The Travels of Tug 44

Tug 8th Sea

Tug 8th Sea, seen here at the Waterford Pier, is operated by Captain Bill Curry and works part-time for NYS Marine Highway. A former US Army harbor tugboat, she is 45 feet long.

In September 2007, Tug 8th Sea proceeds down the Hudson River near Albany, as part of the Waterford Tugboat Roundup Parade. That's Captain Bill coming out of the pilot house, about to give me an earfull for having waked his boat as we passed.

The engine room is jam-packed with machinery. In the middle sits the Cummins straight-6 engine, producing about 250 horsepower.

Capt Bill sits on the rear deck, enjoying a sumptious repast. Each evening, that deck is the social center of Waterford, though the local residents have been known to lock their doors and hide their women & children whenever the 8th Sea is in town.

Bill may be the nicest guy around, but he is not above occasional heinous acts of piracy. Caught here by the camera of Marine News photographer Don Sutherland, Pirate Captain Bill leads the crew of Tug Shenandoah, in an attempt to board and capsize my boat, Tug 44, no doubt planning to steal her propeller and sell it for scrap. Bill and his co-conspirator (me) have been known to raid French-Canadian sailboats, and confiscate all their red wine for infractions of some fictitious "port regulations" that he and I wrote. Do understand that Bill is not entirely a heartless pirate ... for example, one such sailboat didn't have sufficient wine on board, so Bill drove the skipper to the local liquor store to get more wine, which we then confiscated.

Here, Fred gets a lesson on turning the 8th Sea in tight quarters. This is done by ramming the nose into the concrete pier and throwing the wheel full over and pushing the throttle forward and the stern comes around. I found it extremely difficult to ignore the scream of tortured metal on concrete as the boat turned, but it worked exactly as Bill said it would and the Tug came around 180 degrees within her own length.

Tug 8th Sea, seen here blocked up on land for winter storage, November 2008.

Tug 8th Sea in the 2014 Waterford Tugboat Roundup.

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