Email Michael Anytime

Welcome Aboard 

See you all later,


I know, it's been done hundreds of different ways and thousands of times since then.
Newsletter member Mike wrote in with this question and below picture of same. "Can you
tell me what the object is in the attached picture?
", he asks.

This is close to the anchor I am fashioning although mine will have a bottom close to the anchors that road the Titanic to the bottom. Below, these are similar and perfect in size for our tugs.

And, I wouldn't be surprised if this new "RC" ship below used these "Azipods".

I am up in the air of late trying to decide on which tugboat design I am going to build for
my last model. The ol'body is telling me that my building days will be over in a few years
or so. To engineer it correctly, choosing the running gear is the first decision to make
right after deciding the model to create. I can sort of make payments as I buy the parts
for the tug, but the motors and their associated parts will take 4 to 600 dollars right 
up front. Azipods, Steering Korts, Conventional Drive. . .which is best for my efforts
for my big "Kathy Sue" design tugboat
Patrick and many of you are up against the same thinking. I wish I could see a report
suggesting the best set-up for the least money and trouble. When I choose I will let
you all know. And, I struggle in my mind about how to "install and hook-up" my running
gear. The picture below gives me a comparison with a truly tough design task. . .
makes my "simple" running gear worries seem a bit like worrying about how to mow
the lawn.

A few years ago I figured that I could make an RC designed especially for surveillance work around
the waterfront, docks and homes on lakes, and perhaps "Life Guard" duty. I began to design and
build my idea with dreams of selling thousands of them and becoming a tugboat millionaire. . .
uh uh - sure.

Tires and Cleats:

Here is part of what Grafton wrote me. . .
I am excited as my tug is beginning to take shape as you can see from the photos
taken today with my wife and dogs as well. Nothing is yet secured (permanently fitted) yet as I want to ensure all equipment is installed and nothing forgotten. I have several other things to fit, particularly the outboard which I will work on this coming week. My air horn is a little small but it will do and I can always change at a later date if the current one does not make the "right " noise.
Ordered cleats, hinges last week and will order chain, anchor etc next week as I do not think I will need them for a month or so. I started Euphemia in April and now almost 4 months later - well you can see where I am. But I am eager to spend more time on her over the next month or so and this should speed things up. But you know what ?  I am thoroughly enjoying my project in the shed.
Cheers for now

Well, thank you Grafton. . .made my day also-

I should include the "Safety Tip for the Week". Especially so this one because I had
no idea that this sort of unsafe situation could possible exist and it's use must be
stopped as soon as possible or at least after the cut. . .no pun intended.

An honor to write you,


Here is the letter I answered him with.
Hello Mike,
I broke out laughing when I saw your question and picture. Thank you for cheering me up
this morning. Simple.  .I hack sawed the ends off a faulty bathroom sink faucet set. Chrome plated, functional, and the best part - Free

Next, I draw lines on the top of the main deck showing where each frame will be. Then, drill holes through the main deck for each port and stb side of each frame's screws. These holes are big enough for the screws, I use 1 1/2 inch galvanized "deck screws", to slide through easily by hand.
Then I start in the center or so with frame #5, slide the frame up and into the keel slot until it fits flush against the main deck. I drill a "pilot hole" down and into the frame. The pilot hole should be about the size of the "shaft" of the screw, minus the threads. I do this until all the frames have a couple of screws into them. I also put about four screws through the main deck and into the keel. 

Two Tugboats Newsletter" #70  09/14/16
                                -Around the World- 
     534 Members are building 145  "Kathy Sue" style Tugboats

Hello Fellow Tugboat Minded Souls,
I'm sitting here munching away on a couple of boiled eggs as I wonder how to open this Newsletter to you. . .wondering what to report to you from my tugboat experiences during the last weeks.
Smearing a bit of mayonnaise on a morsel of egg, I realized, even before the delicious bite of egg entered it's destination, that I do not have much to report about my building and "test tank" activities. And, my news sources have been a little flatter than usual. Thus, I will have to tell you about my adventures with setting up to offer a few tugboat top-side items for sale. . .yes, I am selling on my website. . .something, with the exception of the tracing drawings, I have never done. I fear I will find out why. You will be the judge.
First though, I found this in the free " Newsletter". If you were building a real tugboat of your own, this is the set-up you would install. New this year, 10% better efficiency than any other drive pod on the market. Breath taking beautiful. . .

I love model live steam engines and since a kid wanted to build one. I have never told anyone
before. . .but I like the "train track" even more. Yes, I could actually just build train track and probably
be quite satisfied. The same for my tugboat building. . .I could "almost" get fulfilled satisfaction from
just having cleats, tire bumpers, anchor chain, and anchors; just me.
Thus, it is time for me to part with my collection of said tugboat "hardwares" and beautiful chains. If you
go and take at look at my tugboat parts on the website you will find that they are expensive. You can
monitor EBay and find these items but keep in mind that it took me over five years to gather this
collection. . .one at a time and still, for me, expensive. No complaints, just the way it is for the very best.

