Friday, May 13, 2016

Teclutsa - fresh from the showroom (not)

The US flag tug Teclutsa tied up at Sackville Landing today, and obervers would be forgiven for thinking it is fresh from the builders shipyard. In absolutely superb condition, despite a trip all the way from Oregon, in fact the tug is 43 years old.

Its origin helps to explain its suprising appearance.
Built in 1973 by Marinette Marine of Marinette, WI  it was part of a large order of tugs for the US Navy. Delivered as Pawhuska YTB-822 it immediately headed for southern waters where pusser US Navy maintenance was applied year round. There is so little evidence of painted over scale on the house, that the scrapers and paint pots must have been in constant use until it was struck from the naval register in 2002.
With dimensions of 107' loa x 29' x 16.3' depth of hull, it is fitted with a big Fairbanks Morse 2,000 bhp enginer driving a single 12' diameter screw.  It is also equipped for firefighting and has heavy naval fendering all round, including the buffers mounted to the deck house.

In 2005 it was acquired by Coos Bay Towboat Co in Coos Bay, OR and renamed Teclutsa. The new owners fitted it with a flap rudder and a 350 bhp Schottel bow thruster, more than making up for its stodgy manouverability. They have also, thanks to a temperate climate, contunued with the same level of care.

The tug is still listed for sale by Marcon, but that sale has taken place (probably subject to delivery), and it is presumably on its way to new owners, likely on the Great Lakes.

The gleaming water cannon would be an impressive sight to see in action, but it would be equally interesting to hear that 5 bell air horn!


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