WOW! Tug lovers take note!

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WOW! Tug lovers take note!

Post by Wearyman » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:13 am

Check it out! The last fully functional steam "G-tug" is up for auction on E-Bay! ... 1c17b5a017
OWN THE ULTIMATE COLLECTOR's ITEM!!! We will sell to the highest bidder, with NO RESERVE, this incredible piece of our maritime heritage, after a rare Historical Foundation foreclosure. Here we have the 1913 steam-powered Great Lakes Towing tug "Q. A. GILLMORE". Here is a truly unheard of opportunity for you to OWN (and even operate!) the LAST Great Lakes Towing State-Class "G-Tug" left in the world, in its original steam configuration. Included in the sale is all historical data including indepth research on the vessel's history, vintage photographs and drawings.

This beautiful tugboat was built by and for the Great Lakes Towing Company of Cleveland, OH in 1913 and has an amazingly rich history behind it. She is powered by her original engine, a massive 2-cylinder Hodge Company 16" & 30" x 28" fore & aft compound steam engine, which seems to date back to the 1870's as it was salvaged out of another vessel prior to the construction of this one. She is coal-fired and the boiler is a 10' x 12' Foster-Wheeler 200-PSI A-type Water-Tube boiler with feedwater regulator. Safety valves replaced new in 1988. Two (2) steam-turbine 115V-DC generators supply the ship's electrical power.

Small galley & head aft and foc's'cle quarters (as harbor tugs, they had minimal accomodations). A recent machinery survey round the entire vessel intact (could be made operational with relative ease) and mechanics in remarkable condition for her age. The steel hull is nearly perfect. The tug measures 81' long, 20' wide, and 12' deep aft (6'10" fwd), with a GRT of 99-tons and actual weight of approximately 240-DWT. Has a massive rudder with a bronze 7' propeller. Upon her retirement in the 1980's, it was the LAST operating steam tug on the Great Lakes and one of only a few left in the country. Vessel is an absolute time-capsule... still has her interior all intact just as she was when operating 70 years ago, including all the "brass goodies". The bell has been stolen as has one of her steam-whistles (but 2 giant ones remain).

To ANY steam or maritime enthusiast, this purchase will certainly NOT disappoint! Here is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to OWN a truly priceless piece of maritime histiory. While there were once hundreds of similar low-profile steam tugs at work in the U.S., this beauty is now literally the LAST OF HER KIND anywhere in the world.

The tug is located north of Chicago in the small Michigan port of Saugatuck. She is anchored just outside the main channel and so buyer is assuming a RENT FREE space altho it SHOULD be moved in order to access the vessel and begin restoration. Because of its current location, no on-board inspections will be possible so all intrested buyers should inspect the current photos closely as you are buying it sight-unseen. However, the vessel is floating dry, clean, and altho greatly in need of interior paint, the tug is in amazingly good condition for its age. There is still coal in the bunkers, with the shovels ready to go!

There are truly TOO MANY great features of this vessel to name here. The last owner was a historical foundation that has now shut down and the sale is now being handled by a law firm, which is putting closure to the foundation's final debts. We have a CLEAR TITLE to this vessel, free of all liens, with a notorized U.S.C.G. Bill of Sale so you can get a smooth quick title transfer (costs $140 to the Coast Guard) and the new title will be sent to you, the buyer. There are NO guarantees tho survey shows its machinery to be in excellent condition. Buyer is purchasing the vessel "AS IS, WHERE IS" in Saugatuck, MI. Since being placed on its mooring 5 years ago, the harbor water levels have dropped and the vessel needs to be dug out and towed to deep water where you can move it to your own dock. We have information on the local dredging / tug company and can perform this move for $250 an hour (estimated to take ONE 12-hour day). All this information and contact info will be passed on to the new owner. We have FULL DETAILS on every contact you will need to own and continue restoration of this vessel.

SERIOUS BUYERS only please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. We can forward all photos via email for your closer inspection. Good luck & Thank You for bidding! Serious buyers may contact us at (412) 295-2692 with questions.
Although I would be seriously concerned about rot on a boat that has been moored in the mud for 5 years, as long as it was well cared for before then it should be in good enough condition to put into drydock for repairs. Obviously a HUGE project, but well worth it for the historical value of the tug.
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Re: WOW! Tug lovers take note!

