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What started as a Michigan mystery has spawned a new obsession for me. Of course, I obsess readily. Finally, for example, I have context for the foto below I took in May 2007. Eleanor D was described as the last commercial fishing vessel on Lake Ontario. Nowhere was the term “tug” used, as you can see at this link packed with images and up on the website for the H. Lee White Marine Museum in Oswego, NY. Now I see where she fits.

Here’s a shot of the stern of the unnamed “tug” in Muskegon. As with car carriers, these vessels’ design follows function. Speaking of context, here’s an rich and comprehensive website dedicated to what are clearly referred to as “fish tugs.”

Elsie J plans to offer harbor cruises out of South Haven, MI. Check them out if you’re nearby.

OK, sometimes I’m lazy and just foto the label; this link has images of the Kahlenberg engine, a labor intensive power plant that gets oiled externally in about 50 places before starting.

Here’s another link on that engine.

Now I re-raise the question . . . why are they called “tugs”? Dan Meeter’s topmost comment makes sense on the way words change meaning over time. Take the word “scow”. When my brother-in-law mentioned he had a racing scow, I didn’t imagine what you see at this link. I visualized something much more like a gundalow featured here last year. So why “tug”?

If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments? Email Tugster

Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

My Parrotlect Flickrstream

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More Photos

Seth Tane American Painting

My other blogs

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Henry's Obsession

My imaginings and bowsprite's renderings of Henry Hudson's trip through the harbor 400 years ago.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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