Joseph H. Thompson Jr.

Joseph H. Thompson Jr. – Dirk S. VanEnkevort

1990-Present

Articulated Tugboat, Hydraconn Coupler; Paired with Barge Michigan Trader

Dirk S. VanEnkevort on the St. Clair River, on her way to pick up her new barge, November 13, 2020. Photo by Don Detloff

Specs

Build Information

Year Built: 1990

Builder: Upper Lakes Towing, Marinette, WI

Hull #–

Registry: U.S. 949094

IMO #5175745

Laid Down: —

Launch Date: —

Commissioned: 1991

Paired Barges:

Construction

The Joseph H. Thompson Jr. was constructed in 1990 as an articulated tugboat at Marinette, Wisconsin, by Upper Lakes Towing. The Thompson Jr. was constructed by building a tug hull around the Joseph H. Thompson barge’s original propeller and rudder and cutting the tug hull free from the barge. Portions of the tug’s hull date back to 1945.

The Joseph H. Thompson Jr. was fitted with a Hydraconn Articulated Tug/Barge connection system, being originally mated with the barge Joseph H. Thompson.

Modifications

  • Pilothouse heightened, Erie Marine, Erie, Pennsylvania, 2006.
  • Re-engined, Erie Marine, Erie, Pennsylvania, 2006.
  • Rebuilt to fit with barge Michigan Trader, Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair, Erie, Pennsylvania, 2020.

General Stats

Length Overall [Combined Tug & Barge]: 857′

Length Overall [Tug]: 147′

Breadth: 38′

Depth: 30′

Vessel Type: Articulated Tugboat

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1


Engineering Equipment

Original

Engine

Engine Type: Diesel Engine

Engine Manufacturer: General Motors, Detroit, MI

Engine Model: 7FDM16

Number of Engines: 3

Rated HP: 3000 BHP


Repower – 2006

Engine Type: Diesel Engine

Engine Manufacturer: MaK, Kien, Germany

Engine Model: 6M32C

Number of Engines: 2

Rated HP: 8000 BHP


History

Lineage

Joseph H. Thompson Jr. – 1990-2015

Owner: Upper Lakes Towing, Escanaba, MI

Operator: Upper Lakes Towing

Flag: United States

Home Port: Escanaba, MI


Joseph H. Thompson Jr. – 2015-2020

Owner: VanEnkevort Tug & Barge, Escanaba, MI

Operator: VanEnkevort Tug & Barge

Flag: United States

Home Port: Escanaba, MI


Dirk S. VanEnkevort – 2020-Present

Owner: VanEnkevort Tug & Barge, Escanaba, MI

Operator: VanEnkevort Tug & Barge

Flag: United States

Home Port: Escanaba, MI


Her Story

The Joseph H. Thompson Jr. was constructed in 1990 as an articulated tugboat at Marinette, Wisconsin, by Upper Lakes Towing. The Thompson Jr. was built by constructing the tug’s hull around the Joseph H. Thompson barge’s original propeller and rudder and cutting the tug hull free from the barge. The pair entered service in late 1990.

In 2015, the Joseph H. Thompson and Joseph H. Thompson Jr. were acquired by VanEnkevort Tug & Barge of Escanaba, Michigan. The pair’s operations remained the same.

In September 2019, VanEnkevort’s new tug Laura L. VanEnkevort took over as the primary push tug for the barge Joseph H. Thompson. After being relieved of her duties with the Thompson, the Joseph H. Thompson Jr. sailed to Erie, Pennsylvania, to the Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair facility, where she underwent a refit prior to entering service with the new barge Michigan Trader in late 2020. The pair entered service on November 20, 2020.


Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on January 8, 2021



Sources

Ferguson, Brian. “Joseph H. Thompson Jr.”. Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online. N.d. Accessed 6 July 2020. <http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/JosephHThompsonJr.htm>

Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping 2016, Harbor House Publishers, 2016. Pp. 6.19.

Pennock, Isaac. “Joseph H. Thompson Jr.”. Great Lakes Tugs & Workboats. N.d. Accessed 6 July 2020. <https://gltugs.wordpress.com/joseph-h-thompson-jr/>