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If I have these dates right, Pieter Boele was built in 1893!  Clearly this hull was built for towing, that  bow  not built for pushing.

Of course, the same would be true of the 1913 Jan de Sterke.

Dockyard IX dates from 1915.  I know the small tug is called Furie, considered a push boat.  I can’t make out the name of the third and fourth steam tugs in this photo, beyond the small pusher.

Noordzee is a 1922 tug.

Roek dates from 1930, built in Vlaardingen, my father’s hometown.  He would have been three when it was launched.

Volharding 1 dates from the same year. 

Dockyard V, as seen here, was built in 1942, although the sparse design suggests it’s older than that.

As with part A, all photos in part B here were sent thanks to Jan van der Doe and taken by Leo Schuitemaker.  Scroll through here for some fabulous photos of the event.  Maybe I’ll go back there again in 2024.

Posting by tugster tower robots at the behest of WVD, who wonders why the Dutch are able to field such a rich field of restored and fully functioning steam tugboats.



Eight years ago, I had the opportunity to go to the steam festival on the waterways in Dordrecht NL.  Here, here, and here are posts that came from that.  That festival has just completed again, and thanks to Jan van der Doe, here are photos of some fine restored circa century-old Dutch steam tugs.

Hercules, for example, is 105 years young and new-build shiny. 

By the way, the tower in the photo below is newer than Hercules.  Info can be found here.

Adelaar dates from 1925, and looks brand new.  The name means “eagle” in Dutch. 

Kapitein Anna, a paddle steamer, entered service in 1911. 

Scheelenkuhlen is German-built from 1927.

Furie is over a century old and looks pristine. Farther out, that’s Dockyard IX, 1942, and Maarten, 1926.

Hugo is from 1929.

Elbe, 1959, spent some time in the US as the mother ship Maryland  for Chesapeake Bay pilots as well as Greenpeace vessel Greenpeace.

All photos sent thanks to Jan van der Doe and taken by Leo Schuitemaker.

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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March 2023