange for two other tugs. Smith contracted Gulf Coast Industries Incorporated in Morgan City, Louisiana to complete the tug. Hiring Dan Duplantis, owner of Greenwood Marine Management, as project manager.
In January 2002, Duplantis began work on the tug. With a barge that was filled with parts of the uncompleted boat. The tug was about seventy percent complete when it was taken over by Sun Towing. They lacked shafts and rudders and the General Electric diesel engines. Two factors strongly influenced the successful completion of the tugs. One, that many parts on the barge were usable.
Once the project began the owners realized that many of the pieces were on the barge and it was a matter of assembling the pieces of the puzzle. This made the project economical. The next hurdle was bringing the hulls up to SOLAS standards. The cost of going SOLAS was another reason potential owners may have opted away from the tugs.
When the hulls were first constructed they were not going to be SOLAS approved. However, Smith made the determination to bring them into SOLAS compliance. The challenge was to bring them into compliance with current standards, or the requirements when the keels were laid. Because the keels where laid down in 1982 when SOLAS requirements weren’t as onerous. An agreement with the American Bureau of Shipping to modify them to meet SOLAS standards. Compromises where made in regards to cabins, and galleys.
Some of the construction work was more straightforward than the work required to get SOLAS approval. The tugs were originally designed for controllable pitch propellers, thus the marine gears lacked a reverse. The decision was made to eliminate the CP propellers. The gears were sent off to Haley Marine Gears in Greenville, Mississippi, where they were rebuilt and reverse was added.
She is powered by two ALCO 16-251F diesel engines producing 4,100 horsepower each at 900 RPMs. To install the ALCOs, the engine beds, which had been built for the General Electric engines, had to be redesigned. The engine rooms were also redesigned and new shaft lines, rudders, and Kort nozzles were installed. For a rated at 7,200 horsepower.
In the bow of the tug, the original design called for a 48(in) bowthrusters to be propelled by shafts powered from the engine room. The builders redesigned the thruster to operated hydraulically. Reducing the risk of mechanical problems. The bowthruster is powered by a 500 horsepower Cummins Marine KTA19 diesel engine.
The tug's electrical service is provided by a pair of Cummins Marine 170kW gensets. Driven a John Deere 70kW genset for emergency use.
Her towing gear consists of an INTERcon 250 double drum towing winch. Outfitted with 3,000(ft) of 2.25(in) towing cable on one drum. And 5,000(ft) of 2.5(in) towing cable on the second drum. Powered by a Detroit Diesel 8V-71 diesel engine. Mounted close to the winch but beneath a weather cover on the stern deck.
The tug was eventually acquired by Foss Maritime of Seattle, Washington. Where she was renamed as the Lauren Foss.