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Thread: West Coast Logging Camps, Shops, Barges, etc.

  1. #106
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    My impression of barge tactics comes from those that I have seen on the Columbia River where they are always pushing the barges. I guess they named them "Tugs" for a reason - to tug on something means to pull, yes?

    I suppose that steering the barge can be done from the front as well as the back, and with that amount of current one had better be able to out run the barge. When you mention a little towline I assume that you run out a bit of slack and give yourself a bit of room. I suppose steering the barge @ 18 knots is not terrible necessary as it is likely to stay where the swiftes current is, as long as it doesn't get sideways.

    Very interesting stories tugman, thank you, and I apologize for ignorant questions but I am truly ignorant of your line of work.

  2. #107
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    Oxbow, no apology is necessary. There are things that are foreign to all of us. Yes, the concept of inland waterways, (rivers). Mississippi, Columbia, Makenzie, etc. These rivers although big, are not really that wide in comparison to the open ocean, and generally the water is going one way. On the open ocean the ocean currents, wind wave, and swell make it so that pusher tugs, are not used much out here. The whole point being, there is not room for towline, and also the very real action of the barge coming over you in a river. They don't have brakes.

    Now a days, (for several years actually) tugs & deep sea ships have bow thrusters, and now stern thrusters these are reversible propellors mounted in the bow & stern for sideways thrusting. On deep sea ships, for ship docking. I'm sure you all have seen harbour tugs, that push deep sea ships into their berth. Well now they have 3000HP thrusters mounted in the ship hulls to help perform this action.

    I am attaching here an image, I am rather proud of. There were two ships built in Scotland in 1976. Identical sister ships. The "John Ross", named after a Scottish explorer, and the "Wolraad Woltemade", named for a farmer in South Africa. If you google his name, his story is quite interesting. My uncle Frank, (my mum's brother) was captain on the John Ross. These were the two biggest tugs in the world back then. 19,200 Shaft HP. They were owned by Saftug, (South African Tugboat Company). Home port Cape Town, South Africa. They were deep sea salvage tugs. I recall a time when in my coversations with my uncle, (he had many great stories going right back to WW2). He towed an oil rig from California around Cape Horn to the Congo River, as it was too big to go thru' the Panama Canal. This picture is actually, the Wolraad Woltemade, (now scrapped) the John Ross has been renamed, as the company was sold.Name:  420.JPG
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    Last edited by tugman; 02-02-2013 at 02:01 PM. Reason: spelling error

  3. #108
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    Thank you Tugman!

  4. #109
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    This is a learning process that you sure have helped with tugman. The explainatiion make since on why you tow the barge and what happened to cause the tug to be in trouble. Makes perfect sense that the tug would hit the flat water, yet the barge would still be moving fast due to the current.

    My turn to ask the next silly question. Ok you tow the barge to where you are going, then I am guessing you unhook and push the barge. Depending maybe where it is, but the pictures show the ramp down so you can load the barge. So you must of pushed the barge to shore, and then pull it away. This would keep your tug in deeper water, also. So there must be times when the barge is not attached to the tug. While going from a tow to a push action, correct?

  5. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirty4fun View Post
    This is a learning process that you sure have helped with tugman. The explainatiion make since on why you tow the barge and what happened to cause the tug to be in trouble. Makes perfect sense that the tug would hit the flat water, yet the barge would still be moving fast due to the current.

    My turn to ask the next silly question. Ok you tow the barge to where you are going, then I am guessing you unhook and push the barge. Depending maybe where it is, but the pictures show the ramp down so you can load the barge. So you must of pushed the barge to shore, and then pull it away. This would keep your tug in deeper water, also. So there must be times when the barge is not attached to the tug. While going from a tow to a push action, correct?
    You are correct that we unhook from the barge, (that is my barge). Some do not. The reason being, many of the American ramp barges have their ramp on the stern. When you "shorten up", that is bring your towline in, with a stern ramp, you just fold around the side. Now what I mean is, you take the barge alongside you. As the barge is of course much longer than the tug, you fasten your tug with lines so that the stern of your tug is just out past the stern of the barge. You tie lines fore & aft' from your tug, and a "spring line", at least one from right on the stern of the barge leading up to the bow of your tug. This keeps the tug from surging back and forth on the side of the barge as you manuever ahead or astern. It would seem like the barge now has it's own power with the tug alongside, and the tug's stern just past the barge stern so that you have good steerage and manouverability. I hope you understand what I mean. If I can I'll find a picture of my tug & barge in this formation to help understand it.
    Last edited by tugman; 02-02-2013 at 07:20 PM. Reason: spelling

  6. #111
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    I forgot to add. When we take the barge along side like this, the term is, "taking the barge on your hip". Also you are correct in your conclusion the tug stays in deeper water that way. However, most places we put the ramp to, there is a receiving place made for this purpose, and quite generally, a wooden cribbing we call a bulkhead to bring the ramp to. Sometimes made of concrete. Always tho' where there is sufficient water to accomodate the operation.

  7. #112
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    tugman, Thanks for explaining this to me. I have seen a picture of the tug along side of the barge before. I had not thought of it being used to propell the barge for docking. With the winches to adjust the length of cable, you can either pay our more cable or shorten up to help place the tug in the correct position it sounds like. What size cables do you use when towing the barge? It is enjoyable to me to understand how things are done, then if I get a chance to watch I understand a whole lot more of what is going on, and why.

    Hope you keep sharing your pictures and trying to educate the less informed, like me.

