The Travels of Tug 44

Erie Canal Boat

Erie Canal Boat, a 42 passenger tour boat, fresh from the 2006 Waterford Tugboat Roundup, sits at the Albany Marine Services dock at Cohoes on the Erie Canal, on this gray rainy day. Her home port is at Little Falls on the Erie Canal.

Erie Canal Boat is owned by State Council on Waterways and operated by my friend Captain Tom Ryan. Tom is Chairman of State Council on Waterways, and is a past Chairman of the NYS Canal's Planning & Development Board, among many other activities. And he's the nicest guy on the canals!

A year later, Tom pilots Erie Canal Boat east on the Erie Canal, bound for the 2007 Waterford Tugboat Roundup. In the background, we see the cliffs near Rexford.

The boat was originally built as a Coast Guard buoy tender and has an unusual drive arrangement. The propellor is mounted on a rotating pod, and there is no rudder. Steering is done by rotationg the pod. To reverse direction, the captain simply rotates the pod to the rear. Stranger still, the prop sits in front of the pod and pulls the boat, instead of pushing. This arrangement was recently used on the brand-new luxury ocean liner Queen Mary II.

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