Archive for the ‘Interesting Tug news’ Category

Seattle Maritime Tug Race Results

Monday, May 13th, 2013

It was a beautiful day on the water and RTA member boats were out in force for the Seattle Maritime Tug Races on Saturday.  RTA  tugs in attendance were Galene, Parthia, Thea Belle, Patrón, Teal and Reliable.

The time before the tug parade is spent socializing and participating in water balloon and super soaker attacks.  The Galene was targeted  by the Island Champion, but responded in kind with their own super soaker and a barrage of water balloons.

Tugs participated in pushing contests and other shows of tug athleticism.

There were two classes of racing, Class B/Harbor  for the smaller tugs and Class C/Limited for the larger tugs.  Both races were won by RTA tugs.

Parthia defended her title by winning the class B race with a time of 8:09.  Congratulations to George and Wende!



The class C race was won by the Galene, taking back the trophy after losing to the Triton last year.  The Galene had a time of 6:13, a full 9 seconds ahead of the Island Champion who came in second.  A great run for Galene, congratulations to Skip and Marty!

The checkered flag was proudly flown on both boats.

Here are the rest of the race results courtesy of Mark Freeman and his blog. Thanks Mark!


The Felicity Ann Project

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012


Ann Davison was the first woman to sail solo across an ocean, she did it in a 23ft wood sloop called Felicity Ann.  The boat was in poor shape, so it was donated to the Northwest School of Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock, WA.  A young woman working with the Community Boat Building Project saw this boat as an opportunity to develop a program to help at risk girls gain self-esteem, stay in school and learn to use tools and build something.  She convinced the school to let her use the Felicity Ann in her program and have the girls restore her.   These are excerpts from their website.   It’s a really wonderful program but they need donations, money and or tools.


Felicity Ann might look like simply a boat, but she represents an amazing journey of courage and persistence. Ann Davison sailed Felicity Ann across the Atlantic in 1952 – the first female solo crossing. This was and still is an amazing accomplishment.

The Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building was fortunate to acquire this boat and we are now in the exciting process of restoring her to her original beauty.

Felicity Ann has been in storage for years, waiting for us to renew her special spirit. She is an icon for the empowerment of women.Her history is deserving of the respect that a restoration would represent. We hope you can join us in this vision!

Our Restoration Plan

 Felicity Ann is a symbol of human effort and strength. From conception, this sloop was destined to inspire and empower people, and here at the Community Boat Project/Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding, we believe she is ready to continue doing just that.

In the last three years, our Port Townsend High School Students and community volunteers have constructed three wooden Longdories ranging from 24-29 feet.Our participants also built our boat shop, located up the hill at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding

The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding is now creating  a community volunteer project. In this program, we hope to develop maritime learning experiences for the community. We are especially interested in working with at-risk young Ladies, High school age and up, with an interest in learning hands on skills. From woodworking to sailing to art projects, we generally do a lot in a day, we hope you will find a way to join us.

When Felicity Ann is ready to be launched, she may be used as a sail-training vessel or a floating museum.

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Pacific Marine Expo

Monday, October 15th, 2012

The Pacific Marine Expo is in November at CentryLink Field Event Center in Seattle and registration is free until November 26th, after that registration is $30.00. This is the boat show for commercial fishing and work boats, so it may have more relevance to a person looking for gear and equipment for thier tug than the Seattle Boat Show.

A thank you letter from Northwest Seaport

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Several RTA members worked with Northwest Seaport to put on the event “Gold Rush Tugs” last Sunday, Sept. 29th.  The Arthur Foss (the newest entry on the RTA boat roster)  is a wonderful historic boat here in Seattle and hopefully events like these will help the NWSeaport to restore and protect this iconic tug.  The RTA presence included several tugs, Elmore, Reliable and Blueberry and a small display about our organization on the stern of the Arthur. Visit the RTA Facebook page to see videos of the Washington running on the Arthur and the Atlas running on the Elmore.

Here’s the text from the letter:

On behalf of Northwest Seaport board, staff and members, I wish to graciously thank you for your commitment to Gold Rush Tugboats.  Your sponsorship, partnership, volunteer commitment, and donations made this engaging event possible.  Families joining the fun really enjoyed themselves.

Together, we created and celebrated a first of-its-kind event at Lake Union Park’s Historic Ships Wharf.  In a conversation with Dee and Sara Meek, owners of the 1890 tugboat Elmore, we developed the idea of Gold Rush Tugboats to highlight Elmore & Arthur Foss, workboats of the Klondike Gold Rush era.  In fact, tugboats Blueberry & Reliable and steamship Virginia V welcomed visitors throughout the gorgeous day.

