Author Archive | Les Eldridge

Wallace Foss Circa 1934 - cropped image from Foss Maritime Company Archives

Tug of the Month: WALLACE FOSS

The long-lived tug WALLACE FOSS was built in 1897 in Tacoma’s “Old Town” by Steven Barbare for use in the Klondike Gold Rush. She was originally designed as a passenger vessel and at first was christened the Oscar B. Gordon Newell’s 1960 comprehensive history, “Ships of the Inland Sea” lists her as rebuilt in 1899, from a […]

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Arthur Foss passing Gasworks Park, Seattle (Photo courtesy of LG Evans Marine Images)

Tug of the Month | ARTHUR FOSS

The venerable tug ARTHUR FOSS has a long and storied history, encompassing deep sea towing, The Alaska Gold Rush, charter service with the US Navy in World War II, movie stardom, West Coast and Puget Sound towing, service with the Foss Launch and Tug Company (now, Foss Maritime Company), and participation in at least 17 […]

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Heart Strings family photo.

Tug of the Month | Heart Strings

HEART STRINGS is a tug boat type not usually seen in the waters of Puget Sound; a “log bronc,” also known as “boom boats” or “booming beavers.” She was built in 1956 by L.S. Baier Company of Oregon as a steel hulled log bronc and worked assembling log rafts on the Columbia River for Portland-area mills […]

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R.W. Confer Racing at Olympia Harbor Days 2016 (Photo courtesy of LG Evans Maritime Images)

Tug of the Month | R.W. CONFER

R.W. CONFER was built in 1930 in Portland, Oregon by Albina Shipyards, Engine and Machine Works (founded 1900). Albina was later sold to Dillingham Ship repair. CONFER’s hull is an unusual design, but is unique to the Pacific Northwest towing community. It is a “tunnel hull,” with the outer parts of the hull bottom lower […]

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Comanche underway at the Seattle Maritime Tugboat races. Photo courtesy of LG Evans Maritime Images.

Tug of the Month: Comanche

COMANCHE is the most recent US Navy or Coast Guard vessel to bear the name, a name that frames a storied nautical tradition. She was built by Gulfport Boiler and Welding Works of Port Arthur, Texas in 1944, commissioned, and designated an ATA (Ocean Tug, Auxiliary) with no name, as USS ATA 202. She supported […]

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Tug of the Month: PATRÓN

PATRÓN is unusual, if not unique, in two aspects: She was purpose-built (for a specific project) and, after construction, she was cut into four sections so she could be shipped by railroad flat car to the project site, high in Washington State’s northern Cascade Mountains. Further, she was the first of her type on Puget […]

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