Archive for the ‘New website and Old Website’ Category

Olympia Harbor Days RTA members only Potluck

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Please join hosts Skip and Marty Suttmeier on board Tug Galene for the traditional Harbor Days Friday evening RTA members only Potluck.   Bring a dish to share with 4 or more (salad, entree or dessert) Coffee and lemonade will be provided.  Potluck will start at 6 pm on Friday September 1st.



A message from Olympia Harbor Days!

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Ahoy – this is Carol, the new Executive Director of Olympia Harbor Days, now presented by the Olympia Kiwanis!

We are only 5 weeks away from celebrating our 43rd year!!  We have added lots of newness and excitement and we hope you and your tug will join us.

I am sending out this last invite to all tug owners listed in the RTA Roster and any other tugs or work boats on the RTA mailing list.   Right now we have 21 tugs spiffing up, fueling up, and getting ready to head down to the south sound for one of the few last remaining Vintage Tugboat Show and Races in the Puget Sound.  They range from 16’ to 143’.   Is yours one of them?  If so, and you have submitted your registration, we thank you!!!

If you have not yet registered and want to join the fleet, you can do so on our website under the Tugboat Info Tab!  All registered crews get an invite for wonderful Lucky Eagle Casino Salmon Dinner at the Skippers Dinner Saturday (9/3) evening at 7 pm.  Each registered skipper gets a goodie bad with one fleece vest, hat and other fun stuff.

Registrations need to be in by August 15th so we have time to prepare for your arrival.  If you decide to attend after that date, please email me or call me at the number below so I know to be on the lookout for your paperwork!

Over the weekend thousands upon thousands will enjoy touring your tugs and talking with you and your crew about your tug.  We host Sunday races for three classes of tugs with awards for the winners!  And of course you must be in attendance to stand a chance at becoming our  44th  Logo Boat for 2017.  Last year, Patrón attended for the first time and became the 2016 Logo Boat (see logo above)!!  So you never know, but you must be in attendance to be in the running.

We hope you will attend and share the history of your tug.  Show is open to all tugs but you can opt out of racing if you choose.  Our press release is attached for your info or to share.

We hope to see you in September!!    Toot Toot


Carol Riley, Executive Director
Cell 360-556-0498

Olympia Harbor Days
NEW: PO Box 2875
Olympia, WA 98507

Like us on Facebook at Olympia Harbor Days!

RTA Fall Rendezvous at Dockton Oct. 10-11th

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015


Back by popular demand, the annual RTA Fall Rendezvous at Dockton State Park in Quartermaster Harbor, Vashon.  This will be our 6th year at Dockton,
So mark your calendars for the second weekend of October. (Oct. 10-11)  Moorage is $25 to $30 a night depending on boat length.

This is one of our favorite gatherings, laid back and relaxing, an opportunity to hang out with your fellow RTA members and talk tug.  The location is beautiful and the weather, while a bit unpredictable, has been kind to us in the past.  There will be a potluck on Saturday night in the park’s picnic area, please bring something to share and beverage of choice.

Even if you don’t have a tug, come on down on Saturday to walk the docks and check out the boats.

A big thank you to Skip and Marty Suttmeier  and VJ Suttmeier for stepping up to organize this years fall rendezvous!

Any questions contact Skip:
call: 206-459-7521

Maggie B – Olympia Harbor Days 2015

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Story by Chuck Fowler, photos by Karla Fowler

An extraordinary act of sportsmanship, or more appropriately “tugsmanship”, took place yesterday afternoon {Sun., Sept. 6] toward the end of the Small Tug class race at Harbor Days.   It was a fitting, heart-rending epilogue to Molly Gilmore’s great HD advance story in Friday’s Weekend insert about the late Mike Buse and his family tug, Maggie B.    The tug was selected as this year’s honored “logo” tug, and featured on the Harbor Days promotional poster and all other marketing materials.


Mike wanted to win another small tug race in Maggie at last year’s 2014 HD event.   But he didn’t make it.   At 66 years old, he had a sudden, serious stroke on the dock in Gig Harbor while he, his wife Penny and son “Tug” were on their way to Olympia.  He died few days later in the hospital in Tacoma on Labor Day, exactly a year ago today [Mon., Sept. 7].


