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The rebuilt tug CADET being launched next door to Northend Shipyard on 26 November.

ROCKLAND – For the last several years, I cannot believe that it has actually been ten, there was this little wooden tug boat, CA- DET, being restored by Captain John Foss at the Northend Shipyard in Rockland. Well, on the Saturday following Thanksgiving many of us were on hand to see this beautiful little craft hit the water. When she arrived she needed more than a little TLC, but Captain Foss and his workforce of assistants, usually two a winter, did a splendid job restoring her. She now looks as good as new.

When I asked Captain Foss how he got involved in this project his response was, “It was a really bad idea. The most expensive boat is the cheapest one you buy. Anyway, I had been to the Carriage House Restaurant in East Boothbay a couple of times with some friends. The owner of the place was con- cerned that East Boothbay was going to institute zoning and he was concerned that his property might not be as salable if he didn’t diversify. So, he started the Perch Island Yacht Club and their motto was “you store them, we ignore them.” It consisted of an assortment of about a half a dozen old lobster boats, cabin cruisers and this one very neglected little tug boat. First, I thought she was a boom jumper from Moosehead, even though it is wood. She was really old, been used hard, and in very rough shape. I took some pictures and was going to send them to WoodenBoat to put on their orphan page. My wife looked at these pictures and

said ‘you don’t really do much in the winter and you’ve got that shop full of tools, you’ve got piles of lumber everywhere. You fix that thing up and I’d go cruising with you.’ So we approached the owner and he was happy to exchange the ownership of the CADET for a dollar and my wife overhauled his mahogany runabout.”

Captain Foss admires boats with a his- tory. He looked up her documention number and found that she was built in Kennebunkport in the 1930s. Further re- search revealed that she had been built by B. Warner, who built a number of small work boats. Captain Foss added, “CADET had had a noble berth. The Army Corps of Engineers specified quite a bit on that boat because it would not be normal workboat style. My friend Captain Woodman, of the schooner ELEANOR out of Kennebunkport, came up with two sheets of old blueprints out of what had apparently been originally three sheets from the Army Corps of Engineers. It was a tug launch, a design the Corps of Engineers came up with in Washington in 1928. Some of the specifications were longleaf yellow pine planking, white oak backbone and framing, copper riveted and bronze fastened and bronze rudder. In the Merchant Vessel regis- ters she was homeported in Boston. If you look in the registers in the late 30s there is a couple of these 40 footers in different places, built at different times, different dimensions, and any major port in the U. S. had a couple

This is CADET when she arrived to be rebuilt at Northend Shipyard in Rockland in 2001.

of them. What they were used for I am not really sure. At that time I think the Corps of Engineers did all of their own dredging and she may have just been a dredge tender. The fact that she was intended for harbor use, doesn’t have much free board,the a day boat, would suggest that maybe that is what she was used for. The Army Corps of Engineers has no records. They don’t have copies of the blueprints, they don’t have any photo- graphs, they have no documentation on the boat at all. Going through the document records she apparently was owned in Port- land by Ellis Snodgrass, who was quite a big

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marine contractor. He did all kinds of projects. He died in about 1967 with his office keys in his pocket and the plans for all of his impend- ing projects in his head. One of the people in his organization got one of the Cianchette brothers to come down and take over the office. CIANBRO bought the assets of Snodgrass shortly thereafter including their two tugs, CADET, and the FANNIE J. FANNIE J., built in 1874, was their offshore tug and CADET was their inshore tug. CIANBRO sold the CADET to Gibson, a

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