South African Tugs.
Tugs in South African have slowly evolved since the day of the old coal burners like the TS McKeown which was stationed in Cape Town. The introduction of the Z Peller, Schottel and Kort Nozzle gave tugs maneuverability and thrust in all directions as opposed to the ahead and astern abilities of the previous vessels. However, the evolution of ships has also made tugs less of a necessity. Bow and stern thrusters, twin rudders and VP propellers enable a ship to berth or undock with the aid of a single tug as opposed to the 2 previously used, while the more modern cruise ships do not even use tugs in perfect conditions. I have spent many pleasurable hours on some of the tugs in Durban and can appreciate the difficulties that the tug masters face and I am sure that the engineers are happy that they do not have to spend their duty hours in a steam driven vessel, and while those workhorses of our harbours may never venture out of the harbour, they are still an integral part of any port and perform a vital function in keeping commerce flowing.

Like so many other things in our country it was inevitable that our tugs and harbour craft would get new names to reflect a "non racial society". Herewith are some of these new names.

         Harbour Tugs
  • W Marshall Clarke - UHUVA
  • Jan Heywood - INDWA
  • RH Tarpey - UZAVOLO
  • JH Botha - IBHAKU
  • HR Moffat - INGWENYA
  • Otto Buhr - UMZUMBE
  • Janie Oelofsen - NONOTI
  • Bertie Groenewald - UMVOTI
  • Dupel Erasmus - UMSUNDUZI
  • Piet Aucamp - INYALAZI
  • Bart Grove - UMHLALI
  • Kobus Loubser - IMONTI
  • Dirk Coetzee - MPUNZI
  • Coenie De Villiers - UMTHWALUME
  • PJC du Plessis - BRENTON
  • Ben Schoeman - SHIRAZ
  • W.H Andrag - CHARDONNAY
  • Paul Sauer - PINOTAGE
  • Lourens Muller - MERLOT
         Other Harbour Craft
  • John Cox - BALLITO (pilot boat)
  • RE Jones - PIPER (suction dredger)
  • LL Varley - IMPISI (pilot tug)
  • JF Craig - CRANE (grab dredger)
  • WA Willetts - ORIENT (pilot boat)
  • R.G. Kinnell PB GARNET (pilot boat)
  • L.A. Dickenson PB PETREL (pilot boat)
  • G.H. Harding - PB SALAMANDER (pilot boat)
  • D.P. Powell - IVUBU (pilot boat)
  • R.P. Jackson - INYONI (pilot boat)
  • Roy Forbes - PORT OF DURBAN (corporate launch)
South African Pilot Boats. South African Tugs. Other Tugs. The JR More.
SAR & H Steam Tugs. Diesel Fleet Specs. Harbour Craft. Harbour Philately.

Aft Deck
Coenie De Villiers

Coenie De Villers
Dirk Coetzee

Dupel Erasmus

ES Steytler (L), JD White (R)
East London

W Marshall Clark

JH Botha

RH Tarpey

Jan Haywood

Jannie Oelofsen

Danie Hugo

SA John Ross

SA Wolraad Woltemade

Kobus Loubser

J.R. More

Danie Du Plessis

Otto Buhr

PJC Du Plessis

PJC Du Plessis

PG Joubert

TS McEwen

Ben Schoeman

Bertie Groenewald

Piet Aucamp
Lourens Muller
Lourens Muller

F H Boltman
FH Boltman
Royal Tern
Royal Tern

Arctic Tern (2)




Offshore supply tug
Anchor Handling tug
The photos of Indlazi, Royal Tern, Palmiet, Mkuze, Enseleni and Tugela are courtesy of Terry Hutson, Arctic Tern (1) by George Durant, Arctic Tern (2) , Brenton and Ibhayi courtesy of The SA Transport Website. Photo of Ndongeni courtesy of Allan Jackson, Photo of Inyalazi courtesy of Stewart Siddall. Photo of Voortrekker and Voorspeler courtesy of Deene Collopy
© DR Walker. 2001-2013. Created 06-01-2001, updated and images resized 30 January 2010. Some images redone 15 July 2011.