Recent News Items
Of Interest To Tugboat Enthusiasts
Posted August 9, 2007, Modified December
Photo Above: The former New Haven Railroad tugboat Bumblebee
(presently named Cross Harbor I.) is now berthed at the
Hinckley Marina in Melville, Rhode Island as a stationary breakwater.
(TES News Photo)
The classic New Haven Railroad tugboat Bumblebee
(now Cross Harbor I.) and her sister Cordelia
were designed by Joe Hack of TAMS inc. in the 1950s to handle
railroad carfloats in the New York Harbor area. By the 1980s they
were both still in railroad service with New York Cross Harbor,
operating between Brooklyn and Greenville on the only remaining
carfloat route in the metro area. Eventually both boats fell on
hard times, the Cordelia had a fatal engine failure and
was scrapped, the Bumblebee was laid up out of service
in Brooklyn, where it was heavily vandalized. The tug was eventually
bought by Doug Della Porta of Eastern Towboat in Boston, to provide
spare parts for another vessel with similar propulsion machinery.
For a number of years the Bumblebee sat
at the Autoport in Charlestown, Massachusetts, facing an uncertain
future. Doug had her advertised for sale as a possible houseboat
conversion, but found no takers for such a large an immobilized
vessel. When it looked like the tug might end up following her
sister to the scrapyard, a new need developed for the Bumblebee.
She was purchased for use as a stationary breakwater, mated to
a retired barge at the Hinckley Marina in Melville, Rhode Island.
This marina is part of a newly developed industrial cluster in
the former Navy Fuel Depot property, in the area that also served
as the training base for PT boat squadrons in World War Two.
In her new location the Bumblebee provided
an additional 100 feet of breakwater to plug a gap in the shielding
of the yacht basin from the prevailing southwest wind and seas.
Aside from some remaining graffiti and a few missing fittings
from her encounters with vandals and brass thieves during her
layup in Brooklyn, the tug looked very comfortable in the notch
of the retired barge, and appropriate to the surroundings. Unfortunately
she filled with water and sank at the pier in a storm shortly
after her arrival in Melville, and remains there on the bottom
with her superstructure visible today, now serving as a partially
Photo Above: A close up of the Bumblebee
(closest) moored inboard of the former Lehigh Valley tug Capmoore
in Charlestown, Massachusetts prior to her move to Rhode Island.
She had been retained for many years as a spare parts boat by
Eastern Towboat. Kodachrome by Preston Cook
Our Railroad Tugs information page has a view
from the pilothouse of this tug taken underway in New York Harbor
with a loaded carfloat. To access that page please click on the
silhouette of the Bumblebee below:
This silhouette of the Bumblebee underway
also appears on the TES home page. Artwork by Preston Cook