Saturday 9 June 2012

Classic Tug ST. EVAL (& More - Revised)

Turning 50 has it's rewards and surprises especially when the my family gave my wife and I trip to Vancouver and "Beautiful British Columbia" in March 2004. Just after a short passage across Vancouver harbour, I took this photo of the former harbour tugboat, ST. EVAL moored next to the SeaBus terminal at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. Not only was the ST. EVAL's appearance very impressive with her well varnished wooden wheel house and flying bridge, but so was her long and colourful history as a Falmouth, England tow tug which during the Second World War she was  repeatedly tasked to rescue and tow home torpedoed freighters and warships in the English Channel. Then, she was the 105' Warrior-class CHIEFTAIN who soon after being built in 1930 on the Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland, she went to for work Steele & Bennie Towing at the famous channel port located not that far to the east from England's Land's End.
New owner's Falmouth Towing Company changed her name to ST. EVAL after the famous church and north Cornwall hamlet in 1968. During this time ST. EVAL was given the special honour as lead tow for the original Cunard passenger liner QUEEN MARY and the Royal Yacht BRITANNIA ( In 1980 ST. EVAL was purchased by British tycoon Peter De Savary and was converted into a support vessel for the America's Cup.
In the early 1990's she was converted into a luxury yacht for Dennis Washington, owner of the Seaspan International Marine Shipyards in Vancouver, and though she is no longer a registered as tug, ST. EVAL remains flagged British and the America's Cup Challenge Port Pendennis emblems is proudly displayed on her black funnel.

The FOUNDATION FRANKLIN model card says the steam tug served in Nova Scotia and assisted the Royal Canadian Navy on numerous occasions.  
Perhaps Capt. Irwin Power at the FRANKLIN's port
bridge wing. He skipped her from 1934-39.
If you haven't had your fill in tugboats lately, may I suggest a couple of interesting options. Less than an hour's drive south of the 401 between Belleville and Napanee is the quaint and picturesque town of Picton in Prince Edward County, where the Naval Marine Archive: The Canadian Collection is located. This non-profit charitable organization is dedicated to maritime history and conversations, maritime research and nautical education. Situated at 205 Main Street, the museum holds thousands of maritime and nautical charts, documents, books, images, paintings and several really neat ship models like one of the legendary classic tug FOUNDATION FRANKLIN. Built in 1918 as the Royal Navy admiralty tug HMS FRISKY, and bought by Foundation Maritime of Halifax in 1930, the many daring rescues by the Atlantic salvage tug FOUNDATION FRANKLIN during the Great Depression and World War II is depicted in the must read non-fiction book, 'The Grey Seas Under' by Canadian author, Farley Mowat. The book details the adventures of the 155' powerful tug and her crew, mostly Newfoundlander until she was sold for dismantling in 1948. Can't get to the museum, the book is equally entertaining.
My dad passed on his copy of the book many years ago before he died. I read it, so has my son, and he will pass it on to his young son at the right time. The tradition continues c):-D
Read more about her and fleetmate FOUNDATION JOSEPHINE at

1 comment:

  1. You could do 50 years of nothing but tugs and I would love it. Awesome work Carl. Love the blog and the photos