Post by mtnman » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:35 pm

OK who bought it! The auction ended early. Detroitug, do you have a new boat?
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Re: WOW! Tug lovers take note!

Post by DetroiTug » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:26 am

LOL, no...

Man I'd be kicking my own arse if I bought that. It's only a few hours away from me. But Wow what an undertaking that would be to get that over to Detroit. That thing weighs 99 tons and it's sitting in the mud. :shock: It would take $20k at least to get that tied up to a mooring here. Then who knows about the machinery? They said it passed USCG in 88, thats 22 years ago. And they get some cold winters over there at Saugatuk. The NE winter wind coming off the Lake Michigan is fierce. Who knows if it was winterized at all. Way too many questions, they don't address in that ad. From the sounds of it, it's just anchored at the mouth of a river, essentially abandoned. It's a shame folks have stolen things from it (bell and whistle).

Having said all that, I'd love to have it. :lol:

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Re: WOW! Tug lovers take note!

Post by DetroiTug » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:36 am


Re: WOW! Tug lovers take note!

Post by 87gn@tahoe » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:05 am

I wonder if she's jet condensing or of a more useful type for salt water?

I wonder what her range is...

See where this is going? :mrgreen:

Re: WOW! Tug lovers take note!

Post by 87gn@tahoe » Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:49 am

Buy it now price dropped to $9,000 :o

Re: WOW! Tug lovers take note!

Post by 87gn@tahoe » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:27 pm

A little birdy emailed me this:

"Here is the letter sent out to a museum Board of Directors (I cut their names out of it, incase they wanted privacy) who inspected her yesterday and is also interested. They have Board approval to spend the money to purchase it but are waiting to confirm the costs of moving it. I confirmed these costs myself last night with the local contractor who moved the other similar-sized diesel tug we removed from this same spot 3 years ago but they need it in writing as required by their organization and the private donors who are funding the project for them. I hate to say it, but I doubt they will be able to make a move in time. It's all on the auction right now, which ends in a few hours. I just hate to see it go to one of the scrappers, that's why I'm more than willing to assist you or this museum in any way possible. However, it's a bit out of my hands, in terms of "ending the auction early" to save it for a good buyer, as the lawyers in this just need it wrapped up before the holidays. Anyway, I hope this all helps and I wish you best of luck.



We boarded the steam tug Q.A. Gillmore yesterday.

Upon arrival, we met with R.J. Peterson of Tower Marine at his offices. He is the Q.A. Gillmore's former owner. We studied charts and heard him express his opinion on extricating her from the shallows.

The issue of the condition of the vessel, he assured us is both good and the hull tight and dry (from inspecting her several times each season, most recently this past autumn). The vessel was found to be indeed, truly a time-capsule, amazingly all intact and in good order.

We went from the meeting to confer over coffee and breakfast and all of us agreed that in light of 60% of the acquisition funds coming from essentially a community foundation, we would not be spending that money prudently at the present time if we did not have the removal costs in writing prior to any purchase and know that said costs are reasonable. Unless and until we could assure that goal, her mere acquisition/preservation might well be a deviation from the actual intent of an important donor.

New Developments:

I spoke again with the owner last night. I asked him how it was that a local contractor had bid a reasonable price to free Gillmore from the shallows. The owner called the contractor and confirmed the quote. I also discussed with the owner why others might be interested in exaggerating the task; which is interesting as there may be some self interest or conflict of interest among the parties involved, hoping to either acquire Gillmore for themselves or hoping that no one else will.

The owner then offered me the name and number of the contractor. His name is Steve Horn from Clearwater, in Holland. He owns various tugs, barges and cranes.

I spoke with Steve this morning. Steve's thought is to pull from the bow of the Gillmore with a tug that draws 5.5'. At the same time, he would position two crane barges on each side of Gillmore. The cranes would rig their cables such that as they propelled forward with their prop wash, displacing the silt around Gillmore's keel, the cable from the crane would both slightly lift and propel the Gillmore forward, as the tug pulls. He also sets kedge anchors from the barges and winches them forward. He agrees the Gillmore needs essentially to be propelled in this manner from Tower Marine to Coral Gables. This operation would cost, at an hourly rate, $500 per hour, producing an end cost of approximately $3,000. I told him I needed a flat fee; something we could count on. I also confirmed with him that his company is bondable and it may be a good idea to get a performance bond.

