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Curtis Bay Towing tugboat THOMAS POINT

Curtis Bay Towing tugboat THOMAS POINT

The Curtis Bay Towing tug THOMAS POINT idles on the Delaware River on a misty morning in 1967. Built in Beaumont, Texas in 1941 for Moran Towing of New York, she was christened PETER MORAN. Operating in New York Harbor for many years, she was transferred to the Curtis Bay subsidiary in 1965 and was renamed THOMAS POINT. She was sold out of the fleet to an operator in Charleston, SC and renamed WILMINGTON. After a working career of 63 years, she was sunk as a reef off the Carolinas on 30 Oct 2004.

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A fine looking tug, and a great painting of her! Was she diesel electric? We had two boats in San Francisco that looked similar: Sea Horse and Sea Viking.
 

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Congratulations Dave on a superb piece or work. All credit to you and to her builders, even more impressive as she was a war build. That would make an excellent model , beyond my capabilities though!.
 

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Wallace, she was one of four near-sisters; NANCY, PAULINE L., MARGOT and PETER MORAN. They were diesel-electric, rated at 1,000 HP. NANCY was sunk off the east coast of Florida after a collision on her delivery trip to New York. PAULINE L. became the SEWELLS POINT in the CB fleet and is now in Haiti as the FORT McHENRY. MARGOT became the EAGLE POINT, sold to owners in the Caribbean, whereabouts unknown.

Dave Boone
 

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Thanks for that Dave. The Sea Horse was in service in San Francisco for many years, and was a 1,000 HP diesel electric boat. She had amazingly fast bells, and was a real sweetheart of a boat. Captain Jack Cloward was her master for many years, and a fine pilot to boot. The Sea Viking was only in service in the bay for a few years, although she was a sister to the Sea Horse. She'd been purchased surplus from the Navy by Crowley. For some reason, she never had the push that the Horse did. Maybe her prop had been shaved down too many times. Both boats looked very similar to your painting, and it must have been a common design that was used by the military.

Not all diesel electric boats had the quick response that the Sea Horse did. Saunders Towing in Benicia had an ex YTM called the Donald Saunders. She had two diesel engines driving generators to a single electric motor and propeller. She had terribly slow bells, and was a very clumsy boat whereas the Sea Horse was as nimble as a cat. Saunders purchased a sister tug surplus from the government like the Sea Horse called the Mary D. Saunders which they repowered with a 20 cylinder EMD with reduction gears to a single propeller. They did an excellent job on the conversion, and she was an excellent ship assist tug with a good push.

All of these boats are of course history today, as almost all the boats engaged in ship assist in the bay are tractors. The tug escort regulation lead to the demise of all the old single screw tugs, and the much handier and more capable tractors are prevalent today. Upriver in the smaller ports of Stockton and Sacramento, smaller and older tugs are still in use due to the lack of traffic.
 

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Beautiful...like your treatment of the sea reflection and light; great fenders....remind me of the Mersey Ferry and the giant tyres squeeling on impact with the dockside on a rough day ...can smell the salt now!
John
 

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Dave, I'm so delighted to see you in production again. This is a real Tugboat scene, you can almost hear the engines throbbing and the telegraph ready to be pulled. Lovely painting.
regards
Edgar.
 

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Dave, your love of these venerable little workhorses really comes through in this portrait.

Don
 

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I hope others will read this, I just learned from another site that our good friend Captain Stephen Card suffered a stroke last Wednesday and is in a Bermuda Hospital, unable to speak. The post said he was in stable condition. Let's keep him in our prayers.

Dave Boone
 

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