MT Pullit

Andy Maslin
12th August 2011, 16:58
Hi all

I owned the London & Rochester / Crescent Shipping Motor Tug Pullette between 1975 and 1977 when she was moored on the Thames immediately downstream of Kingston Bridge, at Bucklands Wharf. When we bought her the previous owner had renamed her Mercedes after his daughter. We put her name back as Pullette and then later changed her name to Eurypides.

I rebuilt part of the Thorneycroft 125HP 11 litre diesel engine and rebuilt the oil operated gearbox, one of only two such gearboxes ever made by Self-Changing Gears of Coventry.

My girlfriend and I lived aboard the tug, taking her up stream as far as Staines and downstream as far as Putney Bridge. The very hot summer of '76 had left the river level quite a bit lower than normal preventing us from travelling further upstream as we scraped the riverbed by Church Island. The tug had a draught of about 6' 2".

A great boat.

I wonder what became of her, anyone know?


12th August 2011, 17:37
No idea, but welcome to the site. You must have some pictures of her you can post in the gallery? Lots of members watch the pictures there who wouldn't read this thread.

12th August 2011, 18:03
A warm welcome to Ships Nostalgia where I hope you'll find much of interest.
I would suggest you making a post in the Tugs section of the site where hopefully someone will be able to answer your query - there are quite a few former and current Thames tugmen onboard who might be able to help.

12th August 2011, 20:17
Greetings Andy and welcome to SN. Bon voyage.

14th August 2011, 11:35
A warm welcome aboard from the Philippines. Please enjoy all this great site has to offer

bugga divino
14th August 2011, 12:43
Welcome Andy!

15th August 2011, 09:44
Welcome aboard this great site


15th August 2011, 10:01
There was a report that she was in the Mistley area in the late 70's.

A book has recently been published on L&R and their fleet so perhaps the author (Ken Garrett) may answer your question.


Andy Maslin
7th March 2014, 16:34
I do have photographs but will need to scan them and post them.


Andy Maslin
8th March 2014, 12:11
When I bought this tug it had the name Mercedes, but the old name was on some nameplates and it was Pullitt. The crescent on the funnel showed that it was a Crescent Line tug.

I'm a bit confused because the tug measured 63 feet in length and the 6cyl 125HP Thorneycroft engine was mated to an oil operated gearbox made by Self Changing Gears of Coventry and connected via a 3:1 reduction coupling to a very hefty drive shaft. The tug was riveted iron and I strongly suspected that she had originally been steam powered.

Andy Maslin
8th March 2014, 18:17
Having reviewed my earlier post, I have been looking through my old photos and papers and made corrections. This is how it should have read in the first place.....

When I bought this riveted iron tug in 1975, she had for a short while previously carried the name Mercedes, but the old name Pullitt was on the name plates either side of the bow. The crescent on the funnel indicated that she had been a Crescent Line tug. She had an elegant counter stern and a 3 foot phosphor bronze prop driven by a 6cyl 125HP Thorneycroft engine mated to an oil operated gearbox made by Self Changing Gears of Coventry and connected via a 3:1 reduction coupling to a very hefty drive shaft, although the first foot of drive shaft out of the gearbox reduction drive was much smaller in diameter. Because of the massive drive shaft and the funnel, I strongly suspected that she had originally been steam powered.

I measured Pullitt and she was 63 feet in length, 14 feet in beam and with a draught of about 6 feet 2 inches.

The previous owner had removed the original wheelhouse and built a much larger structure that also doubled as the galley.

The tug was non-operational when I bought her due to a broken timing chain having caused the engine to fail. I had to carry out quite a bit of work to get the engine back up and running. I re-placed the triplex timing chain (bought from Claude Rye Bearings in Teddington), and had 12 new push rods made. I had to count all the teeth on the flywheel and work out the degree of rotation of each tooth and then using information from the engine manual that was with the boat, carried out the necessary re-timing of the engine. I also re-attached the CSV diesel pump and re-timed that later by 'tuning for minimal smoke' whilst the engine was running. I designed a new top for the missing sand filter box and had it manufactured locally by Moritz Chemical Engineering in Kingston. On the first trip out, I found that the gearbox was slipping in forward drive, so took it apart and had some new parts re-made, a new thrust washer, new 'O' rings and a broken shaft on the scavenge pump was re-made.

I made many trips up and down the Thames between Staines and Putney.

I sold Pullit, by now re-named Euripides, in the summer of 1977.

Where is she now?

Andy Maslin