Once free, he indicated Gillmore could rest at his dock, in Holland, for a reasonable fee. We could work on her from that location. He understands we then need to do some work in the turning basin in South Haven. He expressed interest in that aspect, as well, of course, which is good. It keeps all parties motivated in working together for a common goal. He understands Gillmore may be at his dock for a couple of seasons. Through all of this, Jim Bradley and Wilhelm Baum may play some significant positive role.

Steve said he would give a flat fee some serious consideration and get back to us. He wants it to be good project for all involved. I now see this as a good possibility, with the only remaining problem being the deadline for the auction, which is likely not going to net the owner what it is that we have already offered to pay, provided we can be reasonably certain that we can extricate her and deliver her to South Haven for a reasonable fee.

Sadly, none of this can be confirmed today, but could very possibly be in place Monday of this week. We will have to wait to see what will happen at the auction, if there is one. Perhaps the reserve will not be met. Perhaps the owner will decide to deal with us directly and end the auction early.

Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful comments and if you have any questions, please call.


Re: WOW! Tug lovers take note!

Post by 87gn@tahoe » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:51 pm

Here is another piece of info. The attahed PDF file is a report wirtten by the group in charge of the tug as an application for a grant to restore the tug. As you can see, the estiates seem a bit inflated. I think the group was trying to get as much $$$ as possible.. I thik their "greed" probably did them in, unable to accure a grant.

EDIT: Well it won't let me upload the file for some reason, so here it is copy and pasted:

"History of the Tugboat Q. A. Gillmore


For over a century, the Great Lakes Towing Company has owned and operated the largest fleet of harbor tugs on the Great Lakes. These hard-working red-and-green tugboats are a familiar sight all around the region, with examples found in every major American port from Duluth to Buffalo. Proudly displaying the company's first initial on their smokestacks, they are universally known as "G-tugs". The majority of the boats in the current fleet, although rebuilt in the 1950's with diesel engines and new superstructures, actually began their lives as classic steam tugs in the early years of the 20th Century. Typical of these was the Q.A. Gillmore, built in the Towing Company's own Cleveland, Ohio yard in 1913. At 81 feet in length, the Gillmore was one of 48 near-identical tugs that joined the fleet between 1907 and 1931.

From her humble beginnings as an unremarkable workhorse, the Q.A. Gillmore would go on to become one of the most historic vessels afloat on the Great Lakes, unique today precisely because she was once so common. The tug was sold in 1932 to the C. Reiss Coal Company, thereby escaping the Towing Company’s dieselization program of the 50’s, and was sold into preservation following her retirement in 1967. Today she is the very last of the ubiquitous G-tugs to survive in her original configuration as a steam tug.

In May of 2004, after many years on display in Douglas, Michigan, the Q.A. Gillmore was sold to the Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation (NMHF) by Mr. R.J. Peterson, the man who saved the vessel from scrap in 1969. We are honored and justly proud to have been entrusted with the care and preservation of this Great Lakes maritime treasure.

