A Jolly Roving Tar at Pier 15 – San Juan Harbor aka Tugboat Tuesday

Once upon a time I was stationed at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, PR It was there that my piloting career began after a brief tour in the YTBs also stationed there. As it would happen the YTBs were outsourced in favor of commercial, locally available tugs. In this case the company was Puerto Rico Towing & Barge and the tugs were PUNTA TUNA and PUNTA LIMA. While I have no snaps of either boat – Tugster has a snap of a sister boat belonging to PRT&B’s parent company, The Great Lakes Group‘s tug MASSACHUSSETTS

As a point of reference PUNTA TUNA and PUNTA LIMA had their hulls were CAST in 1908 and 1911. They had TILLERS in their wheehouses vice wheels or NFUs. They also had only 1200HP compared to the YTBs 2000HP.

They were crewed by some pretty amazing local mariners. The Captains were Manny & Jose – Mickey & Harry. Each skipper had an engineer and a deckhand. For my last year in Puerto Rico I would work with these little boats and there very capable crews. They made sure I learned how pilot in Spanish. And they made great coffee.

Present Day.

A Facebook page that centers around tugs has varied membership. ONE of those members I would learn was once deckhand in PUNTA TUNA and Manny was his Captain. He’s currently still employed with PRT&B and when it came out that I was going to be San Juan we decided to try and meet up. I shot an email to the Ops people and had correspondence with Joel Koslin. He was the one we dealt with at the base when we set the contract up. WHile I would NOT be fortunate enough to meet up with Joel; me and my buddy DID make it to Pier 15 and our TWIC cards got us unescorted pier access.

First up, our tour guide’s boat HANDY THREE
Built in 2012
Length – 70.1′
Hull Depth – 15′
Beam – 30′
Gross tonnage – 90T

Her Captain? Friggin’ MICKEY! Guy hadn’t aged a DAY.

Built 1996
Length – 87.7′
Hull Depth – 14.8′
Beam – 32′
Gross tonnage – 99T

Built 1942
Length – 124.7′
Hull Depth – 15.7′
Beam – 30′
Gross tonnage – 197T

Built 1975
Length – 96.8′
Hull Depth – 9.2′
Beam – 30′
Gross tonnage – 180T

Sharing the pier with PRT&B was McAllister Towing, Puerto Rico Branch

I was able to snap 2 of their 4 boats:

Tug MARIANE McALLISTER was not positioned for a good snap and tug JANE McALLISTER was in absentia

Built 1974
Length – 109′
Hull Depth – 16.3′
Beam – 29′
Gross tonnage – 243′

Built 1986
Length – 115′
Hull Depth – 15′
Beam – 34′
Gross tonnage – 192′

All in all, Tugboat Tuesday goes in the WIN column

JED sends

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3 Responses to A Jolly Roving Tar at Pier 15 – San Juan Harbor aka Tugboat Tuesday

  1. Dave says:

    Nice pics of Puerto Rico, I really like that island. If you ever cruise by Guayanilla , there is an interesting old LCU 1623 that was used in Roosy after it was converted to ASDV2 for use as SEAL training in the 80’s. It was attached to NSWU4 over in Puerca Bay in the old drydock. After it was stricken from the register, or whatever the proper term is, guy named Jose Padilla bought it in the 90’s some time I guess and runs cargo to Mona island. At least he did a few years ago.I zoomed in on it on Google Earth, in Guayanilla a while back while it was at the ramp. I guess it is still around. It was one of 3 converted for Naval Special Warfare. The other two were in San Diego. NAVSOURCE has some old pics of it too. Glad to see the blog active again. Dave.

    • JED says:

      DAMN! I wish I knew that I’da gone to check it out! I remember ASDV2 AND the dry dock. We took all the YTBs to the dry dock to sit out a Tropical storm, once upon a time. Next time back I’ll give it a go.

  2. bowsprite says:

    these LCU’s really hold up, and still working, too. Wish they had some sort of an alumni club where we could see who went where and how they are faring.

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