Northwest Seaport volunteers, staff and friends hosted nearly 400 people aboard Arthur Foss.  Moreover, Northwest Seaport re-established working relationships with you and others from Fremont Towing Company, Old Tacoma Marine, Retired Tugboats Association, National Park Service-Seattle Unit, Steamship Virginia V Foundation, Don McCune Library, Maritime Folknet, Buca di Beppo and author, Chuck Fowler.

Northwest Seaport is moving forward.  Staff, crew from our Job Skills and Work Exchange program and contractors completed many summer projects on Arthur Foss. I am happy to report they repainted nearly the entire ship, rebuilt the fuel pump and grey water system, fixed the rig and finished general maintenance projects.  Folks have been saying, “She looks great!”

Most recently, 4Culture awarded Northwest Seaport a $25,000 Landmark Challenge Grant.  The “challenge” is that we need to raise matching funds to unlock the award to revitalize electrical, pump and fire systems aboard Arthur Foss.  Your participation this weekend gives me great hope that Northwest Seaport will find matching funds quickly.  Please support our effort to make Arthur Foss a living ship museum by making a financial contribution and/or introducing us to potential donors.

Also, I invite you to become a Northwest Seaport member.  Your support is critical to our ability to serve the public.

Best Regards,
Otto Loggers

Maritime Workshop at the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Thought this may be of interest to those members with big wooden tugs.  The Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor is hosting a Maritime Workshop on how to re-plank a wooden work boat hull.

December 1 & 2

Maritime Workshop: Planking; 2:00-5:00pm
The first of a series of maritime workshops taught by shipwright Nate Slater will begin this fall. This workshop will focus on wooden boat restoration. Participants will remove derelict planks from the 64-foot fishing vessel Shenandoah and learn traditional repair techniques, including making a pattern, grading and cutting plank materials, installation, and corking and paying of seams. Cost is $30 per person for Harbor History Museum members, $40 for non-members. Space is very limited due to one-on-one instruction provided. Contact for more information. Pre-registration is required; call (253)858-6722 to register, payment will be taken at time of registration.

Gold Rush Tugs

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

The Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Museum at South Lake Union has invited the Retired Tugboat Association to help them celebrate both the Arthur Foss and RTA member tug Elmore and the role they played during the Alaskan gold rush.  Both tugs will be open for tours, Sunday September 30th.  For more information go to the NWSeaport  website.


2012 Seattle Maritime Festival Tug Races

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

It was a beautiful day to be on the water, sunny skies and fair winds. Several RTA tugs were in attendance including Parthia, Galene and Thea Belle. The vintage tug Norene was also there to race. It looked like Thea Belle bought out the flag store for the event.

Thea Belle

In the Class C race, Parthia was in the lead for the first half of the race but the US Army tug passed her at the halfway mark. Last year that same tug raced in the class B race, so I’m not sure what it was doing racing the class c boats. The official winner of the Class C race is RTA’s own, Parthia.

In the Class B race, the Galene was the tug to beat, at the start two of the tugs managed to squeeze her in and make her run in dirty water for the first quarter of the race, but the Galene soon surged ahead and closed the gap between her and the other tugs. Easily passing the Canadian navy tug and the other tugs that tried to box her in at the start. At the end it was a close race to the finish between the Galene and the Ocean Eagle. Even though the Ocean Eagle had a bigger engine (2000 HP compared to Galene’s 1200 hp) the Ocean Eagle’s engineer had to work hard to get enough speed to beat the Galene, in the end they beat her by only half a tug length.

It was a close finish as the Ocean Eagle manages to squeak by the bow of the Galene at the finish.

The official race results:
Small Tug Race:
1st Parthia
2nd Norene
3rd Maggie B
4th Thea Belle
5th Prudhoe Bay
6th Skillful

Big Tug Race:
1st Ocean Eagle
2nd Galene
3rd Westrac II
4th Glendyne
5th Triumph
6th Glen Cove
7th Scholarie (Ran in small boat race)
8th Island Champion


Monday, March 19th, 2012


Please R.S.V.P. for any of the cruises below.

