Tag Archives: Tugs

Free Ship Plans of Ocean Tug Hercules

Ocean-going Steam Tug Hercules

Last of Her Kind on West Coast

Free Ship Plans offer Ship Model builder loads of detail

Historic steam tug Hercules photos
Steam Tug Hercules

The only ocean-going steam tug on the West Coast, Hercules was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
She was built in 1907 for the San Francisco firm The Shipowners and Merchants Towboat Company by John Dialogue and Son of Camden, New Jersey. Unlike many ships of her type at the time, Hercules and her sister Goliah were built with 150 foot riveted steel hulls and thriple expansion three-cylinder 1000 horsepower steam engines.

Free ship plans utility vessels
Steam Tug Hercules

Until 1922 Hercules towed barges and rafts of lumber from the Columbia River, as well as bringing disabled steamers into port and sailing vessels out to sea.
In 1922 the Western Pacific Railroad purchased Hercules for harbor towing. Until 1962 she delivered car floats to the railroad freight terminals around San Francisco Bay. After the steam tugs were replaced by a diesel-powered car ferry, Hercules languished in the Oakland Estuary until moved to they Hyde Street Pier in 1975. A group of museum staff and volunteers have restored her steam engine, allowing Hercules to be operated several times a year, keeping the heritage of steam power alive.
With these free ship plans of Hercules, you could help keep the heritage of steam power alive, too. Our Hercules photo gallery offers plenty of additional detail, as well.

Free Ships Plans of Motor Vessels, too!

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U.S. Coast Guard cutter White Sumac

Our posts have featured a lot of sail- and oar-powered free ship plans of late, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have Motor Vessels as well.

Two of our favorites are the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter White Sumac, and the Steam Tug Hercules.

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter White Sumac was originally constructed as a yard lighter (YF416) for the United States Navy in 1943. This class of vessel provided logistical support to naval operations during World War II. Following the War, the Coast Guard acquired eight of these vessels to use as buoy tenders.

Built in 1907, the Steam Tug Hercules was ground-breaking with its steel hull and triple-expansion steam engine. Now the only remaining ocean-going steam tug on the West Coast, Hercules was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

Free ship plans utility vessels
Steam Tug Hercules

The free ship plans for both of these vessels come from their documentation as part of the Historic American Engineering Record, a program of the National Park Service. The photos and drawings from those surveys are kept by the Library of Congress. The Hercules Photo Gallery is posted, I’ll update when we get the White Sumac Photo Gallery up on the site.

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