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" Tractor " Tugs On The River !

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Old 04-26-2010, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: I presenbtly live in Covington , LA.
Posts: 673
Default Capt. Don , You are so right !

Greetings From New Orleans ,
Capt. Don , you are so right concerning having the " Right Stuff " , inorder to handle any type of steering or propulsion system on any type of vessel ! In fact , its my understanding that these Tug Boat , Captains undergo extensive training on these " Tractor " Tugs before they are allowed to operate these vessels on their own . On one occasion I was permitted to handle a " Tractor " Tug when I was given a ride on the tug from Donaldsonville back to Burnside after completing an assignment . The Pilot House of these " Tractor " Tugs are right out of an episode of Star Trek and the Pilot/Operator sits in a designated Captain's Chair , with joy stick controls on the arm rest of each respective engine . To put it simply , its similar to handeling an out board motor but the engine never really stops and inorder to slow the engine and vessel the Pilot/Operator of the tug simply turns the engine/azi pods to a 90 degree out board position and the wash of the azi pod acts similar to a dam in the water and slows the tug . It was a real thrill and challenge to operated this vessel and YES it does take time to learn all the intricies and quirks concerning these modern day " Tractor " Tugs !
Hope You Enjoy !
Smooth Sailing !
Ted Davisson

Originally Posted by Shipyard Sam View Post
The same principle of this propulsion is the "Z-drives" that I first found on the 400' X 110' GRAND VICTORIA I on the tiny Fox River where six Z's allowed unbelieveable manueverability on the tight quarters of the Fox. But, though the drives allow amazing movement and precision in boat-handling, it still takes a person with the natural instinct to handle a boat. Whether utilizing the power of a paddlewheel, single or double-screws, or Schottle Z-drives, it still take a good pilot with the right stuff to bring it all together.
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