US Fish and Wildlife Chose Great Lakes Shipyard and a Powerful WESMAR Bow Thruster

Whether replenishing fish stocks in the US Great Lakes or routing underwater cable in the Mediterranean, WESMAR thrusters are on important assignments around the world.

Work boats around the world and the shipyards that build and maintain them have for years selected the powerful and rugged, all stainless steel, dual prop counter-rotating bow thrusters, designed and built by WESMAR.

The 95-foot Research Vessel SPENCER F. BAIRD, in service since 2006, is no exception. The US Fish and Wildlife Service selected a WESMAR V2-34 hydraulic bow thruster during a recent overhaul.

The SPENCER F. BAIRD is a research vessel on an important mission: to stock fish and conduct population assessments on Lakes Huron and
Michigan. The work is part of a four-decade effort by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to restore depleted lake trout populations in the US Great Lakes.

After five years of demanding service the vessel recently underwent an overhaul that included complete exterior repainting, the WESMAR bow thruster installation, its five-year survey, and other miscellaneous maintenance. The contract was awarded to Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland, Ohio, a highly respected, full service yard, that recently underwent an expansion and overhaul itself. The result is quite impressive.

Among the shipyard's capabilities are its new vessel and barge construction, fabrication, maintenance and repairs in a very modern facility that includes a 770-ton mobile Travelift and a 300-ton floating drydock. The facility includes several thousands more feet in two locations on the nearby Cuyahoga River. The R/V SPENCER F. BAIRD project has now been completed and the vessel is back with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The vessel’s Captain David L. Bohn reported he had not had much of a chance to use the new WESMAR thruster due to winter layup until April 1 (depending on the weather) but that his first impression is that the WESMAR Thruster seems to be in line with their expectations.

“I normally use the thruster for docking and maneuvering in tight places but we do have it available and standing by when we are working nets, should the need arise. I am looking forward to giving it a good trial this season," said Captain Bohn.

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