APRIL 14, SATURDAY “Volunteer and Supporters Appreciation Cruise” 1100-1700   If you have volunteered on Comanche or have supported her in other ways, or you would like to become a volunteer or supporter, you and a friend or family member(s) are welcome to ride along as we explore the Hylesbos Waterway where the “World’s Most Famous” derelict ferry the Kalakala is tied up… and see other sites along the way.  No set charge but the donation buckets will be out as it is also a fund raising event.  Comanche needs a thousand plus gallons of fuel for the summer cruising schedule thus this cruise is also the Spring Fundraiser (all donations are tax deductible.)   Be aboard Comanche at the Foss Waterway Seaport, 705 Dock St. S., Tacoma by 1100 amComanche will return to the dock about 1830 (6:30pm).  Bring something to eat (and perhaps share like a ‘pot luck’) and drink (alcohol ok), lawn chair if you’d like and camera.   If you have a USCG approved life-jacket, bring that, too… but it is not a requirement.  Dress accordingly for the weather.  Galley (kitchen) and refrigerators work as to do the heads (bathrooms.)  No pets and please keep watch on your children; no handicap accessibility on board.  All riders must sign a release. This is a ‘rare mileage’ cruise… you’ll see Kalakala up close, other interesting and unusual ships, sea lions and so forth and we plan on doing a ‘drop anchor’ training.         See Comanche Album



May 12, SATURDAY  “A DAY AT THE RACES!”  0800 off to Seattle Maritime Fest and World’s Bigest Tugboat Races…. An all day cruise leaving Tacoma Foss Waterway Seaport at 0800 (8:00am) to watch the races from Elliot Bay (Seattle) on Comanche and linger in the Seattle area before heading over to Bremerton in the mid-afternoon.  ETA Bremerton 1800 (6pm).  An all day adventure.  (Note: Those wishing to disembark from Comanche in Seattle will be given a ride on the ASB shore boat to the public dock down town Seattle but will have to arrange for their own transportation home from there (public or private.)  Recommended donation is fifty-dollars for ride along.  Rides back to Tacoma from Bremerton will be arranged for those who reserve a space before May 10th.   Comanche will remain in Bremerton returning to Tacoma on June 2nd

In Bremerton, Comanche will be open for public tours on Armed Forces Day, Saturday May 19th down town marina. 

Sunday May 20th Comanche will move from Bremerton to Port Orchard with riders welcome for a five dollar donation.  Time to be announced. 

May 25-27th Port Orchard, Kitsap Harbor Fest Memorial Day weekend, Comanche will be open to the public at the marina down town Port Orchard. For questions please email or call (253) 227-9678.  Comanche will be available at the dock for private tours/parties during its time in Bremerton-Port Orchard.




June 2, Saturday, Comanche will cruise from Port Orchard to Tacoma leaving Port O at 1000 and arriving in Tacoma at the Foss Waterway Seaport about 1500 or 3:00pm.  Ride along for a suggested donation of forty dollars, bring a lunch and drink.


TACOMA:  JUNE 2 to July 19th at Dock A, Foss Waterway Seaport.

Comanche will be open to dock side tours.

On the FOURTH OF JULY we’ll be anchored out for the Fourth of July Air Show featuring for the first time in the Northwest the F-22 Raptor (See )   Those interested in joining us on Fourth of July please contact us details.  (253) 227-9678


JULY 19th, THURSDAY, Comanche will depart Tacoma for Seattle to take on fuel (tentative). 

Departing Tacoma at 1100, eta Seattle 1600 (4pm).  Suggest ride along to Seattle is forty dollar donation.  Comanche will spend the night in Seattle.  Those departing in Seattle must arrange own transportation home.  Those wishing to spend the night on Comanche and continue to Port Townsend contact us… space is limited. Camping on deck is also permitted.  Suggested donation for the over-night ride from Tacoma to Port Townsend is one hundred dollars or from Seattle to Port Townsend is sixty dollars.  Bring own food and drink.

JULY 20th, FRIDAY, Comanche leaves Seattle and cruises to Port Townsend for the

PORT TOWNSEND JAZZ FESTIVAL July 21 to 29thComanche will depart Seattle at 0700 with eta Port Townsend at 1800 (6:00pm).  Ride along from Seattle for a suggested sixty-dollars donation to the fuel fund.  Or arrange own transpiration home.  Bring something to eat and own drinks.  Land transportation back to Tacoma is an additional ten dollars for those who have reserved a spot by July 20th.

….Comanche will remain at the Northwest Maritime Museum down town Port Townsend until the end of July.  Comanche will also be providing some live Jazz on board.



