May 04, 2021 by Nichols Boats

NBBB launches fourth ASD90 Tug for Foss Maritime


Ice Floe, LLC dba Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) launched the final tractor tug in a four-vessel series on Thursday, April 29, 2021 for Foss Maritime. The M/V Rachael Allen will join the Foss fleet in May.

The ASD-90 Class tugs are a Jensen Maritime Consultants, of Seattle, Washington design. The 100’ x 40’ Z-Drive tractor tugs are built to United States Coast Guard Subchapter “M” regulatory standards, with ABS loadline certification, and UWILD notation.

The vessels are equipped with two MTU series 4000 main engines, meeting Tier 4 emission standards, coupled to Kongsberg US255 azimuth thrusters. The propulsion package will produce over 90 tons of bollard pull giving the tug exceptional pulling power and maneuverability.  The vessel is outfitted with Mackay Marine Electronics and Markey winches forward for ship assist and aft for barge towing.

NBBB continues to invest in upgrading and improving their haul and launch equipment, which has expanded their capabilities considerably over the last decade. During this launch NBBB utilized air bags for added buoyancy to assist in the launch. This allowed for the tug to float off the launch cradle seamlessly before high-tide.

Foss welcomed the M/V Jamie Ann and M/V Leisa Florence into their fleet in April 2020 and January 2021 respectfully, and AmNav Maritime, a sister company and subsidiary of Saltchuk Marine, welcomed the M/V Sarah Avrick in September 2020.  The M/V Rachael Allen will join the fleet in May after final outfitting and trials are completed at NBBB’s outfitting Pier in Langley, WA.

“The launch of every vessel is a special moment in its construction, bringing the boat into it’s natural environment” said NBBB CEO Gavin Higgins. “We are very proud of the opportunity Foss has given us with this series of tugs. The team have worked very hard to complete all four vessels in these difficult and challenging times”. 

NBBB is the Pacific Northwest’s premiere custom boat builder with over 57 years’ experience in vessel construction, repair and conversion. NBBB has an extensive portfolio of tug construction which can be found amongst the company’s diverse portfolio on the web at