Built in 1969, by Main Iron Works Incorporated of Houma, Louisiana (hull #211) as the Clipper for the Interstate Oil Transportation Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Clipper was the first 5,600 horsepower tug constructed for the Interstate Oil Transportation Company by Main Iron Works of Houma, Louisiana.
At the time, the Interstate Oil Transportation Company operated two fleets. Their Northeast Fleet, which was referred to as the "Green Fleet." Operated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And their Southern Fleet, which was referred to as the "White fleet" which operated out of Tampa, Florida.
In 1981, the Interstate Oil Transportation Company was acquired by the Southern National Resources Company of Birmingham, Alabama. The new company was named the SONAT Marine Company Incorporated of Birmingham, Alabama. Where the tug retained her name.
In 1987, the SONAT Marine Company was acquired by the the Maritrans Operating Partnership of Tampa, Florida. Where the tug retained her name. Maritrans was formed by group of managers from the SONAT Marine Company. Who offered to form a partnership to raise the funds necessary to purchase the company. These eleven partners included some individuals who had worked for the Interstate Oil Transportation Company since the 1950's.
In March of 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound near Valdez, Alaska. And in 1990, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 was passed calling for the double hulling of all petroleum carrying vessels by January 1st of 2015. As well, as other stipulations that effected Maritrans including manning, preparedness, and spill prevention. Maritrans filed suit to fight the stipulations set fourth by OPA '90.
By the mid 1990's, the Maritrans Operating Partners had begun to consolidate its business. By first, backing out of the black oil trade, and carrying only petroleum products and petrochemicals. The phosphate trade, and local transportation in Baltimore, Maryland that was part of the Harbor Towing subsidiary did not fit into Maritrans's new business model. As Maritrans backed out local transportation companies emerged, and established operations in the area. They included the Bouchard Transportation Company of Melville, New York and the Vane Brothers Company of Baltimore, Maryland.
In 1998, the tug was acquired by the K-Sea Transportation Partnership Incorporated of East Brunswick, New Jersey. Where she was renamed as the Irish Sea.
In 2003, the tug was outfitted with a JAK-400 coupler system.
In 2011, the K-Sea Transportation Partnership Incorporated was acquired by the Kirby Corporation of Channelview, Texas. Where the tug retained her name.
In 2016, the tug was phased out of service. And, was "laid up" at the Kirby Corporation's yard in Staten Island, New York.
Powered by two, sixteen cylinder, EMD diesel engines. Turning two, cast steel, fixed pitch propellers. She is a twin screw tug, rated at 3,000 horsepower.
Her electrical service is provided by two, 99kW generator sets. With a third, auxiliary, 99kW generator set. The tug's capacities are 134,464 gallons of fuel, 15,322 gallons of water, and 15,322 gallons of ballast.
(Captain Eric Takakjian, Robert Mattsson)