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Scraping Paint
Oct 23, 2007
Took the boat this past weekend to Friday Harbor to celebrate Carey's wife's birthday. We rafted together at our favorite spot on the inside of breakwater B so we would have the non-stop entertainment of watching the boats come to customs to check in. On Sunday this boat showed up to clear and it instantly reduced everything else in the harbor to "toy boat" status.

Built in 1897 as a steam-tug, she served with another tug company until that company was bought by Foss in the early 1900s. Renamed the "Wallace Foss" her pilothouse was modified and she was eventually converted to diesel power. "Wallace Foss" was a working tug in the fleet until 1972. The current owners keep her in what is probably better-than-new condition and use her as a family cruiser.

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-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 29th of July 2009 01:13:29 AM


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I love how the curve of the fwd ladder nests w the fwd hatch/door/entryway cover. There must be a name for that curved structure. The rubber ducky and kayak look out of place. I wonder if it has a direct reversing engine or a gear. I also wonder what that door handle like thing is on the bow. The itch must be getting worse Marin** ..* that tug looks more than a bit like a Lord Nelson.

Eric Henning
The owner use the tug as a family cruiser, hence the dinghies and kayak on the aft deck. The current engine is, I believe, the last engine it was fitted with in its working life. I think it's a Cat but it's very low-revving. The number 800 rpm sticks in my mind. The long, narrow hull is very efficient--- I don't remember what they told us the fuel consumption is but it's very low. The boat can be put into forward/reverse/neutral without having to stop and restart the engine. The tug has also been fitted with a very powerful hydraulic bow thruster.* At least I assume it's hydraulic--- it moved a lot of water but didn't make any noise.

I suspect the galvanized loop fitting on the bow is for attaching a line. Perhaps a heavier line for maneuvering a barge to or from a dock?

-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 29th of July 2009 11:13:22 AM
Yea* ..* I think 800rpm would be about right. I was the stationary operating engineer (tender) on an 8 cyl 16X20 Enterprise that made 1440hp at 327rpm. It turned an alternator for a mine in western Alaska. I don't know if a direct reversing engine would be appropriate for a tug. They probably need to reverse fast and even under load. Anybody know about that? They have hybred tugs now that have small engines for general usage and use batteries and electric motors for the heavy loads. A simmilar system could be employed for you guys that think you need more than hull speed power. No confessions about shopping for a Lord Nelson?

Eric Henning
nomadwilly wrote: I don't know if a direct reversing engine would be appropriate for a tug. They probably need to reverse fast and even under load.
They were very appropriate and were still in commercial use into the 1980s. There may even be a*few operating commercially today.

There are still quite a few running around in restored or converted tugs in the PNW. My own tug had a 6 cylinder Enterprise, direct reversing, 400 hp at 400 rpm, air start and I have worked and sailed on a few others over the years.

The need to reverse*"fast" is avoided by skill and planning that also includes the art of knowing in advance how many starts will be required to complete a maneuver vs how many you have available.*

nomadwilly wrote:

No confessions about shopping for a Lord Nelson?
A Victory Tug is only one foot longer than what we have now and the GB has more interior volume.* While I much prefer the aesthetics of a Victory Tug 37*to*a Grand Banks, there would be nothing much to be*gained from making the switch.* Plus a Victory Tug has only one engine, and as I've stated before, I like operating two engines*(three would be even*better).

If we ever reach the point where it is economically feasible to buy and operate a larger boat there is only one make and model we've decided to consider and that is a Fleming 55.* But unless I win the lottery or the book I'm currently writing becomes a best seller and a movie, that ain't ever*gonna happen.

So we will continue to enjoy our old GB.* Being out on the water in anything is better than not being out on the water at all.* Our GB has served us well over the past eleven years and we anticipate continuing to enjoy it for another twenty or so.

Unless, of course, we get that Fleming.....* It'd be great to have a boat named "La Perouse II."

