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Pictured: the Washington (Crowley Marine) Photo by: Brandon Durar

Hyak Maritime is a venture formed by co owners Gordon Smith and Robert Dorn. With hopes to build a series of vessels to replace an aged fleet of United States line haul coastal and ocean tugs, most of which were nearly forty years old, at the time of the company's founding.

The owners felt that while the United States ship assist and ship escort tug fleet was fairly modern. There had been little innovation in the ocean going, line haul fleet. In 2011, the company performed an in depth study of the United States coastal towing industry. he says. It became evident that the boats that comprised the largest working segment. A three hundred and thirty five vessels ranging from 4,000 to 6,000 horsepower were older vessels.

The owners noted that the properly sized tugs in most of the large company fleets and were indispensable to move most common sizes of ocean going fuel and freight barges on the coasts and across the oceans. However, a number of those vessels were not able work in California without paying heavy state fines, or being found in violation of evolved MARPOL rules and were not able sail to foreign.

The tug requirements for the United States coastal barge fleet where expected remain the same. However, operators and their customers could potentially have lower fuel, operating, and maintenance and repair costs with more modern vessels that are permitted to transiting anywhere in the world.

In considering how a standard ocean going tugboat should be configured, Hyak consulted Bob and Ric Shrewsbury of Seattle based Western Towboat. A company that builds their own vessels. Who at the time were working on developing the seventh Titan class ocean tugboat utilizing azimuthing stern drives

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