Three tugs and a Jellicoe cat!

Deckstar the cat, our Kids on Deck mascot has been at my heels all week to get on the museum’s blog.

He’s racked with tail-curling excitement about Terrific tugs family day this Sunday.

Here, Deckstar gets the low-down on all our visiting vessels. …..

Guest blogger: our Kids Deck mascot Deckstar the cat

“It’s going to be purrfect and sunny…

Little Toot’s on the big screen, and three tugs in harbour, Kids Deck will be kicking and my buddy Captain Scuttlebutt is here to play games!

What more could a cool cat want?

This Sunday is Terrrrrific Tugs Family Fun day and I’m getting excited!

Today I’ve been keeping my paws busy finding out all there is to know about our visiting vessels.

And all there is to know about tugboats!

Did you know that the term “tug” originated in the early 1800s in Britain?  How it got to be called Tug is a bit of a no brainer, as of course this small but mighty vessel was used to “tug” larger ships, helping with docking and undocking in the harbour. Now there are all sorts of tugboats, from docking tugs to notch tugs, articulated tug barges, river tugs ( some would say pushboats or towboats) , harbour tugs, ocean tugs, integrated tug barges…the list goes on.

But back to a little “who’s who” of our visiting tugs.

Former Mini Mariners mascot Albert the tug

Our former Kids Deck and Mini Mariners mascot the little MV Albert will be putting around the basin this Sunday. Cute as a button in sunshine yellow and red trims, he is not quite as lovable ( or huggable) as our current mascot, uh hum, if I may say so myself, but was pretty famous in his time. Before landing in the museum’s collection Albert was a star at the Tasmanian Wooden Boat Festival. Built in 1990 this classic wooden tug was repainted and re-purposed as a publicity icon for the Maritime Museum and had some tail thumping fun times here. Since retiring from public life Albert has found a fond home with a lovely family. And those good looks continue to win Albert fame- featuring in a photo shoot for a recent edition of Delicious magazine. A gorgeous yellow tugboat is the perfect addition to a riverside picnic scene isn’t it?


Albert at the Classic and Wooden Boat Festival

Next in the line- up this weekend is metal tug Currawong, a stylish Sydney Heritage Fleet vessel that used to serve in the Royal Australian Navy. Currawong and sister tug Bronze Wing are both on lend to Sydney Heritage Fleet. Rumour has it both tugs were built in Sydney in the 1960s and 70s by Stannards Boatyard.

But by far I am meow! most excited to see our third tug Throsby and a certain foxy feline who lives on Throsby’s decks! Throsby grew up in Newcastle and was built in 1968 by Jack Lovett at Throsby Creek. It was also the last wooden tug built in Australia, and built to US Army design for 45s. Throsby is a working tug who still fills it’s days with pulling, dredging, putting down and pulling up moorings, maintaining pylons and more. What’s more this classic seagoing tug is home to a delectable ship’s cat named Splash! Purrr, What a beautiful name! She’s black and white ( a jellicoe cat! ) and is known for her unfortunate  habit of falling overboard as she chases seagulls. Meow!  I’m looking forward to meeting her!”

boats graphic

Terrific Tugs Family Day is on this Sunday 24th June 10am – 4pm at the Museum. Find out more about all the fun-filled activities at

2 thoughts on “Three tugs and a Jellicoe cat!

  1. What a lively and beautiful written piece Purraising the tugboat and informing we tug lovers and all ‘chiildren’ of the up coming Tug Family Fun Day. Wish I was there. You see, it will not be until the middle of October before I will be in Sidney, Australia. Please save me something special.
    To know more of the Ocean Fleet Tug for you event, you may want to go on line to see chapter 10, page 111, USS Tawakoni ATF-114, Respect for the ‘A’ Fleet, of my book – A Tugboat Sailor, The Life and Times of Billy Jack McCoy in the Forgotten War. The book is available on, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, maybe others.
    I do want to come and visit all the tugs and Australian Navy Ships. There were nine Australian ships that saw action in the Korea War, some we operated with – the HMAS Sydney-aircraft carrier, Bataan, Warramunga, Anzac and Tobruk-Destroyers and the frigates – Murchison, Shoalhaven, Condamine and Culgoa.
    Tugs are slow but they just keep ‘purring’ along. Oh! we did not have a cat but a Korean dog. He ;jumped ship’ in Wonsan, North Korea never to be seen again. Could we say, That’s the cats meow!.
    Truly, I am anxious to visit Australia and the Maritime Museums and Memorials. If you have any suggestions and how to get tickets I would greatly appreciate it. My brother Dewey McCoy served with Australian Engineers in New Guinea aboard LST-474 in WWII. I have additional information I can bring with pictures if you would like.
    I wish you clear skies and calm seas,
    Jack McCoy, 808 Lake View Ct. E, Crowley, TX 76036, 405-620-6103,, FB-jack McCoy – A Tugboat Sailor.

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