So this year with Tug at the wheel, Maggie B. was in the lead 300 yards from the finish line when smoke started coming out of the engine room and she slowed to a stop.

At the time it looked like something serious might have happened, and both the second place tug Cedar King from Olympia, and the and third place tug Atka from Eagle Harbor, stopped racing and came to Maggie’s aid.     In addition, the Thurston County Sheriff’s and Port of Olympia’s patrol and fireboat Integrity, and the Olympia Harbor patrol boat, also responded to the emergency.


After it was determined that there was no actual engine fire, and no one was injured, Gary Sanford, the captain of the Dunlap Towing Company’s Cedar King, secured lines on the disabled tug and proceeded to tow her over the finish line, followed by Atka with skipper Alan Glaser at the wheel.   As a result of this generous act of tug racing sportsmanship, Maggie B. was declared the official winner of the Small Tug race, followed by Cedar King in second place, and Atka third.  And Cedar King towed Maggie B. back to the dock at Percival Landing .

This spontaneous act demonstrated what true competition, in its best and most humane form, means.   It also showed how much respect and reverence the tugboaters, who have participated in the Harbor Days festival and races for more than 40 years, have for each other and for the event itself.   In so many ways, they are personally, professionally and emotionally tightly-bonded as a “family”.   And it makes the rest of us who do not own and race tugboats, but have helped as Harbor Days volunteers through the years, proud to be friends of these incredible people.


– Chuck Fowler

Penny, Tug and Mike Buse – Harbor Days 2013

photo by Juliann Tallino

Exciting Harbor Days News

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

We”ve just received the following email from Shelly Lively, the person who works so hard all year long to make Harbor Days a great event for everyone.  This is Shelly’s last Harbor Days, lets try and make it a big one.  This is our biggest party/rendezvous, and moorage is free!

“Great news from Harbor Days, we now have power to the docks and a brand new pump out. Long awaited but its finally here!
More good news, we are changing our t-shirt vendor to our vest vendor. The Maggie B logo will be on your vests and hats this year. I will order a few extra vests, additional hats will be sold at the booth by the Harbor House.
Register soon so I can get your hats, vests, and plaques on order.

Below are all that have registered so far. Tell your friends and lets fill the docks.

R W Confer
Harbor/under 400 HP
Thea Belle
Harbor/400 HP & over
Maggie B, Virginia V, and the Comanche will be joining us as well.”


Shelly Lively, Executive Director
Harbor Days
PO Box 2351
Olympia, WA 98507

RTA Winter Potluck

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Mark your calendars for Sunday,  January 18th to attend the RTA winter party at the Foss Waterway Seaport.  2 – 4 PM.   It will be a potluck of course!    Drinks, (tea, coffee, pop),  plates, cups, plastic utensils will be furnished by Kae Paterson. (thanks Kae!!!!)

   The address is 705 Dock Street, Tacoma.  Please RSVP by emailing Kae at  or phoning at 253-858-3147.
The Seaport is giving us a wonderful deal on the space since they have another event the day before and the tables and heaters will be set up all weekend, so that’s why it’s such short notice.  But we hope you can make it out to spend the afternoon visiting with friends old and new and talking tugs.  All members are welcome, you don’t have to own a tug to come to the potluck.

Kitsap Harbor Fest – Memorial Day, 2015

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Hey folks, how about a spring RTA rendezvous?  RTA member Tug Comanche sent us this invite  through the website email .   Sounds like a great way to kick off the summer boating season and have a fun RTA rendezvous. Here’s the invite………..

Fellow Retired Tuggers!  As you may know, tug COMANCHE, has made Bremerton Marina, Bremerton, WA its summer homeport.  It’s a magnificent facility and a great neighborhood. 

We are working with the Port of Bremerton and City of Bremerton on maritime activities and events.

You are cordially invited to come and join us at the Kitsap Harbor Fest over Memorial Day, 2015.  The entire inside guest moorage of the breakwater has been reserved for visiting vintage boats.  COMANCHE will be there as will the c1944 Miki tug DOMINION and other historic vessels.  Moorage will be free for the event ($4.00 a day electric fee, water hook-up is free.)  Those joining us are welcome to set out the donation bucket and even set up a canopy on the dock… there is plenty of room.  The event attracts several thousand visitors a year.

