Arctic-Class Tug Design

Photo Courtesy of Foss Maritime

  • Client:
    Foss Maritime
  • Completion Date:
    June 2017
  • Project Type:
    Vessel Design & Modification, Tugs & Workboats
  • Service Categories:
    Naval Architecture
    Marine Engineering
    Shipyard Production Support
  • Vessel Overview:
    Three Arctic Class tugboats: Michele Foss, Denise Foss, Nicole Foss
  • Challenge:
    Design a new class of tugs.


Foss Maritime built three Arctic Class tugboats at its Rainier Shipyard to serve the oil and gas industries in Alaska and beyond. Foss engaged Glosten to execute this new design from concept through detailed production design. ABS D0 Ice Class rules and domestic tonnage requirements drove complex structural arrangements and piping systems. The challenge was to improve operational and environmental performance while reducing routine maintenance.

Foss Tug Structure


A number of environmental features were incorporated into this new tug class, including a highly efficient twin-screw propulsion system powered by two low-emission engines. Other features include the elimination of ballast tanks to prevent the chance of transporting invasive species; holding tanks for black and grey water to permit operations in no discharge zones; energy efficient LED lighting; and hydraulic oil systems compatible with biodegradable oil.

Constructed at the Foss Rainier Shipyard, the Arctic Class tugs are 132 feet (40.2 meters) in length overall with a breadth of 41 feet (12.5 meters). The Michele Foss was christened in 2015, followed by the Denise Foss in 2016 and Nicole Foss in 2017. All three tugs are able to pull 110 tons through Alaska’s icy waters.

  • Photo Courtesy of Foss Maritime

Glosten’s Production Services team is great to work with, integrating our shipyard’s needs into their deliverables and maintaining consistent and clear communications, which provides added value to our projects.

– Dan Cole, Foss Maritime

In The Press.