JULY 30th Monday, Comanche will depart Port Townsend for Seattle with a possible stop at the Port Townsend Keyport ferry dock on Whitby Island for those wishing to depart and ride the ferry back to Port Townsend.  Suggested donation for riding Comanche from Port Townsend to Whitby Island is ten dollars.

Estimated time of arrival in Seattle tba. 

Comanche will remain in Seattle until August 5th.

AUGUST 5th, Sunday COMANCHE will depart Seattle for Tacoma.  Tba.


TACOMA, AUGUST 5th to 30th, Foss Waterway Seaport.

Comanche will be open to the public at the dock.

August 24-26 is Tacoma’s Maritime Fest when Comanche will be open to the public at the Foss Waterway Seaport.  To visit Comanche at other times call (253) 227-9678 for visiting hours.  Volunteers welcome!


AUGUST 30, Thursday, Comanche will depart Tacoma for Olympia Harbor Days and annual tug rendezvous.  Suggested donation for the cruise to Olympia is fifty-dollars, bring a lunch and drink.  Leaving Tacoma at 0900, eta Olympia is 1600 (4pm) or before.

Comanche will remain in Olympia moored down town for Harbor Days events returning to Tacoma on

LABOR DAY, September 3rd.  This is Comanche last open to the public cruise for the year.  For details contact us.  Recommended donation is fourty dollars.



September 7, 8 and 9 at the Foss Waterway Seaport docks in Tacoma will be what might become the LAST MODOC REUNION with COMANCHE.   Former Coast Guard crews will gather for a joint reunion with the two former Coast Guard Cutters over the weekend.  Former crew who come early to Tacoma can ride aboard Comanche to Olympia on August 30 for free and/or the return cruise from Olympia to Tacoma on Sept 3rd.

For details contact MODOC/COMANCHE reunion at or call (253) 227-9678.  The two former Cutters will cruise together on Sunday, Sept 9th.  Comanche will escort Modoc back to Gig Harbor and return to Tacoma by mid-afternoon.  FREE for former Coast Guard crew and family.


COMANCHE 202 FOUNDATION, 403 GARFIELD ST. S. TACOMA, WA 98444  (253) 227-9678

Schedule subject to changes and/or cancelations.

All riders must sign a release form when boarding Comanche for any reason.

Comanche 202 Foundation is a non-profit organization for the restoration, preservation and operation of the former c. 1944 USN ATA 202 / USCGC WMEC 202 COMANCHE


Comanche is entirerly operated by volunteers.  There are no paid staff.

VOLUNTEERS WELCOME! No experienced necessary.

Model tug Torrent restored

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

A model of the tug Torrent has recently been restored and will be unveiled to the public as part of the new Push and Pull: Life on Chesapeake Tugboats exhibit, opening at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD on April 21. The exhibit continues through 2014.

Torrent was used as a fireboat in the Baltimore harbor before later working as a tugboat. The city of Baltimore, with its port facilities sprawling around the shores of the Patapsco River, has long relied on a fleet of fireboats to protect valuable waterfront property. The largest vessel to serve the city was the appropriately-named Torrent, which served along with fireboats named Cataract, Deluge, and Cascade.

Built on the hull of a steam tug, Torrent was launched in 1921 and served until 1956 when she was replaced by a modern diesel fireboat. Carl T. Allison, an engineer on the Torrent in the 1930s and 1940s, used his leisure time to build this model of the boat he served aboard. The model was gifted to CBMM by Mildred T. Allison, in memory of Calvin F. Allison.

The model came to the Museum with several parts missing or separated, and CBMM Model Guild member Ed Thieler volunteered to conserve it for the upcoming tugboat exhibit.

The model features not only the five monitors—or nozzles mounted on the main deck, pilot house, aft deck house, and tower, but a grate below the waterline for the water pump intake, discharge gates where hoses can be attached, and other such details.

Although not a scale model—the model is proportionately a little too wide and too deep for its length—many of the technical details are included. This attention to detail is typical of “sailor-made” models, those constructed by a member of a vessel’s crew who knew it intimately.

CBMM’s upcoming Push and Pull: Life on Chesapeake Tugboats exhibit explores the world of Chesapeake tugboats and the men and women who work on them. For more information, call 410-745-2916 or visit

Foss Waterway Seaport is looking for a Pilothouse

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

The Foss Waterway Seaport is looking for a tug pilothouse to use as an exhibit. If you hear of a tug that’s about to be scrapped somewhere in Western Washington, let them know.
Contact: Tom Cashmore Executive Director (253) 272.2750, ext. 101