Tag Archives: arthur foss

August Chantey Sing on Tugboat Arthur Foss

Tugboat BrombergTugboat Bromberg leads the August Chantey sing-a-long aboard the Tugboat Arthur Foss at Lake Union Park. The well-known buccaneer scallywag hails from that piratical port of Poulsbo and is best known for his gravely voice, his original songs, and dressing and living the characters of pirate, merchant seaman, and tugboat man. As chantey quartermaster, his job will be to steer the Chantey Sing on course and keep the music flowing.


Tugboat Storytime

Tugboat StorytimeTugboat Storytime provides an engaging environment for younger children to enjoy maritime literature and boats. This is an opportunity to listen to stories and sing songs onboard one of the oldest tugboats afloat. Join other pre-schoolers and parents aboard the Arthur Foss to listen to sea stories and maritime picture books read aloud. This free, drop-in program is organized by Northwest Seaport and partnership organization, The Center for Wooden Boats.  The historic 125 year (in 2014) tug is owned and operated by Northwest Seaport.

Bring your tots down to the boat to listen to the CWB’s educators read aloud story books that tell of ships and the sea, in a kid-friendly way.

Story time is under the tugboats cover in winter, but wear winter clothing.

Dates & Times: Every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month, start time: 11:00 am aboard tugboat

Celebrating a birthday?  Rent the tug for your tugboat-themed party or sleep overnight with your family & friends.

Tugboat Work Party on Arthur Foss

Paint Arthur Foss mast November ‎2000 webJoin Northwest Seaport staff to clean, paint, grease, wash, and anything else needed to help “shipshape” Arthur Foss.  Foss Maritime Co. is celebrating 125 years on June 5th, and we plan to sharpen up the beloved Arthur Foss for the party.  Volunteer participants tackle necessary projects and repairs on Arthur Foss.  Wear clothes that can get dirty.  This opportunity is perfect for new volunteers to become familiar with tugboat and to converse with others.  Often, a dedicated docent will provide intro tours to new volunteers.

Bring a dish/salad/dessert to support communal lunch for this first-Saturday work party.

Work Parties get you into maritime heritage and sometime grease or sawdust at the Historic Ships Wharf in Lake Union Park. Join other volunteers aboard the Arthur Foss, Lightship #83, and other vessels for hard work (at times), excellent company (most often) and good will (always).

BMA Engineer for a Day Dec 13 2013 Students aboar tug

Use CONTACT FORM to “register.” Complete the volunteer application form for first-time NWS volunteers.

Book and Tugboat Celebration

Trail of extraordinary man cover webPlease join authors Carol Ruth Cote & Barbara Huggins for their book signing of The Trail of an Extraordinary Man aboard Arthur Foss.

And also celebrate 25th year anniversary of designation of tugboat Arthur Foss as a National Historic Landmark.


An exciting and fun evening it will be as we give you a brief history of the book and the trip that the Wallowa, now Arthur Foss, made to Nome Alaska in 1900, and celebrate her 125th year anniversary.  Learn more about this extraordinary tug by viewing the new documentary, soon available.

Tug Arthur foss in Kirkland Washington. Photo by James Delgado, 1988

Tug Arthur foss in Kirkland Washington. Photo by James Delgado, 1988.

You will have time to exchange stories, fine wine, and hor d’oeuvres before we proceed to CWB for the evening’s Northwest Seaport Chantey Sing.

An introduction of the book during the evening will be made and a fabulous evening will be spent listening to Laura Bassett as she leads the April Chantey Sing, sharing her love of both traditional and contemporary songs.

125 Years NWS Homepage

The original tug’s engine was a 122-h.p. double-cylinder compound marine steam engine manufactured in 1887 by the Union Iron Works of San Francisco for Oregon Railway and Navigation Co. for the tug Donald. The engines drove the tug’s single 8-foot diameter screw.

In Trail of an Extraordinary Man, you’ll read Allan’s diaries and learn about an adventure about the Wallowa beginning on May 1, 1900. Then, a young man departed Seattle for Nome, Alaska aboard the schooner Mercury with the Wallowa along to assist.

125 Years Birthday Cake for Arthur FossNorthwest is honored to have the authors create this celebration and recognition of people so deeply involved with tug Arthur Foss.  An evening not to be missed.  Dress appropriately for outdoors under the tug’s cover and comfortably inside tug’s 1930’s living quarters.

Tugboat Documentary Premier and Tugboat Annie Plaque Re-unveiled

View new Arthur Foss documentary to learn more about its iconic American story.

View, soon, the new Arthur Foss documentary to engage in this iconic American story.

Vaun Raymond Filmmaker Seattle Art Institute

This trailer of the new film Arthur Foss: Iconic Tugboat of the Northwest, provides a taste of the exciting documentary about the 125-year old museum ship.  Full documentary will be released soon.  In collaboration with the Art Institute of Seattle’s Summer Studio Class-2013, Northwest Seaport co-produced this film.

On March 6, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park(PDF) hosted the film’s world premiere, and Watch the Sky musicians, Northwest Seaport chantey singers and representatives from Maritime Folknet entertained the crowd with  music and chanteys, such as “A Hundred Years Ago” (written by Bob Kotta and Mariide Tune). While AIS-student and film director, Victor M. Ramos III, was unavailable, filmmaker and Art Institute of Seattle instructor, Vaun Raymond, introduced the AIS-student documentary and also shared a “the-making-of” film regarding the 2013 class efforts.

