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Friday, September 25, 2009

Push Tug Lewiston

The Push Tug Lewiston of Portland One of the types of boat you see a lot on the Columbia River is the push tug, like the Lewiston of Portland seen on the right. They push barges up and down the river, and they're tall, appearing almost ungainly, so the captain can see over the barge in front of him. It's hard to see from this angle, but you can just make out a tall, straight, dark green bumper at the front of the boat. Push tugs have two of these bumpers, which apparently attach to the barges in various ways. I read something about an electromagnetic attachment, but I don't know if it's used or not. It was shown online as an invention. One thing that surprised me from this angle was the extremely large and long exhaust pipes. I'm sure this tug has a massive engine to push the big barges in the strong river currents. Maybe someone will clue me in on details. It's interesting how many boats and ships we see here in Astoria, Oregon, built and fitted for so many varied and colorful types of work.

I've shown the pilot boat to the left in several posts, and I'm sure you'll see it again. It's such a fixture of the waterfront, and it's extremely active, although its runs are short and it can often be found here in the dock. Not so with the tug, which docks here much less often.

12 comments:

Don and Krise said...

Wow, that is tall. It makes perfect sense though. About the tall exhaust stacks, I don't know. I'll be checking back though to see if anyone else can answer that one.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Beautiful and lovely shot !! Simply great post !!Unseen Rajasthan

cieldequimper said...

Very nice composition. It does look a bit ungainly, not like your usual tug!

tara said...

That's a very interesting push tug. And love the blue water. thanks for the visit on my blog.

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

The only boat similar to this one you photographed so well, that we have seen, was last summer on the Ohio river. A tug was pushing 6 steel barges up the Ohio river. It was named the Drake. And it was diesel and had nothing special to see on it except that it was puffing out blue smoke.

Nice shot. Interesting information you have on your blog.

Jacob said...

The Lewiston looks like it could easily topple in rough seas, but probably not...

One really has to enlarge this photo to get the full impact of the scene and the wonderful colors!

One of your best shots, Sheryl!

Lee Spangler said...

Btw, many push barges all the way up to the Snake River to Lewiston,Idaho at least 400 river miles through locks around probably 8 dams.

Vogon Poet said...

What a strange boat, really spectacular, never saw anything like that! I've seen barges pushed, but the tugs were quite normal, a bit taller but not in this league.
Exhaust stacks are tall like in every other ship, the only difference is that here you see them bare as they are, without a fake chimney around.

Stine said...

Colorful shot with the red building beside the white and green tug and under the beautiful blue sky.

Kcalpesh said...

This is very different! I've seen boats and larger motor boats, small cruises but this is really different!!

Nice shot!

- Pixellicious Photos

Anonymous said...

I'm not an authority, but I would assume the tall stacks are to prevent the exhaust from asphyxiating the crew.

The wind doesn't care which way the tug is facing, so having the stacks below the pilot house would be risky since hot exhaust rises.

Joe Chasse said...

Anonymous, above, is partly correct about the stacks. I worked on push boats up North supplying Eskimo villages and whatnot. The tall stacks keep the substantial noise as well as the noxious fumes of the diesels away. As for the size of the engines, they may not be as huge as one might assume. Perhaps an older boat would use something like 12V-71 GMC with turbochargers, while newer tugs of this size might use larger 12 or 16 cylinder Cat or other engines. These days, most of the ocean tugs we see crossing under the bridge in Astoria will be running big 12 or 16 V EMD (G.E. Electromotive Division) engines, which are the same as those run by railroad locomotives towing those long long strings of railroad cars.

I consider myself fortunate to have worked on the really old wood tugboats. The Mikki's, Mikki mikki's, YTB, and YTM tugs were real art pieces with huge brass hinges on the oak iceboxes in the galley, and brass sight glasses and other fittings in the enginerooms...days past, eh?

Joe Chasse, Ocean Park

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