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Tug Pegasus Preservation Project

Ongoing Work: Railings,
Companionway, etc., 2005-2008

From 20 October 2005 to 2 October 2006, the tug, for various reasons, made several moves:

  • from Tottenville, Staten Island
  • to Pier 63 Maritime
  • to Pier 62, North River
  • to North Cove Marina
  • back to Pier 62, North River
  • to Morris Canal, Jersey City, NJ.

These moves are chronicled here, as is the work that was done throughout this time.

Two projects were started in the Tottenville shipyard while Pegasus was up on the blocks:

  • Tongue and groove sheathing of the upper deck house
  • Installation of oak edge planking around the edge of the boat deck

During the next two months, we welcomed the opportunity to stay at the shipyard, dockside, in the calm waters of the slip to finish some of the projects (in addition to the hull repair) that we'd started there.

  Pegasus on blocks at Garpo Marine.
Tongue & Groove on the Upper Deck House

The bulkheads/sides of this area had been structurally restored in an earlier phase of work and sheathed with 3/8" plywood to triangulate and protect the framing. Some of the framing is really old--hard to date exactly, but from a time when you could get very close, comb-grain fir, now extinct. In this phase, the bulkheads got sheathed with plywood.

Volunteer Dave Black, expert wood worker, is installing the tongue and groove on the captain's cabin portside bulkhead.

Dave and the tongue & groove planks. The bulkhead wraps around the whole structure.

All of the boards were back-painted. Each board had its specific angle at the bottom which was fitted, painted, and installed.

The boards were started in the bow and at the corner post at the after end of the captain's cabin. They met under the area of the wheelhouse door, behind steps, so any discrepancies in angle or width would be hidden and absorbed by that last board being specially made to fit.

These boards are the same width and detail of the rotten pieces we removed.

Right, wood and steel primed.


Oak Edge Planking on the Boat Deck

The oak edge planking protects the main cabin from impact and supports the stanchion posts for the railing structure.

Ian Montgomery and Owen, affectionately known as the "Oak Boys," used templates to get all the subtle curves needed. The oak pieces were then cut out, primed, and top-coated on the bottom.

Right, the edge planking and the tongue and groove on the bow are installed and primed.

Ian priming. Much of the fascia and soffit had been restored in the earlier phase of the work. Here, Owen is admiring his work.
Above, some of the traditional scarfs joining the boards. The material, planed, was just under 2" thick and very heavy.

This kind of detail accentuated the curves on the boat, the sheer and crown, so subtle and practical.

We had a special surprise when we were along side the dock at Garpo Marine Services. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey brought a contribution to the site to present it to us. The Port Authority of NY/NJ have continued to support our summer youth programming.

Left to right: Lucy Ambrosino, Outreach & Legislative Affairs, Manager PANY/NJ; Pamela Hepburn, Tug Pegasus Preservation Project; and Ari Van Tol, Manager, New York Marine Terminals PANY/NJ. Photo: Michael Dombrowski

12 October 2005-2 December 2005,
Pier 62 North River (Chelsea Piers)

At Chelsea Piers, we started three other projects:

  1. Restoring the planking in the foc's'le deck.
  2. Railing installation on the boat deck
  3. Restoring the companionway from the main deck to the boat deck.

Pegasus underway from Tottenville to Pier 62, North River. Shooters Island is in the background. Photo: Alex Gallately.

Chelsea Piers donated our berth before we went to the shipyard and welcomed us back afterwards. Photo: Jay Holmes.

Fo'c's'le Deck Planking

This was another project initiated and lead by volunteer Dave Black. The planks were removed at the shipyard. Dave brought all 40 of them--some 18' long--to his shop.

  Dave and the refinished deck planks installed.
Fo'c's'le drawing. Close-up of the deck planks.

2 December 2005-25 March 2006, North Cove Marina

Michael Fortenbaugh invited us to come to North Cove Marina for the winter.


Matt Perricone, our engineer (currently of the Tug Cornell) brought cadets from NYS Merchant Marine Academy down to help with some engine-room projects that winter. Some of the Fort Schuyler volunteers.
Robert Conroy took most of the photos below of our return from North Cove, an upriver trip to Pier 63 Maritime at 23rd Street and the North River.
Engineer Matt getting ready to start up. Matt's special outfit.
Engineer Matt and photographer Jonathan Atkin. Robert Conroy, Jonathan, and Bruce.
Tug Pegasus secured at Pier 63, North River.  

John Krevey invited us to stay at Pier 63 Maritime for a few weeks before we returned to our Pier 62 berth. This made it possible to have the tug nearby for our fundraiser, which was held on the Lightship Frying Pan.

Invitation to the fundraiser.

21 May 2006-2 October 2006:
Back at the Berth at Pier 62 North River

Boat Deck Railing

Gerry Weinstein donated the stanchion posts. He acquired a pattern for a traditional tapered, ball-joint type of stanchion post at an auction held for the remains of the Ira S. Bushey Shipyard in Gowanus Bay, Brooklyn.

The Bushey yard produced many tankers and tugs from the 1930's to the 60's. (The whole business was purchased by Hess in the late 70's.) All these boats were steel.

The pattern has a 4" round base designed to weld all around to a steel deck. On the Pegasus, the stanchions fasten down on wood so an adapter piece had to be made.

Right: Klaus Schmidt donated a drawing for the adapter piece to give to the casting people. The 6" pad was added with four counter sunk holes for very large, flathead wood screws.

Darron Viligent helped us on this project by bending five sections of 1" pipe , using the left over templates from the Oak Boys edge planking project. 300' of 1" pipe was donated by The Ideal Supply Company's Don Strittmatter.

Right: Dan Hamburg, volunteer, admiring the first section of the railing installation.

Charlie Deroko fastening down the stanchion post.

We left the stern edge planking off for drainage.
After installing the drains, we then attached the remaining oak boards and corner pieces. Finished railings at the stern.
Finished railings at the stern. Finished railings around the pilot house.


Finished railings along the side.

2 October 2006: Move from Pier 62 North River
to Morris Canal, Jersey City

The railing project was started in the late summer at the Pier 62 berth. However, the pier was being torn down, so we had to leave.

On 2 October 2006, we moved to Morris Canal in Jersey City, NJ. Tony Tirro of Warren George Inc. donated, and continues to donate, this berth to us.

No stranger to Morris Canal, the tug settled into this nice quiet creek. Happily, our workers also made the trip to the canal and continued to do good work. Photos by Jay Holmes.

Moving accumulated "stuff" from the pier to the tug, including a ventilator and an anchor.
Getting ready: Dave in the engine room with Matt U. and Pam. Bruce Rosenkrantz and Jonathan.
Pam in the unfinished wheelhouse.

Willy Widditch's Sea Lion alongside us in Morris Canal to give the crew of the Pegasus a ride back to Manhattan.


The companionway project was started at the berth at Pier 62 and continued at the new berth in Morris Canal in Jersey City.

Right: The opening was evident in an early photo. (The tug was ESSO Tug No.1 from 1946 to 1953.) The diagonal of the railing and the bottom step is visible in the companionway opening. We resurrected that opening.

Shafiek cutting through the steel. The opening re-opened.
After constructing the steel box for the companionway inside, the opening on the deck was cut.
Inside the box. To heaven.
The nearly completed deck opening.  
Roofs on the Upper Deck Structure: to come
Wheelhouse Windows: to come  
Engine Room: to come
© 2008 Tug Pegasus Preservation Project
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