Posted by: towmasters | November 23, 2009

Photos Of The Week – 11/23/09

Two photos taken just a couple of seconds apart…..

The Crow was built in 1963 at the Ira S. Bushey Shipyard in Brooklyn, NY. It was one of their last, an 1,800hp single-screw canal boat still working the Hudson River and New York Harbor today along with the Cheyenne. Notice how stubby the stack is…..

…..this design was originally for the shallow-draft/low-clearance needs of service on the New York State Canal System, including the Erie Canal. The mast is hinged and counter-weighted to lower astern, and the pilothouse is lowered hydraulically into itself to the windowsill level so as to fit under the low bridges. Some of the older ones had Fairbanks Morse direct drive engines, which must stop and then re-start in reverse for astern propulsion, and gave about 10-12 starts off the typical air supply before you were out of air and SOL if you didn’t have a line out and were working on it. If you can drive one of these well then you really know how to handle a tug, and the nature of the work can also breed fine deckhands.


  1. There were four of this class. CHEMUNG was the first built in 1959. Next came CROW built in 1963, followed by GLENWOOD in 1965 and BOSTON in 1966. GLENWOOD became the CHEYENNE and BOSTON became the CHOCTAW. The oldest and newest of the class have been “reefed”, and the CROW and CHEYENNE still soldier on.

  2. and why then the different hues . . . or rather why the color etc manipulation . . or interesting but why not given different “correction” to duplicates? just wondering.

  3. No particular reason, really, just ‘cuz I felt like it and I can. Maybe it somehow visually represents their continual passage from the past to the present: both the tug and the statue have, respectively, traversed and watched over the same harbor for, respectively, 46 & 123 years, and are still at it. There remains a need for the services of each, and each of them still provide it.

  4. Great photos, interesting background details on the tugs. I think modern tugs look good but nothing beats the old classics.

  5. The very first tug I ever worked on was a single-screw, Fairbanks-powered canal boat called the Hudson. The living conditions were primitive, even for 20 years ago, but the work was good and it was a great learning experience for me. The engine room, too, was primitive and decrepit, requiring 24-7 attention or disaster was sure to strike, and sometimes did anyway. So I worked as the classic deckineer and was payed an extra $15 a day to keep the various fluids topped up, watch over the machinery spaces, fix leaks, and alert the engineer whenever something appeared amiss and/or beyond my capabilities. Things seemed to be amiss quite often…..

  6. […] this tribute to Andy.  All fotos and their modification by Will Van Dorp.  Some inspiration from Joel.  Thanks.  As major color changes happen this time of year from snow covering outdoor shapes […]

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