Excell Marine Corporation, the Cincinnati-based barge line affiliate of McNational Inc., recently renamed one of its towboats the mv. Mike Bechtold. Originally named Barbara Brent and then, most recently, Chip Landry, the 1,800 hp., retractable-pilothouse boat was built by Superior Boat Works in 1977.
During a ceremony held at a restaurant near its Hartford, Ill., shipyard, CEO Bruce McGinnis presented Bechtold with a framed photograph of the newly repainted vessel. Fittingly, he said, Bechtold started his career with McNational at the Hartford yard the same year the boat was built.
“Mike started his career as a welder and boatman and was promoted to dock supervisor in 2008,” McGinnis told the gathering of family and friends. Calling him the “last of a breed,” McGinnis turned to Bechtold and said, “The renaming of this vessel is a big thank you for all your hard work over the years and a testament to our enduring friendship.”
“I’ve been with McGinnis for 46 years, and I have no plans to retire,” Bechtold said. “The river’s in my blood.”
Caption for photo: Mike Bechtold, left, receives a photo of the towboat newly renamed in his honor from Bruce McGinnis. (Photo by Zac Metcalf)