Russel Brothers Limited OWEN SOUND, ONTARIO Steelcraft Boat Builders
steel tug Federal Beaver [C.313144] built by Russel-Hipwell Engine Co. Ltd. and launched in June 1962 for use at Port Cartier, Québec; owned by Québec Cartier Mining Co.; renamed b] Manicouagen.
"Four vessels started in 1961 were completed and delivered in 1962. The largest of these was the Federal Beaver, a 95 foot 1600 hp tug for Federal Terminals Ltd., which sailed from Owen Sound in the spring of 1962 towing a 50 foot suction dredge constructed for the Federal Dept. of Public Works in Chatham, NB. The Federal Beaver is operating in Port Cartier, QC as a harbour tug and is specially reinforced for operation in ice." - Owen Sound Sun - Times, Jan. 31st, 1963
Photo courtesy David Low.
Owen Sound Sun - Times, Fort Frances Museum Collection.
Owen Sound Sun - Times, June 22nd, 1962.
Federal Beaver as the Rivtow princess, on the West Coast.
Federal Beaver as the Rivtow princess, on the West Coast.
||Jan. 16, 2009 - Smit Princess (ex Rivtow Princess, ex Federal Beaver) is going into a Howe Sound "waterfront" feature this month in Western Mariner Magazine. Four vessels started in 1961 were completed and delivered in 1962. The largest of these was the Federal Beaver, a 95 foot 1600 hp tug for Federal Terminals Ltd., which sailed from Owen Sound in the spring of 1962 towing a 50 foot suction dredge constructed for the Federal Dept. of Public Works in Chatham, NB. The Federal Beaver is operating in Port Cartier, QC as a harbour tug and is specially reinforced for operation in ice... |
Former Federal Beaver sold for scrap
Skip Gillham, ship historian, Sept. 2012
The tug, Federal Beaver was operated under the banner of the Federal Navigation and Trading Company Ltd. for two years. The vessel was a product of Russel Bros. Ltd., a famous tug building firm, located at Owen Sound, Ontario. The small ship was completed in June 1962.
Federal Beaver left the Great Lakes for service at Port Cartier, Quebec, where the 182-gross ton, 29.14-metre long tug assisted ore carriers in and out of the loading dock. The ship was sold to the Quebec Cartier Mining Co. in 1964 and renamed Manicouagan for similar service.
The vessel headed west in 1974 and was renamed Ocean Prince II by the Northland Navigation Co. Ltd. It was used along the west coast in a tug-barge service between Kitimat and Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
Another sale in 1980 resulted in the ship being renamed Rivtow Princess by Roylease Ltd. and the vessel was repowered with two General Motors Corp. diesel engines. It became Smit Princess in 2008, and River Princess in 2011 when it was owned by the Seaspan Marine Corp. The tug remained under Canadian registry to the end of service.
The former Fednav vessel was sold to Chinese ship breakers and arrived as deck cargo from Vancouver aboard the barge Straits Logger on May 15, 2012, for dismantling by the Tianma Ship Breaking Works.
From Mac Mackay's excellent Tugfax blog about Halifax boats THURSDAY, JANUARY 8, 2015
Foundation Vibert was not the only tug built for Port-Cartier at the time (early 1960s). The other was called Federal Beaver, and it was built by Russel-Hipwell in Owen Sound, ON (hull number 1205) and delivered in 1962. It was built for Federal Terminals Ltd, although it was apparently ordered by another Federal Commerce + Navigation Ltd subsidiary Pyke Salvage. Built to essentially the same spec as Foundation Vibert, it was a 95 foot twin screw, with three tiered deckhouse, strengthened for navigation in ice. It looked quite different from Vibert because it had the standard Russel wheelhouse, repeated on so many of their other tugs.
It is perhaps unusual that Federal Beaver was powered by two 8 cylinder Lister Blackstone engines giving 1600 bhp and 36 tons bollard pull, whereas Foundation Vibert was powered by two Fairbanks Morses of 666 bhp each, engines that had to be shipped to England for installation. It is possible that Listers were chosen for Federal Beaver because another three tugs ordered for Pyke Salvage, also from P.K.Harris in Appledore in 1959, were fitted with Listers. Helen M. McAllister and Salvage Monarch were taken over by McAllister Towing Ltd of Montreal when it bought Pyke Salvage from Federal Commerce in 1962. The third, Hull No. 258 was towed to Canada as a hull, and may have had Lister engines. It was sold to west coast owners and completed with Cat engines. So maybe its original engines went into Federal Beaver. This is only speculation of course at this point. How it reached the west coast is also a bit of a mystery.
In 1964 Quebec Cartier Mining took over operation of the port from Federal Terminals and renamed the tug Federal Beaver as Manicouagan. (This only added to the confusion, since the Manicouagan River flows into the St.Lawrence at Baie Comeau - many miles away from Port-Cartier.)
When the new V-S tugs arrived in Port Cartier in 1973, the company sold Manicouagan to Northland Navigation and it sailed via the Panama Canal to work out of Prince Rupert, BC. In 1980 Rivtow bought the tug, renamed it Rivtow Princess and re-engined it with a pair of GMs, upping the horsepower to 1740 bhp (others say 1860 bhp). When Smit Marine Canada took over Rivtow, the tug became Smit Princess but was soon sold on in 2005 to Seaspan Marine Corp becoming River Princess. Its sphere of operations had shifted to the lower mainland of BC.
In 2012 Seaspan did a major housecleaning of old tugs and barges, and River Princess and several fleetmates were loaded aboard the semi-submersible ship Development Way and sent off the China for scrap.
For more Russel exhibits visit Owen Sound Marine & Rail Museum 1165 1st Ave West, Owen Sound, ON N4K 4K8
(519) 371-3333 http://marinerail.com