|Excerpt from historical report presented at www.tugboatinformation.com |
Built in 1980, by Todd Shipyards Incorporated of Galveston, Texas (hull #55) as Gemini for the Dow Chemical Corporation of Midland, Missouri.
The tug was "assembled", in the early 1980's. The assembly began with hulls #575 and #578 that where constructed in 1941 by Weaver Shipyards of Orange, Texas.
The hulls where originally built as Navy V-4 type tugs each with single screws and both were fitted with kort steering nozzles. When the tugs where scrapped, their sterns where salvaged, and towed from a scrap yard in Brownsville, Texas to Todd Shipyard in Galveston, Texas. The two sterns where modified then welded together. The new stern was married to a fore body that had been constructed by Todd Shipyard and was fitted with a Bludworth coupler system.
In 1982, with the construction tasked to Richard and Robert Bludworth completed. the Dow Chemical Corporation contracted the manning and operation of the unit to the Bludworth's Old River Towing Company of Houston, Texas. The tug was subsequently renamed Sea Skimmer.
She was one of two Articulated Tug and Barges (ATBs) that where built and operated by Dow Chemical. In the years that followed however Sea Skimmer was plagued with a multitude of mechanical problems. In one instance, the tug was ejected from the notch of her barge off of Sandy Hook, New Jersey.