Synopses & Reviews
You've seen them from afar, but how do they work, what do they do and who runs them? Tugs offers a rare, close-up look at working tugboats around the world. From the Puget Sound to the Hudson River, from Hong Kong Harbor to the Panama Canal, these hard worker quietly control the ports and rivers of the world. They are fascinating workhorses, packing up to 10,000 horsepower into a compact, efficient hull, and they're capable of moving ships and barges thousands of times their weight. Tugs takes you to the world's most important waterways to reveal the behind-the-scenes maneuvers that make these boats indispensable, and traces their remarkable development throughout history from the first steam tug to the rugged, agile powerhouses that work the seas today.
You will see how tugs, through an intricate choreography of movements, navigate massive ships, tankers and barges into incredibly narrow waterways, through the elaborate locks of busy canals, around perilous shallows and into tight docking bays. The rigors of the tugboat world demand a delicate balance of nautical engineering, brute motor force and coordination among vessels. Any misstep can mean the difference between safe passage and disaster.
Few realize the wide variety of tasks tugboats are called upon to perform. Tugs features boats managing hazardous oil spills, extinguishing blazes at sea, constructing colossal oil rigs miles from shore and plowing through thick layers of arctic ice. They save beached ships in dramatic and often daring rescues that take them into dangerous waters and through obstacle courses of sandbars and rocks.
Modern tug boats employ the most advanced technology available to control the different engines on board, enhancing their maneuverability and allowing them to pull in any direction: forward, backwards or sideways. Even with the aid of computers, a tugboat captain must keep a vigilant eye on the elements. Unpredictable weather, massive waves, powerful currents and dangerous terrain are hurdles even the most experienced captains must carefully consider. One wrong signal and a tug can easily be pulled over, capsized if the tow line is not cut fast enough or run around.
From the story of the first tug (whose maiden voyage was also her last), to today's powerful, state-of-the-art tractor tugboats. Tugs explores the fascinating stories, mechanics and lore of the world's hardest-working boats.
We've all seen them from afar, but how do they work, what do they do and who runs them? This mammoth book gives readers a rare, closeup look of working tugboats around the world. Huge color spreads that fold out a full 27 inches show the boats at work. In-depth text explains the complex maneuvering systems, techniques and the technology tugs employ.
From the port of New York to the Mississippi River, from Hong Kong Harbor to the Panama Canal, these indispensable hard workers quietly control the harbors and rivers of the world. The detailed history walks readers through the development of these beautiful creations of woodwork and engineering from the first makeshift tug to today's rugged powerhouse models.
Interviews with working captains and profiles of legendary sea dogs depict the colorful and often difficult lives of tugboat crew-daily routines that differ substantially from most of our own as they work in tight quarters under the constant threat of dangerous water conditions.
The book describes how, through an intricate choreography of movements, a fleet of tugs navigates massive ships and tankers into narrow waterways, around perilous shallows and into tight docking bays. Their world is a delicate balance of nautical engineering, brute motor force and coordination among vessels that can often
mean the difference between safety and disaster.
Whether pulling barges on the Mississippi River, docking ships in Hong Kong Harbor, setting up oil rigs in the Arctic or fighting fires in Vancouver, tugs are without a doubt the world's hardest working boats.
Bollard pull is a measure of a tug's potential towing power under certain conditions. Usually given in pound or ton units, it describes the amount of engine power that is directed to the towline's pull.
At the time of its construction in 1825, the Erie Canal connecting Lake Erie and the Hudson River was the largest canal in the world. Vessels traveling through the 363-mile-long, 40-foot-wide canal were towed by horses and mules from towpaths along the bank.
About the Author
Josh Leventhal is an editor and the author of the best-selling book Take Me Out to the Ballpark, The World Series: An Illustrated History of the Fall Classic, and Baseball Yesterday & Today, among others. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.