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Friday, May 21, 2010

The scariest part.....

Most people are afraid of wood boats, they think they'll rot and sink or something, I'm not sure.  Wood does not scare us, we can fix wood.  We have the tools, we have the technology, we can fix it. :)  The engine on the other hand scared the heck out of me, it's really big.  But Jason assured us he would be around and show us how to start, maintain and run the power plant that lives in the belly of Iver.  That was key in our decision to buy the tug.  Without having a ships engineer on call, we would not have considered buying the tug. 

 The engine room

In this photo Bill is working on the generator, a 32KW noisy giant piece of machinery, you can see the size of the Enterprise DMG6 diesel engine.  Yes, you can still get parts for this beast.  The cylinders are 12" and it generates 400 hp.  It's a direct reversing engine, that means there is no neutral, if you want to change from moving forward to going in reverse, you must first stop the engine and restart in reverse. The engine does not have a starter like a car, it uses compressed air to start.  The generator is needed to run the air compressor, there are three very large air tanks.  We need at least 120 lbs of air to start the engine, air is also used to help with the steering (air assist) and to run the massive anchor winch.  The compressor is a very important piece of machinery.
Having grown up on farms (or ranches as they are called in California) Bill is familiar with big diesel engines, this one is very similar to the big cat tractors he used to drive around the ranch as a kid.  It didn't scare him quite as much as it scared me. :)  I'm good with Volkswagens. 
This is Iver's third engine, it was installed in 1954 so it's fairly new. :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Specs and a little history.

The boat is 70 ft LOA (length overall) with a beam (width) of 16ft and a draft (what's under the water) of 8.5 ft. The cabin is only 8 ft wide, so it makes for a long narrow room. The tug is powered by an Enterprise DMG6 diesel engine. It's the tug's third engine and was installed in 1954. It still runs like a champ and even though it's the size of a Volkswagen bus, it is surprisingly fuel efficient. Remember tugboats are all about torque, not speed. The engine should burn about 6 gal. an hour at cruising speed (around 7-8 knots).

Iver was designed by L.H. Coolidge of Seattle built in 1925 by the Port Angeles Sand and Gravel CO. in Port Angeles, WA. She was called the Angeles and was used to tow gravel scows. She was completed in July of 1925 and for the next 10 months worked towing sand and gravel scows. In May of 1926 the Foss Tug and Barge Co. bought the assets of the Port Angeles Sand and Gravel Co. and with them acquired the Angeles. The tug was renamed Iver Foss, in honor of Foss Co. founder Andrew Foss' younger brother. For the next 47 yrs the Iver Foss worked the Puget Sound area towing gravel scows, log booms and chip/pulpwood barges. The Iver even towed barges to the Port Townsend paper mill.

The Iver Foss tows a chip barge to the Port Townsend paper mill

But it's most famous tow had to have been as part of the Namu Navy in 1965, towing the enclosure containing Namu the Killer Whale from British Columbia to Seattle. Namu was the one of the first Killer Whales in captivity and was on display on the Seattle waterfront.

The Iver Foss tows Namu through Dodds Narrows

A color photo of the Iver Foss in her Foss green paint, this is also from 1965

In August of 1972 Iver developed engine problems while towing chip scows to Port Townsend. Foss decided to put her in the yard and list her as surplus. In 1974 she was sold to Mr. L.H. Clark of Tenakee, AK. He renamed her Bonney Gal and she worked in Alaska for the next 3 yrs. Then she came back to Puget Sound and was re-christened Marilyn and put to work towing gravel scows for Lone Star Industries to their gravel pit in Steilacoom (below Tacoma) by Bob Waterman. Then she was bought by another small tug company owner, Gary Duff, who changed the A to an E and called her Merilyn after his wife. Gary Duff used to race the Merilyn in the tugboat races and frequently won, she was one of the fastest boats in her class.

The Merilyn pushes the Blueberry out of it's way during the Tug Races

Jason Belshe found her in the late '90's, sitting abandoned and forlorn with blackberry bushes growing into her side. He renamed the tug back to the original name, Angeles and spent the next 10 yrs restoring her and living aboard.

Jason on the Angeles sometime around 1999

Bill and I found her in September of 2009 after seeing an ad on craigslist. We weren't keen on the name Angeles but thought Iver sounded like a good Pacific Northwest Seattle tugboat name, so once again she is called Iver. The Foss company still uses Iver as a name for their boats, at the moment the Iver Foss III is working out of company headquarters in Seattle.