The Travels of Tug 44

Tug Urger - NYS Canal Corp

Tug Urger southbound entering Lock C-7 in Fort Edward. Built in 1901, she was a working tug for many years, and is now a traveling museum.

Tug Urger in the Tugboat Parade during the Waterford Tugboat Roundup 2014.   high-res

The helm of the Urger is extremely spartan, consisting of only a wheel and a bell that rings in the engine room. Note the lack of throttle and gear shifter. A single ding means to start the engine going forward, but if it's given when already running a single ding shuts the engine off. Two dings is the signal for starting the engine in reverse.

This is the top of Urger's 1944 Atlas Imperial engine with the exposed rocker arms, 4 per cylinder: intake, exhaust, fuel injection and air-start. The rockers are not oiled automatically and the engineer must top off the oil fittings with an oil can several times per hour. There is no valve cover, this is all exposed while the engine runs. Urger was originally built as a steam boat.   high-res

The round shapes in this port-side (left) view are the two-foot-wide cylinders. Urger's engine is only a straight-6, but it's about 20 feet long, producing only about 320 horsepower, but tons of torque. The actual pistons are about a foot wide.   high-res

The starboard (right) view of the engine shows the pushrods for the valves. They are all exposed while running, no covers are used.   high-res

This is the main engine controller, located in the engine room. The captain signals the engineer to start the engine via signals on a bell. There is no transmission and no reverse. To back up, the engineer stops the engine, and then restarts it, running the engine backwards. Starting is accomplished by injecting compressed air into one of the engine's cylinders.

Ever wonder what tug captains do all winter when their boats sit in drydock? Here, in April 2013, Captain Wendy Marble, dressed in her work outfit for painting the hull, does her best "Rosie The Riviter" impression with Urger's 5 1/2 foot diameter prop.

February 2014, the Urger's prop gets a cleanup. And a new propshaft, and stuffing box, etc etc.

May 2014, Tug Urger sits on the wall above Lock E-2, waiting for her air tanks to be pressure certified. She uses compressed air to start her engine. That's Tug Waterford sitting behind Urger.   high-res

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