The Great Lakes Towing Company was formed in 1899 from the consolidation of several smaller tugboat operators. Through the merger, the new company acquired a large fleet of hand-me-down tugs, many of which were nearing the end of their useful lives. A construction program was soon put into place at the firm's Cleveland shipyard to replace the aging fleet with large modern steel hulls, built to a design that has become famous as the "G-tugs" that still make up the bulk of the Great Lakes harbor tug fleet today. Hull no. 24, a heavy steel "Type 2" tug, was launched in 1913 and christened Q. A. Gillmore.
Many of these new steel tugs received secondhand engines salvaged from the old wood hulls they were replacing. The Gillmore was no exception and found herself powered by a Hodge Company fore & aft compound steam engine, believed to have been taken from the large wooden tug Monarch, which was dismantled the same year Gillmore was built. There is some speculation as to the true origin of this 450-IHP engine. Sources indicate that it was actually built in 1884, five years before the Monarch was constructed. It may have spent those five years in another vessel, or perhaps on the showroom floor at the Hodge Company's Detroit headquarters.
The vessel’s name has been the subject of similar speculation, as is commonly believed the tug was named for Quincy Adams Gillmore, a Civil War General and friend to the marine industry throughout his career. However, the Gillmore was more likely named in honor of Quartus A. Gillmore, a relative of the General and, in 1913, the Superintendent of Dredging for the City of Cleveland. Personal names applied to the newly-constructed tugs of the teens and twenties revealed a “Who’s Who” of the Towing Company’s biggest customers.
The Q.A. Gillmore entered service in April of 1913, and spent her first nineteen years assisting ships in and out of her homeport of Cleveland. In addition to her day-to-day work, the Gillmore was also involved in several daring rescues over the years. During the "Great Storm of 1913”, the seven-month-old Gillmore and sister tug John M. Truby were called out to retrieve the barges Alexander Holley, W. LeBaron Jenney, and Sidney G. Thomas, which had broken loose from their moorings and run aground on the Cleveland lakefront. In 1929 the tugs Gillmore and Virginia were called out to assist the sidewheel passenger steamer City of Buffalo, which had lost power in a storm on Lake Erie. Unable to get a line aboard the helpless steamer in the heavy seas, the two tugs spent the night on the storm-tossed lake, standing by to render what assistance they could. The following day, the two tugs escorted the City of Buffalo back to Cleveland, and their crews received a commendation for their efforts and their devotion to duty.
During the depression years, Great Lakes Towing sold off several of their surplus tugs. The Gillmore was purchased by the C. Reiss Coal Company in 1932 and renamed Reiss. She went into service assisting ships into the coal dock at Green Bay, joined two years later by the smaller City-class G-tug Gary, which was renamed Green Bay. The sale to Reiss allowed these tugs to remain unaffected when Great Lakes Towing modernized their fleet in the 1950's. While the Green Bay was later repowered, the Reiss remained a coal-fired steamer to the end of her career.
By the late 1960's the Reiss was declared surplus and offered for sale at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Mr. R.J. Peterson and Mr. C. Patrick Labadie of the Saugatuck Marine Museum, which owns the former Canadian Pacific passenger steamer Keewatin, negotiated a deal to purchase the tug. She departed Manitowoc under her own steam, bound for her new home in Douglas, Michigan.
She has been on display in Douglas since 1969, a landmark in this small port, moored alongside the Keewatin. Her steam engine, with 16 & 30" cylinders and a 28" stroke, remains in excellent condition and has been operated, under steam, several times over the years.
In 2003, a decision was made by the museum that a responsible party should be found to take ownership of the tug in order to ensure her long-term preservation. The Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation was chosen as that party. We at the NMHF feel very fortunate to have this amazing piece of maritime history as part of our growing museum collection.

Current Needs for the Steamer Q. A. Gillmore

The tug Q.A. Gillmore is by far the most important vessel to join our museum fleet to date. Only a handful of steam towing vessels are preserved in the United States, and the majority of these, from classic East Coast ship-handling tugs to Mississippi River sternwheel towboats, are distinctive to the region in which they were built and served out their useful lives. In that regard, the Q.A. Gillmore is of national significance as the representative of her region, the sole-surviving example of what could be considered the “typical” Great Lakes steam tug.

The Q. A. Gillmore was well maintained during her commercial career. For a 91-year-old tug, her structural condition is truly remarkable. With boats, however, the old saying “use it or lose it” has proven true time and again. The longer a vessel sits unused, the more its general condition will decline. Proper lay-up procedures can slow the decay, and fortunately this has been the case with the Gillmore. However, the vessel has been “in mothballs” for about fifteen years now, and she is reaching a point where action must be taken to prevent deterioration.

In September of 2004, the tug was inspected by two licensed steam engineers. Their report (see attached) reveals the vessel’s engine room is fully intact with no missing parts. All machinery was found to be in fine condition, and it is the opinion of the engineers that a full restoration to operating condition is certainly feasible.