Anchors and Chains:

And last, check out the back ground, here is an example of yet another reason to choose tugboat building over hunting for a hobby. . .

​           ​<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<(+++++)>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Two Tugboats Newsletter" #68  05/18/16
                                -Around the World- 
     521 Members are building 138  "Kathy Sue" style Tugboats
Hello Fellow Big tugboat Friends,

Spring is upon us and the ponds need our tugboats to dress them up a bit. I plan to fill
my test tank in a few weeks and give my drone design another "drive" trial. 

For those members who want more than a fine big model tugboat, Newsletter member
Ralph sent in this car/tugboat design from the late 20s or so. Just an idea for you. . .
If you notice, everyone, all male, have suits on.  (
If you know who to credit this photo to, let me know.)

Here is an update sharing for us all from, Grafton. My thanks to him for sending photos of his work building his tug's skeleton. Cheered me up-


            "Two Tugboats Newsletter" #69  07/22/16
                                -Around the World- 
     532 Members are building 142  "
Kathy Sue" style Tugboats

Hello Fellow Tugboat Builders,

First of all, take a look that the new site I am, with tugboat love, building:
The old site will go down in September. I hope the new one is a little more to the point and well supplied with fresh content for you.

Here is my "Tip for the Day". If you are sailing your fine model during a flood. . .be sure to wear the highest boots you can or - wet feet, pneumonia, electrocution-

For the last weeks I have been working on my anchors. Nothing like a pair of strong and handsome anchors dresses up the bow of your tugboat or any tug or ship. Personally, of the hundreds of anchor designs as variations of the Navy, Hall, and Spek anchors, I am designing an anchor that is the perfect size for our "Kathy Sue" design. Not only size, but look. Here is the "Cover Page" picture for the new anchor page on my site.

You asked a few questions and this is a good place for your first question, "How do I set her upside down with the two decks?" Here is how I progress with my skeleton fitting.

I came across this picture below. Just remember that I invented it first-

Note that frame #1 is two pieces that slide in to fit. Roughly, that is how I fit my frames to the keel and main deck.

There are several ways to cover your hull. Personally, I prefer to cedar plank my hull. I use a "ship lap" cut on the strips of wood that one of the Newsletter members sent in. All the Past Newsletters, links at the top of every page on the site, show lots of pictures and member's ways of fiberglass and planking their tugboat hulls. I use "Elmer's" wood filler and "Elmer's Waterproof Wood Glue" for all my gluing and filling and they work perfectly. Fiber glass is on my mind lately though.

From your pictures Grafton, I think you are doing fine on your tugboat building and I hope these words and pictures help you and others with their build. Thank you Grafton.

Note: I have hosted my site for several years on "". It seems that they are going to phase out all the "old" sites program and are forcing me to change things to their new format program. This will be in the next weeks or so. If you go to the site and it's not the same. . the forced change  is why.

Just remember that when tugboat builders get stuck, they don't keep walking
in the wet cement.

I drilled the mounting holes in the railing and filled them with glue. Then, used wood filler to blend them in with the railing work. The glue held all well and I made sure the "handles" still work back and forth. At shows, the kids love to swivel them. They actually look to be quite legitimate as "davits" and
towing cable stops. Plus, they just look very cool. Cost was nothing. Appearance - priceless.

Thank you for asking Mike, a pleasure to answer your much asked question. I will have to post this in the next Newsletter. As I said, you are not the first to ask me, ".  . .what are these?". 

Newsletter member, Grafton, sent in two pictures of his progress thus far on his tugboat, "Euphemia". He asked several questions about how to get started with fitting his framework together. Here is the letter I wrote him.

Hello Grafton,
I re-sized your two pictures for you and I would like to put them in the next newsletter.
There are many who will appreciate your work and seeing themselves at this stage,
keep on, keeping on; including myself.

After the "main deck" frame surfaces are all the same, you can now screw all the frames together using there common main deck surface as setting the start point.
As you temporarily screw them together, you will find all sorts of inconsistencies. I use a straight edge ruler and trim the bottoms of the frames to match better and true.

There are several new tugboat builders reading this Newsletter. If you see something on the old site,, that you think I should include in the new site,, let me know and I will make it so. The old site will sink to the bottom of the pond in September.

All is quiet here and I feel a ton better having talked to you all, thank you. Which reminds me, and this is just a tip, if you have friends and family over to watch you launch your tug, remind them to "keep an eye on the tug". That way they don't miss the launching. Just a tip-

This is my anchor collection thus far. About a half dozen more are on the way and then. . .I wait for one to be found like the "Byers" pictured above. It may take years and I can design one, 3D it, and make a hundred of them long before I find a beautiful Byers tug and ship "parking break".

A pleasure to write you my friends,
Michael   Anytime

Then, I screw them all together and grind, file, and sand the sides to make the lines of the hull look more true.