-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 29th of July 2009 03:56:29 PM


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Another TWENTY YEARS! I can see your'e not the great American consumer. Nor am I. And if I were you I'd probably do exactly the same. I have a confession to make** ..* before we bought the Willard I was looking at GB32s.

Eric Henning
nomadwilly wrote:

I can see your'e not the great American consumer.
I still own the first vehicle I ever bought new---- a 1973 Land Rover Series III-88.* The newest of the five vehicles we own is a 1991 Range Rover.* We buy things that will do the jobs we need them to do and we try to buy the best quality tool for the job.* So why buy a new one just for the sake of buying a new one?

Don't get me wrong--- we're not stuck in the past.* Most of our electronics---phones, computers, cameras, etc--- are current generation.* But when it comes to expensive machinery, our philosophy is to buy the best and run it until it no longer does what we need it to do.


-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 30th of July 2009 12:51:42 AM
I agree on your choice of a Fleming 55....It's been my choice ever since Tony Fleming left Grand Banks with all the fiberglass technology. Although the engineroom leaves a little bit to be desired, the rest of the boat is a dream to cruise. Speed in the mid teens, if so desired, twin engines and a killer ride. Not to mention its "salty good looks."
SeaHorse II wrote:I agree on your choice of a Fleming 55....
A absolute beauty.* I've been on a couple.* The problem is I just can't seem to pick the right Lotto numbers.
A week ago I got caught in a thunderstrom related SE swell while overnight anchoring in SE facing Tribune Bay on Hornby Is. The seas were 8' shoaling swells from the SE for about 4 hours. The front cabins on my 48' DF were moving a lot and the wave and pounding noise was considerably more than the aft cabin where my wife and I were sleeping (attempting to anyway). 5:1 scope and all chain rode worked well with the big Bruce.

Several boats dragged anchors and headed for open waters at midnight, one a sailbote dragging his complete rode along with him as he headed to deeper waters. Conditions were too unsafe for attempting a foredeck manual anchor pull.

For big sea noise and comfort reasons I am less enamored of Fleming 55, Krogen, NT, some GBs*or other vessels where the master is all the way forward.* Slap slap at night while anchoring in even a modest chop is a lot of noise as well. The GB "Classic" design is popular for many reasons. Once at or above 55' a centerline master is doable.

-- Edited by sunchaser on Sunday 2nd of August 2009 05:43:46 AM
I've met people who have boats with center or aft main staterooms who have said that when they are at anchor, they move to stateroom in the bow so they can hear or be woken up if anything starts getting funny with the anchor and rode.
We had an old direct drive Foss tug moored next to us on LakeUnion.* A young couple lived it. The added a salon to the back deck, and remodel the galley and sleeping areas. The way they start the main was to start as smaller diesel engine attached to a compressor.* When the PSI was high enough a valve was open that turned the big engine which they had to start in reverse as it was direct drive as it did not have a neutral *The prop was about 6ft in diameter and if started in forward would break the dock.* Idle as under 100 rpm but push a lot of water even in reverse.* The engine made perfect smoke rings. *The forward/reverse was lever that flipped the cam so it would start in forward or reverse. The engine had to be stopped, flip the cam and restarted.

The draft was 6 to 8 ft and rock solid.* When docking and close maneuvering they would start the engine maybe 1 to 6 turn and drift, and drift and drift, then start the engine and a couple more turns and drift, and drift.* Their bow thruster was an inflatable.* When they left or arrived at the dock, I would take the Eagle out as the rub rail was steel and they need the whole width of the slip. It had a bank of ten 8D batteries cable together to make 120 volt electricity.* **

We had to other old tugs, one was Fosss executive steel 100 yachts the Thea Foss which was also direct drive that they converted as it crashed through to many docks and so marines would not take her.* She lined up in the middle of the lake about 300 years and puff and drift in. The closure they got the less the puffs.* The Thea is still Foss executive yacht and is well know as she is gorgeous.*

There is a past discussion on PMM about the most the pretty old classic boats the shows the Thea about page175.* Also try http://www.flickr.com/groups/classicmotoryachts/pool/show/
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