The Foundation believes that a restoration to steam would be the most appropriate way to preserve and interpret this historic tug. A working steam vessel is an experience for all the senses, one that is impossible to replicate with a static display, and the Gillmore’s size and condition are such that operation is not only possible but also practical. Once restored, the Gillmore will serve as a key component of the museum’s educational and outreach programs. The vessel will operate on a limited basis as a traveling ambassador for the museum, attending maritime festivals and events around the Great Lakes. This will not only generate positive publicity for the museum, but will also provide a stream of revenue to offset the cost of ongoing maintenance and future overhauls.

It is our goal to complete the restoration by May of 2012, and to make the vessel available for the public to enjoy and to learn from, through guided tours, excursions, and educational programs for young people.

Before restoration can begin, the tug must be brought to a shipyard for hull survey and repairs. It has been over 35 years since the Gillmore’s last drydocking, though her steel hull plates and framing appear to be in excellent condition. Likely necessary shipyard work includes the usual fit-out, cleaning and overhaul of through-hull fittings and sea chests, sandblasting and repainting of the hull, and boiler repairs. These are big jobs that we are unable to do ourselves. Having access to shipyard repair facilities, equipment and skilled craftsman (welders, carpenters, etc) enables us to complete the restoration in a professional and timely fashion. This ability has proven successful in past repair and restoration projects.

Earlier this year, the Q.A. Gillmore was pulled from her longtime home alongside the Keewatin and taken to a temporary anchorage across the harbor. Before the move could take place, a channel had to be dredged through three decades’ worth of Kalamazoo River silt that had accumulated around her hull, trapping the tug in the shallow berth. With the Gillmore now free of the sandy bottom and safely afloat, museum volunteers have been working to prepare the vessel for one last winter in Douglas. In the spring of 2007, funds permitting, this well-known Great Lakes maritime treasure will be towed to a shipyard facility to begin her restoration.
A brief history of the Foundation
The Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation was created in the Spring of 2003 in response to the news that the vulnerable old iron tug Mount McKay was to be disposed of after her owner passed away. Many saw this historic 1908-vintage tug as an extremely important vessel to save. Soon after the NMHF was incorporated, the McKay was donated to the new organization.
The acquisition of that first tug was only the beginning. The long-term goal of the Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation is to assemble a first-rate collection of historically significant commercial vessels of the “Northeast” region, including the Great Lakes, East Coast and their link, the Erie Canal. This collection is to be displayed in a new maritime heritage center, tentatively named “Steam Harbor”, which we envision will become one of the premier maritime museums in North America.
Fifty years ago, America’s railroads went through a period of transition, as steam locomotives were quickly dying out in favor of the efficiency of the diesel, and entire "scrap trains" of retired steamers were heading off to the breaking yards. Today we are at that same "end of an era" in the marine industry, with single-screw tugboats, Great Lakes commercial fishing vessels, and steam-powered freighters all rapidly approaching extinction. It is a goal of the Foundation to include representatives of these endangered vessel types in our museum collection. The selection of museum candidates is based upon a number of characteristics; for example, a vessel may be of interest as the first of her kind, last of her kind, a particularly rare specimen, or an excellent example of a once-common class.
Currently, the museum collection consists of three historic tugboats, starting with the Mount McKay, which is powered by the world’s last C-6 Kahlenberg diesel engine. The rare C-6 was the largest model produced by Kahlenberg, a top builder of workboat engines on the Lakes for many years. The McKay was joined in 2004 by the last steam-powered G-tug, the Q.A. Gillmore. Also joining the fleet in 2004 is the former Coast Guard icebreaking tug Snohomish, a prime example (and to date the only preserved member) of the WYTM class, a type which served with distinction on the Great Lakes and both coasts.
The Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation is headquartered in Superior, Wisconsin. In addition to our preservation and restoration efforts, we are working closely with the community by volunteering lectures at local schools, aimed at expanding awareness of the great historical aspects that surround us in the port we live in. Educational programs are also in place for youth groups who wish to visit our vessels in person, taking tours, learning about the history of the vessels and piers and discovering the lost arts of operating the engines and throwing lines through supervised, hands-on experiences.
The Foundation is a Wisconsin non-stock, 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. The officers and board of directors consist entirely of industry professionals and marine historians, who are familiar with the industry in every aspect, and share the common love for our rich maritime heritage. A major component of the Foundation’s mission is to share its knowledge, through the archives, museum collection and member experiences, with those who are interested, and give the younger generation a chance to learn what it was like to operate vessels from our past.
The Foundation’s members are proud of the accomplishments after just one year in existence. Some of the highlights include:
Achieved financial self-sufficiency in our first year, with our complete budget covered using funds generated by the museum.
Acquired former U.S. Coast Guard cutter Snohomish WYTM-98, a well-known ocean-going tug that served for over half a century in daring rescue missions and ice breaking services.
Acquired the last remaining steam G-tug, the Q. A. Gillmore.
Contributed more than $10,000 towards other organizations and restoration projects that we felt were important to support.
Developed a series of educational and community outreach programs, with several successful visits by area youth groups, to tour the tug Mount McKay.
Established an extensive archive of historical records for the accurate recording of vessel histories, particularly tugboats.
Contributed the 180-foot buoy tender WLB-403 Spar and the 120-foot tugboat Titan to the North Carolina artificial reef program. Although neither vessel was a candidate for preservation afloat (both were donated for fundraising purposes only), as artificial reefs they will continue to serve as a habitat for marine life and an attraction for sport divers for decades to come.
Established a vessel brokerage service to connect third-party buyers and sellers on a commission basis, in support of the Foundation’s fundraising activities.
Without a group such as the Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation, a great deal of maritime history would go unrecorded, and historic vessels like the Q.A. Gillmore might be forever lost.
Restoration Process for the Q. A. Gillmore

