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SASSAFRAS
Photo by: Birk Thomas

Built in 2008, by the Chesapeake Shipbuilding Corporation of Salisbury, Maryland (hull #91) as the Sassafras for the Vane Brothers Company of Baltimore, Maryland.

Designed by Frank Basile of Entech and Associates of Houma, Louisiana. She was the first Sassafras class tug constructed for the Vane Brothers Company.

Named for the Sassafras River, which is a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay on the Delmarva Peninsula. Approximately 22 miles long it starts in western New Castle County, Delaware, and runs along the boundary between Cecil County, Maryland on the north and Kent County, Maryland on the south.

It rises southwest of Middletown, Delaware and ends at the Chesapeake Bay in a wide mouth between Howell Point near Betterton, Maryland and Grove Point on Grove Neck.

Powered by two, Caterpillar 3512 diesel engines. With Twin Disc MG 6500 reduction gears, at a ratio of 6.04:1. Turning two, 87(in), Rolls Royce, four bladed, fixed pitch, propellers. For a rated 3,000 horsepower.

Her electrical service is provided by two, 99kW, John Deere generator sets. The tug's capacities are 65,575 gallons of fuel, 2,068 gallons of lube oil, and 2,890 gallons of water.

The towing gear consists of a single drum, JonRie InterTech towing winch. Driven by a single, John Deere 4045 diesel engine. With an electric, JonRie InterTech, deck capstan mounted on her stern.


  • Vessel Name: SASSAFRAS
  • USCG Doc. No.: 1205658
  • Vessel Service: TOWING VESSEL
  • IMO Number: 9544243
  • Trade Indicator: Coastwise Unrestricted, Registry
  • Call Sign: WDE5807
  • Hull Material: STEEL
  • Hull Number: 91
  • Ship Builder: CHESAPEAKE SHIPBUILDING CORP
  • Year Built: 2008
  • Length: 90.2
  • Hailing Port: NEW YORK, NY.
  • Hull Depth: 13.5
  • Hull Breadth: 32
  • Gross Tonnage: 99
  • Net Tonnage: 72
  • Owner:
    FIFTH THIRD EQUIPMENT FINANCE COMPANY
    38 FOUNTAIN SQUARE PLAZA MD 10904A
    CINCINNATI, OH 45202
  • Previous Vessel Owners:
    VANE LINE BUNKERING INC, VANE LINE BUNKERING INC, FIFTH THIRD EQUIPMENT FINANCE COMPANY, FIFTH THIRD EQUIPMENT FINANCE COMPANY, FIFTH THIRD EQUIPMENT FINANCE COMPANY, FIFTH THIRD EQUIPMENT FINANCE COMPANY