But get your reservation in early!  Tell them COMANCHE invited you.

Contact Kathy Garcia, Marina Manager at

Looking forward to seeing you there… and maybe even party!

Joe Peterson

Director of Operations



Olympia Harbor Days News 2014

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Just a few more days until the biggest tug event on the West Coast, Olympia Harbor Days.  This year the folks at Harbor Days have gone all out.  There’s a complimentary shuttle vehicle available for participating boat owners if they need to run into town for supplies.  There will be a special drawing for $150.00 fuel gift card for some lucky tug owner, and they’ve brought back the Spiffy award!  This award is given to the tug that the judges think is the neatest and classiest boat at Harbor Days.  There are new race markers on the race course for Sunday and this year the races will be broadcast live on CH. 25 and will be cast over a pa system for the public.

The Oyster House restaurant has been rebuilt and will be open all weekend.   And of course there will be plenty of food vendors in the park along with arts and crafts and lots of entertainment.  And of course there’s the tugs, most will be open for tours on Saturday.  Some are also open on Sunday but not all.  So if you are coming to Harbor Days to get a chance to get on board as many tugs as possible, come on Saturday and come early.

Here’s a schedule of the weekends events: 

Main Stage Entertainment 2014

Friday Aug. 29th

  • 5pm-7pm Fisher Poets

Saturday Aug. 30th

  • 12:00 – 1:30  Slow Roller
  • 2:00 – 3:30    Amber Waves
  • 4:00 – 5:30    Bevy

Sunday Aug. 31st

  • 11:30 – 1:00  Centerpiece
  • 2:00 – 3:15    Piper Stockhill
  • 3:45 – 5:00   Convergence Zone Bluegrass
  • 5:00               Tugboat awards will be held on the docks

Weekend Schedule

Sat. Aug. 3oth 1pm – Port Plaza Dock

The Port of Olympia’s security vessel will be in service and available to respond to emergencies and other offshore issues during the upcoming Harbor Days festival. The vessel will also provide a demonstration of its fire fighting capabilities on Saturday August 30th at 1:00 PM off the Port Plaza dock. The Port Security Vessel was secured by the Port of Olympia through a Department of Homeland Security Grant and provides the community with a variety of offshore emergency response capabilities including fire fighting and medical response, vessel towing, ship escorts and marine law enforcement and Port security patrols.

The vessel is operated jointly by Port of Olympia and Thurston County Sheriff’s Office personnel and services all offshore waters throughout Thurston County.


Friday Aug. 29th 5pm-8pm    Sat. Aug. 3oth 10am-7pm    Sun. Aug 31st 10am-6pm

  • Tugboat tours
  • Kitsap Live Steamers – Train Rides (over 100′ of track at Port Plaza)
  • Tacoma Rail
  • Food- an international taste around the world
  • Luck Eagle Casino traditional Salmon Pit
  • Entertainment
  • Over 250 Arts & Crafts, Commercial Booths, and non profits to visit
  • Model Tugboats
  • Robotics at Port Plaza
  • Sunday at 12pm watch the tugboats leave for the races. Get live race updates on Mixx 96.1 brought to you by Lucky Eagle Casino.

Kids activities 2014

    • Tugboat Tours
    • Kitsap Live Steamers – Train Rides (over 100′ of track at Port Plaza)
    • Tacoma Rail – trains
    • Port of Olympia Lego’s
    • Big Purple Slide
    • Trampoline
    • Robotics at Port Plaza
    • Roaming Barbershop Quartet and Common Cents


Seattle Maritime Festival 2014

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Spring is here and it’s almost time for the Seattle Maritime Festival and the tug races!  It’s a fun filled weekend of maritime festivities, for more information go to

Free Moorage at Sea Cavalcade

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

click on image to go to the website


The folks at Sea Cavalcade in Gibsons, Sunshine Coast BC, have cordially invited members of the RTA to their event July 27-28th.  They’re offering free moorage to any RTA tug that would like to attend.  To get more info. contact Jon Glencross  – Email:  Phone: 604-886-0241 Cell Phone: 604-740-2010