The tug Gillmore will require a full restoration to insure safe accessibility for the public as well as the ability to be licensed to operate with passengers aboard. It is our goal to complete this project by May of 2012.

The restoration process will break down into four stages:

Safety and Topside
Cosmetic and Finishing

Phase 1. Structural restoration will include dry-docking of the vessel and repairs made to the main steel structure (cabin and hull) and external fittings. The first step is to sand blast the vessel, being careful not to disturb the glass or brass fittings. Next, ultrasonic testing will be performed on the hull to determine plate thickness, and any necessary hull repairs will be made. The rudder, wheel, and shaft will be reconditioned and the tug will be inspected by Coast Guard for approval as a passenger-carrying vessel. Topside steel work will also be performed in this phase, such as reconditioning of the tow bitts, and renewal of the steel lip on aft cabin. The entire vessel will then receive a coat of primer, and paint will be applied to the hull.

Phase 2. Machinery repairs and restoration include the inspection, overhaul, testing and fit-out of all machinery on board. This includes boiler, main engine, pumps, steering gear, steam turbine generators, main electrical systems, piping, valves, sea chests, switches, and related rigging. Any necessary repairs will also be made to the smokestack and its related ductwork and piping, including the refurbishment of the steam whistles.

Phase 3. Safety repairs and additions include refurbishing or replacement of all standard safety equipment, and the addition of equipment as required by the Coast Guard for service as a passenger vessel. This includes upgrades to the fire suppression system, lifesaving equipment, and sanitary facilities. Electrical repairs and upgrades are also included in this phase, for navigational and deck lighting, rigging for pilothouse electronics, and all interior lighting. The boat will be equipped with new fire extinguishers, flare kits, life rings, life preservers and first aid supplies, and all low head room areas and tripping hazards will be properly marked. Every effort will be made to implement the safety upgrades in a manner which does not detract from the tug’s historic character.

Phase 4. Cosmetic and finishing touches include painting the decks and cabin exterior, and restoration of the interior. Woodwork is to be refurbished in the galley, quarters and in the pilothouse flooring, window frames and doors. Pilothouse equipment needs to be restored to working condition, and new electronics added. Finally, replicas of the original Great Lakes Towing smokestack logos and Q.A. Gillmore nameboards need to be made and installed.

The majority of the expense will be major repairs and overhaul work, done at a professional shipyard. Upon arrangement of funding, we will submit a bid package to the four shipyards that are located within a reasonable towing distance. The shipyards will be asked to bid on each of the four separate stages of work. Upon review of the bids submitted, a shipyard(s) will be chosen and work will begin. The job will be awarded to the yard that, a) is experienced in this type of work, to insure the job is completed properly, b) can demonstrate sufficient quality, c) can complete job within our time frame and d) is within our budget.