Anna Franklin with Memory Book of Captain Franklin webFilm goers enjoyed listing to stories from Franklin family members whose father and siblings captained and crewed aboard Arthur Foss.  Save Our Ships and Northwest Seaport founder, Kay Bullitt spoke briefly about the founding of this organization.  Chuck Fowler, co-author of “Tugboats of Puget Sound” shared with attendees some historical perspective of Arthur Foss and contributions to the Pacific Northwest maritime economy.

Plaque 1 Dedicated to Tugboat Annie 1940 Pioneer Spirit of Puget Sound webNearly 75 year-ago tug Arthur Foss seemed to have starred in another Hollywood sensation event, Northwest Seaport now believes.  On Oct 18, 1940 Tugboat Annie Sails Again actors Ronald Reagan and Marjorie Rambeau with Henry Foss of the Foss Launch and Tug Company presented the City of Tacoma at the city’s Roxy theater (now  Pantages Theater)  with a bronze plaque which includes the words, “Dedicated to Tugboat Annie – 1940 – Pioneer Spirit of Puget Sound.” (pictured).  

Northwest Seaport and Foss Waterway Seaport Crew 2 Foss Waterway Seaport curator, Joseph M. Govednik tracked it down the commemorative plaque at the Broadway Center For the Performing Arts, who kindly loaned it for transport and display at the March 6 event.

NPS ArrowheadThe plaque was unveiled, and the audience seemed to “gasp,” one observer shared.  Viewing the plaque for the first time, Northwest Seaport Nautical Archaeologist, Nathaniel Howe, shared his belief that the plaque’s central-placed tug with “Narcissus” inscribed on its bow was in fact Northwest Seaport’s Arthur Foss tug. 

During the event, the 2014 Arthur Foss Tugboat Campaign was launched, with a donation from Fremont Boat Company.  Additionally, the grandchildren of Thea and Andrew Foss made a significant contribution to the production and distribution efforts of the documentary.  Please watch for Campaign Cards and contribute to help keep Arthur Foss alive for the next generation.

Arthur Foss Documentary World Premiere 3.6.2014 Bruce Sherman photo web
Nearly 70 Attendees at World Premiere at Klondike web Kay Bullitt founder of Save our Ships and Northwest Seaport web

Arthur Foss Revealed at Festival!

“Welcome aboard the Arthur Foss!” 

With dedication and elbow grease of many Northwest Seaport volunteers, staff, and board members, the National Historic Landmark tugboat opened for public boarding during the 2012 Wooden Boat Festival.  A January Portolan post informed readers of the winter cover to protect the tugboat from seasonal rains. The white plastic was removed one week prior to the festival to access areas needing some scraping and painting.   Today she is unveiled and serves as floating representative of the Northwest’s tugboat industry.

Prior to the festival, an image of the Arthur Foss graced The Seattle Times Entertainment section to inform readers about the wooden boat festival hosted by CWB and others.

“She looks great!”  festival visitors said as they stepped aboard the 1889 vessel.   Over 4,000 people explored her decks, engine room, houses, and bridge during the event which included a holiday celebration of July 4.

Staff and volunteers introduced a number of maritime skills demonstrations to the festival schedule.  The Northwest Seaport was honored to welcome marine surveyor, Lee Ehrheart, who demonstrated how to survey the tugboat’s deck planking. He’s pictured here showing participants the tools he uses and how he raps his hammer on the decking to feel/hear the decking condition.

Vessel Manager Nathaniel Howe and shipboard volunteer Troy Joey demonstrated the Man Overboard rescue to the delight of visitors (pictured below).  Nat provided insight to why tugboat crew members carry full immersion dry suits, and Troy expertly demonstrated how to slip into the suit, free-fall into Lake Union, catch a life ring, and swim to a ladder.  Northwest Seaport President Shannon Fitzgerald orchestrated a heaving line toss demonstration.  Vessel Engineer Adrian Lipp worked with volunteers to start the tugboat’s diesel engine, which enchanted onlookers with her smooth sounding and rhythmic nature.

The Center for Wooden Boats organized both a celestial navigation demonstration and a celebrated appearance of Pirate Lou for a pirate storytime.   Pirate Lou regaled shipboard visitors with entertaining tales and introduced families to Tugboat Storytime, which occurs regularly (2nd & 4th Thursdays at 11:00 AM) aboard the Arthur Foss.

Thank you to all who visited the tugboat as part of the festival activities and to the volunteers who shared their valuable time and energy with the visiting public.

Northwest Seaport looks forward to opening the ship for Tugboat Overnight Experience  and other programs as the summer continues.

Stay tuned at the Northwest Seaport Facebook Page.

Volunteers Needed for Wooden Boat Show

Help visitors learn about the tugboat Arthur Foss by volunteering.

Help visitors learn about the tugboat Arthur Foss by volunteering.

Northwest Seaport Volunteers Needed

The 2012 Wooden Boat Festival will host thousands of visitors that wish to enjoy learning about the historic tugboat Arthur Foss.  The celebration lasts five days.

Use this volunteer registration form to learn about the scheduling, orientation sessions, festival volunteer party and more.

Volunteer Jobs Wooden Boat Festival 2012(PDF)

info@nwseaport.org ; 206.447.9800

See the scheduling:

Daily 1000 – 1400 ;  1400 – 1800  (details on form)