© Brian FisherMV Dextrous – Past and Present

Mv HT Cutlass

ex Dextrous, Cobham

© Ted Ingham

© Ted Ingham

Voith Water Tractor tug unit built in 1984 for Dover Harbour Board by McTay Marine Ltd, of Bromborough (Yard No. 53).

Technical Data

  • Original cost: £1.5m
  • Length: 30.10m (overall), 27.67m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 9.22m (extreme), 9.01m (moulded)
  • Depth: 3.81m
  • Draught: 3.231m
  • Tonnage: 287 gross, 86 net, 115 deadweight
  • Engines: Two GEC Ruston 6 RKCM diesel engines, each developing 1400 bhp and driving size 26G11/165 Voith-Schneider propellers.
  • Power: 2674bhp/1967kW
  • Bollard pull: ahead 32 metric tonnes
    Bollard pull: astern N/A metric tonnes
    Winch Fwd: K & L Marine towing winch fitted with 1 drum
    Deck equipment: K & L Marine Ltd towing winch fitted with 1 drum.
    100m x 48mm HMPE Steelite + 3 x 20m x 48mm Steelite HMPE pennants. 8 x instantaneous handlines 2.1/2″ connections: 15 x 60′ hoses
  • Speed: 10 knots (service), 12 knots (max)
  • Call Sign: MDKC3, YYV5057
  • IMO Number: 8316039
  • Official Number: 702607
  • Registry: Dover/UK, London/UK, Venezuela
  • Sister Vessel: Deft


April 17th 1984: Launched. The fender system was designed for the particular requirement of berthing the various types of cross-Channel ferry at Dover.

July 1984: Delivered to DHB – Dover Harbour Board at Dover.

© Mike Sartin

© Mike Sartin

October 12th 1984 (week of): Officially named in the tug haven at Dover western docks.

Dover Ferry Photos Archive

© Brian Fisher  © Brian Fisher

© Brian Fisher

© Mike Jackson  © Ken Larwood

© Mike Sartin  © Mike Sartin

© Mike Sartin  © Mike Sartin

© Mike Jackson, Ken Larwood & Mike Sartin (as noted)

May 30th 2000: Sold to Howard Smith Towage Ltd at London and renamed COBHAM

© Capt Jan Melchers

© Capt Jan Melchers



© Ken Larwood  Photoship

© Ken Larwood

June 8th 2001: To Adsteam Towage.

© John Jones  © John Jones

© John Jones (both)

© Capt Jan Melchers

© Capt Jan Melchers

January 28th 2002: Transferred to Adsteam UK Gravesend

April 2007: Owners Svitzer UK Ltd.

May 2007: Transferred to Humber Tugs Ltd, Hull, renamed HT CUTLASS.

© Ashley Hunn

© Ashley Hunn

2007: Registered Owner; Svitzer Towage Ltd, Hull

© Howard Pulling  © Howard Pulling

© Howard Pulling

2008: Remains in service. Registered Manager; Svitzer Marine Ltd, Middlesbrough.

bar002  © Patrick Hill

© Patrick Hill

 © Simonwp

© Simonwp (Hull 16/07/2008)

June 2013: “Both tugs have now been sold to Zulia Towing of Maracaibo, Venezuela & will cross the Atlantic aboard a heavy-lift ship.”

July 23rd 2013: At Avonmouth, loaded onto Heavy Lift Ship HHL VENICE

© Chris Jones  © Chris Jones

© Chris Jones  © Chris Jones

© Chris Jones  © Chris Jones

© Chris Jones

© Chris Jones (Channel Images)

July 25th 2013: Sailed to Venezuela.

August 2013: Transferred to Venezuela, under the auspices of Svitzer Americas.

© Yevgeniy B   © Yevgeniy B

© Yevgeniy B

Puerto Cabello, Venezuela February/March 2015 © Yevgeniy B (Shipspotting)

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors and omissions. We would like to thank:  Ted Ingham, Capt Jan Melchers, Howard Pulling, John Jones, Brian Fisher, Patrick Hill, Ashley Hunn, Ken Larwood, Simonwp and Yevgeniy B (Shipspotting) for their assistance in producing this feature.

Special thanks to Chris Jones (Channel Images)

 Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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