A representative of the museum will be on hand through much of the restoration, to supervise the renovation and make sure the project is being completed properly. It is important the work performed does not disrupt the historical integrity of the vessel.

After completion of the restoration, the vessel will be operated in several “Sea Trials” nearby the shipyard to insure all machinery is functioning properly before departure. Once all the bugs are worked out and the boat is operating smoothly, Gillmore will enter service for the museum, beginning with a tour of the Lakes to promote the vessel, the museum and its educational programs.
Budget for the Gillmore Restoration and Operation

An estimate of the costs involved in the complete restoration of the tug Q. A. Gillmore is attached. It can be noted that the costs to restore this vessel are actually quite reasonable compared to other steamboat restorations, some of which have cost several million dollars. This is due to the tug being entirely intact and fairly well kept over the years. Just for comparison, in the mid-1990’s, the steam tugboat Edna G. went into a shipyard for a cosmetic restoration (paint and hull repairs; the tug is non-operational) with a price tag of approximately $200,000. A lot of credit can be given to the past owners of the Gillmore for keeping up on maintenance over the years.

Aside from major restoration projects such as the Gillmore, the Foundation has been able to support itself entirely, with regard to the costs of owning and maintaining vessels, insurance, donations of materials to schools, administrative costs and marketing.

In the past, funds have been generated through the following sources:

Sale of two non-accessioned vessels for artificial reefs, including
machinery removed and sold for further use* 89 %
Equipment rental 5 %
Brokerage commission 3 %
Sales of fundraising items 2 %
Private contributions 1 %

* Former USCGC Spar and ocean-going tug Titan were donated to the Foundation for fundraising purposes only. These vessels were not candidates for preservation afloat due to a number of factors including: Poor condition, heavy modification from original configuration, and similar vessels already preserved.

For this special project, the restoration of the tugboat Gillmore, we are seeking funding through grants and private contributions. The first steps after taking ownership of the vessel have already been paid for in the Foundation’s 2004 budget. Those steps included redocumentation, dredging to remove the tug from its old berth, towing of the tug to a deepwater berth, and winter lay-up. Roughly $20,000 was allocated for this phase of the project. In 2005, this project’s share of the Foundation’s existing funds must be reduced to $5,000, which will likely cover little more than administrative (largely fund-raising) and insurance. We would like to set a goal of having the tug operational by May of 2012. Without raising funds from outside sources, however, this will not be possible.
Estimate for Restoration of the Str. Q. A. Gillmore

Project Detail: Estimated Cost:

Dredging to tow the tug from its berth Completed
Towing the tug to a deepwater mooring Completed
Redocumenting the vessel Completed
Mothballing the vessel for winter & safe lay-up Completed

Phase 1
Having the tug towed to the shipyard $13,400
Dry Docking of vessel 9,000
Sand Blasting entire boat 4,430
Welding to renew soft spots in hull (IF any are found) 7,200
Addition of zincs on hull 2,750
Replacing steel on main cabin where needed (on cabin lip only) 3,890
Recondition wheel and rudder 5,066
Repack stern tube (general renewal of stern) 6,700
Cleaning out through-hull fittings and overhaul sea chests 3,400
Treat, prime, and paint hull 6,348
Painting names, draft marks, and other lettering 1,200
Recondition exterior fiddley doors 500
Recondition tank hatches on main deck 300
Inspection 800
Total cost of phase $64,984

Phase 2
Initial hydro test of boiler 1,000
Recondition boiler, new tubes and test 17,000
Recondition steering system 4,400
Removal of all Asbestos and replace insulation material 18,000
New whistle (one was stolen) & recondition remaining two 6,000
Replace whistle valve and rigging 680
Flush and purge all piping (cooling, steam lines, etc) 2,300
Recondition and repack all valves (in piping applications) 2,000
Renew all packing 4,908
Clean all engine bearings and lubricators, refill with clean oil 1,400
Inspect main engine and check thrust bearing clearance 675
Bar engine over, lube and test run on air 4,400
Installation of oil skimmer (oily water separator for bilge) 8,800
Lap all steam valve bonnets 1,050
Clean and test DC generators and all pumps 2,650
Rebuild or replace all pressure reducing valves 11,500
Recondition water system and chemical treatments 1,400
Overhaul soot blowers 3,500
Replace safety valves on boiler 3,300
Rebuild feedwater regulator 2,750
Fit-out of engine room machinery and make operable 7,500
Total cost of phase $105,213

