What is a model bow tug boat?

Tug Boats are the back bone of the commercial fleet and there are many classes, and subclasses of Tug Boats. The two main categories of tug boats are model bow tugs, and push boats. This article will focus on model bow tugs.

Model bow boats are the boats with the pointed bows.  This also is probably the most diversified of all tugs.  Model bow tugs can be used in the inland waters and off shore as well.  Some are shallow draft and some are very deep draft.  Some can be used as push boats and some are used as pull boats.  We can look at a few subclasses of model bow tugs. 

Ocean going model bow tugs are set up more taking long trips crossing the ocean.  They are normally deep draft and have a large single or double drum winch on the stern.  The deep draft is more for stability, but also for accommodating the needed fuel and water that accompanies the longer voyages they take.  The winches they carry, can and will have a good bit of tow wire for connecting to the barges they are towing.  They may have as much as several thousand feet of wire.  An ocean going Model bow tug may tow anything from a single barge, to multiple barges, to ships, to off shore platforms.   The ocean going Tug boat is a true breed of its own, a reel work horse.

The inland model bow tugs are normally shallow draft, no stern winches, and carry less fuel and ballast.  They ‘re very versatile boats, and also normally smaller. They are used anywhere from working log rafts in the inland river and lakes to pushing barges like a push boat.  A lot of the smaller ones are called day boats or lunch box boat because they are used during the day or maybe just one shift.  It also mean that the crew will not live on the boat.  Some of the bigger inland or bay model bow tugs are used as ship assist boat when the big ships come in to port.

One last model bow tug that I will mention is an ITB tug.  ITB stands for Integrated Tug and Barge.  This type of tug is where a tug physically connects to the back of the barge.  Once the tug pulls into the spot where it is to hook it will be locked in place.  Then it will travel more like a ship.  This type of tug has kind of fallen out of favor with the industry.  There have been mishaps that have led to fatalities which is always a major concern.  This mostly has happened when trying to disconnect in less than favorable conditions.  There was even a tug lost when they disconnected in rough seas.

If you would like more information about tug boats or have questions about any type of commercial vessel, please visit www.oceanmarine.com.