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Back from the northwoods with no muskellunge and no sightings of moose or bear, but I learned that one alligator can move as many as 60,000 logs up there in a single tow.  Think I’ve lost my mind somewhere in the forest where I drank straight from the lake and heard loons, coyotes and wolves sing in harmony?

William M (ex-Max, 1905) is an alligator tug, aka warping tug.  It could crawl on its belly along portages if needed.   Note: the wood around the hardware was replaced in 1971 and 1990.

Extra stairs here are added for visitors.  In water William M‘s 20 hp could move vessel and tow at 5 knots;  on land, it could

crawl 1 — 2 miles a day, winching

itself forward.  This is looking aft from the bow deck of the alligator.

Here’s a view from the stern looking forward.  Notice the geared rod to the left.  It could level the boiler in overland crawls up to a 20-degree incline or decline.

West & Peachey of Simcoe, ON built this one for less than $3000 1905 dollars.  The machinery in this tug is all original (1 of 3 survivors).  West & Peachey built 200 such tugs for Canadian, US, and South American concerns between 1889 and 1934.

Read the info or

lisez cette information.

Enjoy the foto.

Scroll through to Brompton Bear for a metal alligator.   Read a Don Sutherland article here about an alligator tug named Bertha on Staten Island.

More fotos from the gallivant in the next few days.  If you know more about alligator tugs, I’d love to hear from you.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Note:  These fotos were taken about 550 miles north of the sixth boro.  In the wilds of Opeongo Lake are the steel remains of another alligator, the holy grail of my next trip up there.  Here’s info on those remains.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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

Seth Tane American Painting

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My Babylonian Captivity

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


August 2010