Phase 3
Rewiring, newer DC components, addition of AC and 12-Volt 9,800
Addition of sewage system to comply with CG regulations 5,500
Renewal of all navigation lights 1,800
Addition of safety equipment (extinguishers, life jackets, etc) 4,993
Construct lifeboat brackets, mounts and re-install lifeboat 2,000
Purchase and install new CG approved life raft (required) 4,500
Modify gunwale for and build removable safety rails 2,360
Build new steel stairs to forepeak 1,322
Total cost of phase $32,275

Phase 4
New nameboards for front and sides 1,680
Rebuild all WOOD on tug (stairs, window frames, floors, etc) 8,800
New “old fashioned” braided rope fendering for hull 8,200
Reinstall bell and rigging 90
Rebuild galley 4,500
Rebuild forpeak quarters 2,800
Interior sand blasting (lead paint removal) 12,000
Prime and painting of entire interior, including engine room 9,440
Renew fiddley windows 850
Rebuild wheelhouse interior 3,500
Install new navigational electronics (as required by CG) 8,235
Steam clean engine room and pump bilge afterwards 2,760
Recondition and test all Pilothouse to Engine Room rigging 750
Total cost of phase $63,605

Certification and fit-out
Certificate and classification for passenger service 540
Coal (fuel) 4,200
Engine lubricants, water treatment, etc. 3,700
Total cost of phase $8,440

Subtotal $274,517

10% Additional to cover unexpected repairs that will
remain unaccounted for until restoration is in
progress. (Estimated from past projects) $27,451.70
Administrative Costs: wages, supplies, postage,
banking, web updates, etc $34,000

Total $335,968.70

Tugboat Q. A. Gillmore, In Conclusion

It has been nearly a quarter of a century since the last steam tug was retired from commercial service on the Great Lakes. At one time, there were literally hundreds of them in operation. Many of us have fathers or grandfathers who ran these steamers. Their history and legacy surrounds us, yet only two have been saved, and never has one been preserved in working condition.

The restoration of the Gillmore will fill an important gap in the preservation and interpretation of Great Lakes maritime history. In the Q.A. Gillmore, we have been given the opportunity not only to preserve a wonderful artifact for future generations to enjoy, but also to preserve and make available to the public the indescribable experience of being aboard a working steam vessel. No static museum display can replicate the warmth, the smell of hot steam oil and coal smoke, or the sense of raw power that permeates a living, breathing steam engine room. Neither can a static museum display keep alive the skills involved in the operation of these vessels, skills that have been passed down through generations of tugmen, and are in danger of being forever lost as the era of the Great Lakes steam tug becomes an increasingly distant memory. These things can only be accomplished by restoring this historic tug to steam.

Once restored, the Gillmore will serve not only as an important historical and educational resource, but will also be a key element in the museum’s publicity and marketing programs. The unique appeal that steam power still holds in the public consciousness is clearly evident in the feedback that the Foundation has received since the acquisition of the Gillmore was announced. People are genuinely excited about the possibility of seeing a steam tug in operation once again on the Lakes. The amount of enthusiasm we have encountered already, from fans or volunteers on this project, has been quite an encouragement.

Those who are interested and willing to help out with the Gillmore restoration are encouraged to contact the Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation for more information."

Re: WOW! Tug lovers take note!

Post by 87gn@tahoe » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:31 am

Well, board member "alertbay" and I got outbid at literally the last second.

Hopefully she goes to a good home and doesn't go to the coal pile in the sky.

Should have hit the "buy it now" when I had the chance. Blessing in disguise perhaps.
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Re: WOW! Tug lovers take note!

Post by coalburner » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:04 pm

You are right, the storage and restoration are the big money items.
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