Friday, April 6, 2012

Fun Facts Friday - What Am I?

I’m strong and powerful for my size. I’m built to help large vessels through tough canals by pushing or towing them. I once ran on steam, but now I’m powered by diesel fuel. Plus, some of us are able to be on the ocean, fight fires, break ice and collect salvage.

What am I?

A Tugboat!


Tug boats have been around since the 1800's and were specifically designed to assist large ships through crowded harbours or narrow openings and to dock and undock. Tugs have to be compact and super powerful so they are designed with a deep hull and a pointy bow. The propeller sits deep in the water. And because tug boats can be used in the rough ocean waters, they have to be made more water-tight - doors are made so water can flow past and not into the tug and scruppers on deck allow water to drain and run off.

Tugboat Types

Tug boats come in different styles depending on what they are used for;

~ Standard Tug - has a model bow and tows it’s vessel
~ Notch Tug - used to push a barge and has a specific "notch" that fits with it’s payload.
~ "Intergal" Unit - this tug is considered more of a ship than a boat as it locks so tightly with it’s barge that it is virtually inseparable.
~ River Tugs - have a flat bow to line up with the rectangular stern of the barge.

Not So True Tugs

Tugboats are so cool that children’s books and programmes have even been written about them. In 1939 the first children’s book, Little Toot, tugged the hearts of his readers. Little Toot wanted to be like the big tugs and soon proves he’s worthy.

In 1946 Scruffy the Tugboat came on the scene and was written about a toy tug that longs to see life outside of his owners bath tub.

Do you know who the most famous tugboat is? If you guessed Theodore Tugboat, then you’re right. This guy was also made into toys and a tv program.

For more information on tugboats check out the library, the internet or, if you live by water, perhaps your own city.

Wonder Words

* Salvage ~ is to save a ship or it's cargo from the perils of the sea.
* Scrupper ~an opening at the side of a ship at deck level that allows water to run off.
* Barge ~ a flat-bottomed vessel used to carry passengers or cargo and is pushed or towed.


Lydia Criss Mays said...

Well that was just cute! I loved the not-so-true tugboat. It made me smile.

Happy seeing beautiful!

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