  8. #113
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    I echo dirty4fun's comments!

  9. #114
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    I agree, Tugman has added a new area of interest for me as well. I also find the self-unloading log barges to be pretty darn cool.

    I assume your tug starts in reverse via a gearbox, and not by starting the engine in reverse, sir?
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  10. #115
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    My winch has 1500 feet of 7/8" galvanized steel core cable. Depending on where you are, and how much swell there is determines how much towline you put out. In narrow channels you of course use shorter line. The diameter of the towline is gauged by the amount of horse power and the tonnage of the tow. One image I have put up here, an American tug, (you can't see his tow. He will be about 2500 HP, and his towline will be about 1-3/4' and about 2500 feet long.

    No my tug is not (direct reversible, stopping engine to go fro forward to reverse). Very fe tugs are now with the very sofisticated transmissions now. My engine is 450 HP Mitsubishi, (turbo charged & intercooled) transmission is Model 514 Twin Disc 3:1 reduction. In this image, I am off loading crushed limerock at Campbell River BC.

    There is a couple of pictures of the Alaska state ferries here. I was on them a couple yerars ago, going up to Juneau to look at boats.Name:  484.JPG
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  11. #116
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Size:  77.2 KBThe tug here, (yellow & blue house work is from the Seattle company, Western Tug Boat co. if you google them you'll get to see their many tugs with explanations of HP etc. The container barge here is what they tow from Seattle to Alaska. These barges are a steady run to keep Alaska going. The tug shown here "running light" not towing, is one of the Foss tugs. Another Seattle outfit.

    The tug "Rivtow Lion" shown here with the log barge, was aon old Swedish ship, (somewhere I have a WW2 picture of her). She was converted to a tug by Rivtow Straits Towing in Vancouver BC. In 1969 - to '71 I worked at tending thse barges when they loaded logs at the logging camp for delivery to the sorting (processing) grounds in Howe Sound. A few years later I owned one of thos esorting grounds for a few years.. This particular barge, "Rivtow Norsman" was only a little over a year old. I believe the story is on the net here. I happened at the time to be standing in the wheel house of the "Island King" another large tug. We were loading his log barge in Qautsino Sound on Norhtern Vancouver I salnd where I worked. The captain of the King, who I was chatting with, now was talking to the captain of the Lion. The Rivtow Lion had just rounded Cape Scott on the top end of Vancouver Island. (If you use google earth you can see this area.) On the lee side of Cape Scott, it will be pretty calm, but as soon as you round the Cape, into Scott Channel, like Cape Horn, you've just arrived in hell if there is heavy South East. As he got a little further down, with his empty barge sitting high out of the water in the wind, the wind came to 70 knots and gusting...he was in trouble. Cliff, the captain I'm standin with said to him on the phone. Can you just slack 'er back and let your barge pull you back around the corner. The Lion captain said, it's too late, my towline just broke, that's 2-1/2 inch steel towline. He turned to try and get along and just bump his barge enough to steer it back around the Cape. Running full speed he couldn't cacth up to it. The barge went so far up on Cox Island, it is still there. In the summer in calm weather they were able to come out with salvage cranes, and salvage the cranes, winches & engines of the barge. I've gone by it many times, and still marvel at how high up on that island it is.

    You may find it interesting to check out my youngest brothers website. He too is a tugboat captain. On his sight he has some pretty cool videos of tug boat work. He is a "log tower" towing bundle log booms. I should also mention, my brothers and I all play music. This site of brother Lorne's is mostly dedicated to his recording studio in Campbell River. desolationsoundstudio.comName:  051.jpg
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  12. #117
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    Thanks once again for not only answering the questions but add so much more. Love reading the stories you have been so good to share with us. I can't imagine working with 2 1/2" cable, having a cable break can be ugly. Having one that big I would think could do major damage.

  13. #118
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    I want to acknowledge the interest you folks have shown. It is always gratifying to share one's world with people who have sincere and genuine interest. On my little cruise a couple years back on the Alaska ferry from Prince Rupert, I have to say, this is so much fun. There is a bar on the ships, some with a piano and a guitar sitting there. We party and have a grand time. I had the good fortune to meet a fellow from Tasmania, just up here taking a little cruise and visting a couple people he knew. Well Peter and I became fast friends. "Kindred Spirits". He is one year older than me + one day his birthday is the day before mine. When he was done his cruise, he came and stayed a couple days with my wife and I. Now we often phone each other just to say hello.

    Like what I have described, it is the best part of living to make new friends, very often for life to share what you do and learn about each others worlds, so thank you fellows for your interest. I have gone thru some pretty hair raising experiences myself out on that water. I've realized, I'm pretty sure I have a gardian angel, so I feel I've been blessed.

  14. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by tugman View Post
    I've realized, I'm pretty sure I have a gardian angel, so I feel I've been blessed.
    I suspect that one day, we will all know just how much of a debt of gratitude we each owe to Guardian Angel.
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  15. #120
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    Vigilant. As you mentioned your interest in these barges, I scanned these pictures from my old album. I'm not good with the computer to get the optimum from these old pictures, so I hope they show up well enough. This is from 1975 dumping a load at my booming ground. Dolphin Log Booming Ltd. - Howe Sound BC.

    The barge is self propelled, self loading & dumping. The Haida Monarch. They built two of these barges, 37 or 38 years ago. They have since been de-commisioned, and I believe one has been scrapped, the other modified for different use.

    Generally the time from opening tanks for flooding, until the time of shedding logs was about 45 minutes.Name:  001.jpg
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