Heddle expands its service with the acquisition of Thunder Bay

On the 29th of June, 2016, Heddle Marine Service Inc. (Heddle) reached an agreement to acquire the Thunder Bay Shipyard from Hagoth Inc. After purchasing the Thunder Bay Shipyard, Rick Heddle, President of Heddle Marine, set into motion the formation of a local Thunder Bay start-up company that will be known as Current River Holdings Inc. It will be Current River Holdings Inc., in collaboration with local partner Fabmar Metals Inc. (Fabmar), that will operate the Thunder Bay Shipyard once it becomes operational sometime in the spring of 2017.

The Thunder Bay Shipyard was at one time a leading provider of ship repair and ship building services. The facility, which has been active since the early 20th century, is situated on approximately 42 acres of land which includes approximately 850 meters of waterfront. The dry dock is 228 meters (748 feet) long by 30m (98 feet) wide and can accommodate vessels with a beam of up to 25.9 meters (85 feet). The facility also includes a large fabrication shop of 2323 m2 (25,000 ft2), and a 3252m2 (35,000 ft2) machine shop.

The acquisition of the Thunder Bay Shipyard will allow Heddle to expand its market position in the Upper Great Lakes. Heddle intends to utilize the yard by servicing the vessels of its existing clientele as well as offering to a new base of clients whose vessels operate exclusively in the Upper Great Lakes. As a result of Thunder Bay’s proximity to the U.S., Heddle will make an effort to include U.S. ship operators to its new clientele.

A major factor in Heddle’s final investment decision was the proactive support of the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission as well as the Thunder Bay Port Authority. Moreover, Heddle’s decision was contingent upon forming a partnership with Fabmar. Fabmar is a Thunder Bay-based company that has been successfully operating for more than 30 years and offers complimentary services to Heddle such as ship repair, fabrication, and machining. Led by Dale Ryynanen, the experienced team at Fabmar will form the cornerstone of Heddle’s operations at the Thunder Bay Shipyard. Heddle Marine’s core belief is to retain the best people to offer a quality service. In doing so, we create an environment of success that will allow us to contribute to the communities from which we operate.


Manager Sales and Marketing

Shaun Padulo