About Us


Robson Bight SI IX

Catherwood Towing Ltd. is owned and directed by Ernie Catherwood.  In 1971, Ernie purchased a small wooden tug and started delivering booms on the Fraser River. Based in Mission, he initially delivered to shake and shingle mills, local storage grounds, and provided assistance towing booms and barges both upstream and downstream through the Mission rail bridge.

Catherwood Towing Early PhotoAs business grew, Catherwood Towing’s reputation for reliable and quality services spread and the company began receiving requests to tow rafts and booms to and from locations further downstream. Over the years, Ernie purchased or constructed additional vessels. We now have 13 tugs, consisting of 4 single screw tugs, 2 shallow draft (fast water) tugs, and 7 twin screw tugs, and 5 barges. Visit our Fleet page to view a complete listing of our vessels.

All of our tugs are electronically tracked so that we may ascertain their precise location at anytime. This is helpful in allowing dispatch to plan vessel utilization so as to meet our customers expectations.

At Catherwood Towing, we take pride in over 40 years of great relationships with customers, crew and suppliers that have been based on trust and rarely more than handshake agreements. One of our long-term relationships has been with Houston Forest Products (HFP). In 1983, we started dumping and booming truckloads of logs at Babine Lake (North Central BC) and hauled the completed booms across the lake where we broke down the booms, dewatered and reloaded onto trucks. After over 10 years of this year-round operation we were able to expand our services to HFP when they chose our bid for a cable-guided tug and barge system on Ootsa Lake at Tahtsa Narrows. This Ootsa system consists of a 32-foot tug and a 40-foot by 138-foot barge with load ramps on both ends. This ferry system moves back and forth across the lake on a year-round basis with the help of an air bubble system to prevent ice from forming on the crossing channel in the winter.

As a result of great relationships like this, our customer list has continually grown and our full-time crew turnover has averaged less than 2% per year. We still use many of the same suppliers as when the company started in 1971.

The Catherwood Towing staff has also grown over the years to include over 40 full-time and up to 20 part-time employees manning the vessels, conducting repairs and carrying out payroll, billing, accounting, dispatch and management duties. We have assembled a team that has the ingenuity, experience and integrity to successfully develop and complete most domestic marine assignments. We are also established enough to acquire additional equipment and working capital when the right opportunities arise.

Thank you for your interest in Catherwood Towing Ltd. If you would like to discuss details, refinements or the services which we provide please contact us.