2017
two thousand seventeen
Twenty-Seventeen
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Story & Photo By:  ROBERT STOPPER, LYONS

Tugboat "Urger" is a flagship vessel of the
NYS Canal Corporation
The tugboat “URGER”, piloted by Captain Wendy Marble, will represent the NYS Canal Corporation in the 2013 Lyons Peppermint Days Festival, July 11-14. The URGER, built in 1901, is the flagship of the fleet of vessels operating on the 524 mile NYS Canal System. The boat will be docked on the Erie Canal behind the fire department building.

Built in Ferrysburg, Michigan as a commercial shipping vessel, the tug was originally known as “the Henry J Dornbos”. Eventually the tug was sold in the early 1920’s and entered the NYS Canal fleet under the name “URGER”. The “URGER” hauled machinery, scows, and dredges on the Erie and Champlain Canals until it was retired from service in the late 1980’s.

In the early 1990’s, the URGER was placed back into service with a new mission. The URGER became the flagship vessel of the NYS Canal Corporation and became a floating classroom visiting communities along the waterway. During the school year, the URGER becomes an authentic nautical classroom for grade school students as they learn the importance and contributions of the Erie Canal. During the summer season, the URGER and a crew of four visit community festivals along the canalway, provide tours, and serve as ambassadors of the NYS Canal Corporation.

Tourists are amazed at this 112 year old vessel. Measuring over 70 feet in length, the URGER has a prop measuring 5 ½ feet in diameter. A five (5) cylinder engine moves the tug. The cylinders are approximately two feet wide.

The captain does not shift gears nor control a throttle. When you tour the tug, be sure to ask the Captain and crew how they make the boat go from forward to reverse, how much oil they “squirt” on the engine each hour, how much fuel the tug holds, and where they sleep. You might be surprised at their answers!

Tours of the tugboat URGER will take place all day, Friday July 12, and all day on Saturday, July 13. The tugboat URGER will also be open for tours on Sunday, July 14 from 10:00AM - 3:00PM.






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