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Tugboat Photos – The Race Is On

John Konrad
Total Views: 340
September 5, 2007


“They get to show off their stuff,” that was the response NYC Harbor Committee Chairman, Captain Doswell, gave the New York Times in response to the question “Why the tug captains enjoy the race so much?” He followed the statement up with this statement: “Just as state fairs have tractor pulls, we have the bow-to-bow pushing challenge, 2 boats meet, and at a signal one tries to push the other”

We missed the event but do have some amazing pictures to show you. Many thanks to the NYC tugboat companies that participated.

FDNY Fireboat Spray With Water Monitors

The FDNY was on hand to kick off the event with an impressive water show, spraying their fire monitors into the East River.

Photo by snapshot/Terrie

The Race

Tugboats and Fireboat Spray

Tugboats & Verrazzano Bridge

Get your engines ready. The tugs line up at the starting line just South of the George Washington Bridge in preparation for their one mile sprint down the Hudson River.

Photos by ho_hokus

Tugboats Racing up the Hudson River

The riverboat leaders start to emerge as the boats make their way down the Hudson.

Photo by NJ Photographer

Tug boats creating waves

The race back up the Hudson River past the Manhattan Skyline. Tugboats from farthest to nearest: Nathan Stewart, Lucy Reinauer, Patapsco, Dorothy Elizabeth, and Fournier Girls. (Tugster)

Photo by Will Van Dorp of Tugster

Tug Boats with nautical flags

The Finish Line.

Photo by ho_hokus

The Big Push

Tugboat Push - skyscrapers

racing and then shoving matches, Lucy Reinauer (smoking) v. Inland Sea while Durham and the Empire State Building watch . . . . Tugster

Photo by Will Van Dorp of Tugster


Dorothy Elizabeth v. two Miller Launch tugs (Susan Miller and Catherine Miller) at once with Time-Warner towers and Hearst Tower in background… Tugster

Photo by Will Van Dorp of Tugster

The Interesting

The Colorful Tugboat Hackensack
© 2007, Peter Sealy – Colorful Tugboats

The Tugboat “Hackensack” showing off her colors.

Vintage Small Tugboat
© 2007, Peter Sealy – Small Tugboat

The small but mighty push boat “Urger” underway and patriotic.

Photos by Dirk Darkroom.

USMMA's Tugboat Growler

Merchant Marine Academy‘s vintage Tugboat “Growler” looking angered by the superior Domers across the river.

Photos by cicadajet

The Tugboat Race Story

One day a year, the tugboat industry dresses up its hardworking vessels and parades them before judges, showing off fresh paint jobs, displaying horsepower in nose-to-nose pushing competitions and a one-mile sprint up the Hudson. Tug operators play rodeo cowboys, demonstrating their skill by roping a cleat from a moving vessel coming toward a dock.

And those are the earnest categories. Equally coveted are the trophies for best tugboat pet and best dressed crew, best crewmember tattoo (that can be legally displayed) and best mascot.

The event’s lightheartedness in no way means it is not taken seriously. Reinauer compares it to a tractor pull, and anyone who’s ever been through the middle of the country knows how the heartland loves its diesel. He wouldn’t be surprised if a crewmember had gotten a tattoo specifically for the competition. “I don’t know that for a fact, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Some of the tattoos are really ornate and pretty unique.” Keep Reading…

The Tug Boat Race Slideshow

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR. SLIDESHOW NOT WORKING? TRY THIS

The Links

NYC Tugboat Races Part 1 (Tugster: a waterblog about New York harbor, the sixth borough)
NYC Tugboat Races Part 2 (Tugster: a waterblog about New York harbor, the sixth borough)
SHE THINKS MY TUGBOAT’S… (The Waterlog, New York Press)

A Final Goodbye

Hudson River Tugboats
© 2007, Peter Sealy – Hudson River Tugboats

Photo by Dirk Darkroom

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