There’s a great bit of marine lore surrounding tug boats because they are such little vessels that do the biggest of jobs. Children of all ages are known to search for tug boats near me just to get a glimpse of them taking care of business. It’s no wonder that with such a mighty job packed into a miniature size, they are a source of fascination, especially when you find out these four things you didn’t know about tug boats.
They Pull Really Big Boats
The one task tug boats are most useful and famous for us pulling large boats and barges into little spaces. Because some docks are accessible only through narrow waterways, the largest ships in the world require the help of a tug boat. Without tug boats, some of the world’s most important cargo would be left out at sea.
They Fight Fires
Tug boats are the perfect vessels to fight fires at sea. Although it seems like a remote possibility, fires at sea are common and often dangerous. Firefighting tug boats are equipped with nozzles and pumps to spray seawater to quench fires onshore or out at sea. Even the Fire Department of New York City relies on its own fleet for protection.
They Were the First to Have Steam
Seafaring wasn’t always a power sport. Long before the first large ships were propelled by diesel, the first tug boat fitted with a steam engine was patented in 1736. It was designed with the same purpose of getting big ships into tight squeezes and continues to be the most important job tug boats have today.
They Have Simple Designs
Because tug boats are meant to be little workhorses for their behemoth counterparts, their overall design is kept simple. Modern tug boats are outfitted with diesel engines that are small but provide enough power to maneuver as needed. Some of the boats are also specifically designed to require less maintenance.
Tug boats are small in size but not in importance. With so many jobs well done, it’s no wonder they’ve captured the imagination of so many.