Tug for restoration



Anyone interested in restoring a classic West Country tug?

Right next to our boat, where we’ve been having some work done at Creekside Boatyard in Dartmouth, is a rather mysterious hull well shrouded in tarpaulins and covers. It transpires that this is Hauley II, one of the tugs specially built in the West Country to pull the Dartmouth Lower Ferry between Bayards Cove and the Kingswear slipway on the River Dart.

This particular tug was built in 1934/35 by Percy Mitchell of Mevagissey. She’s about 40 feet long with an intentionally shallow draught of around three feet, designed to work off the two River Dart slipways without going aground on a falling tide.

Originally powered by a single slow-revving Gleniffer diesel, Hauley II had an active working life of nearly 60 years and, in retirement, now belongs to Mike Collins, who owns Creekside Boatyard. Mike would like her to go to a good home and has all the installation drawings for her engine and stern-gear, plus the brass engine controls. He reckons she would make an excellent steam tug and is certainly shallow enough to cruise, for example, on the upper Thames.

I know Mike doesn’t want much for Hauley II as she stands, probably about two thousand pounds I would guess, but he’d prefer her to be taken over by an enthusiast rather than see her slowly rot on the beach. His phone number at Creekside Boatyard is 01803 832649, or anyone interested can contact me c/o MBY. Any takers?

Peter Cumberlidge