The Turecamo Boys

Earlier this year, I was able to pickup a large group of original Winton (and some Cleveland) prints. One of the tugs there was prints of, is the Turecamo Boys. I remember seeing this photo several years ago when we were at the Cleveland Public Library going through bound volumes of Winton News.

Winton Engine Corp. Photo, Collection

Yes – that is a swastika you are seeing. More on that in a bit. The Turecamo Boys was designed by the Brown & Demarest Naval Architects of NY, and built by Rice Brothers Shipyard up in Maine. Well, as happenstance would have it I was also able to get an original copy of the Winton news featuring this tug! I will let the issue of Winton News fill in the details.

The tug was powered by a single direct reversing Winton 6-174A engine, introduced in 1931. The engine had a 15 1/2″ bore and 22″ stroke, making 600 horsepower. The engine was one of Winton’s more successful direct reversing models, and was used in several other tugs. A larger 8 cylinder model was offered, but not produced.

As for the swastika – Remember when this tug was built in 1936, the symbol had an entirely different meaning. The following newspaper article explains why Barney Turecamo used the symbol on his tugs – for luck, as suggested by the tugs designer, Merritt Demarest , a common use in pre-WWII days. Turecamo Article on Swastika Symbol

It turned out not only did I get the shot I recognized, but the other two photos in the Winton News as well.

Winton Engine Corp. Photo, Collection
Winton Engine Corp. Photo, Collection

Unfortunately, the Turecamo Boys did not fare well. Shortly after being requisitioned for the oncoming war, the tug would be sunk in the North Atlantic.

Sister tug Turecamo Girls had a slightly better fate. In 1945, Turecamo opted to repower the Girls with a 16-278A. At the same time, a brand new Turecamo Boys replacement was built by Jakobson Shipbuilding of Oyster Bay. The new Boys would be slightly smaller, at 80′ 4 1/2″, and powered by a smaller 8-278A engine. Merritt Demarest designed this new tug as well, which looked very much like the original Turecamo Boys.

The newly repowered Turecamo Girls. Frances Palmer Photo, David Boone collection

The Turecamo Girls would work for Turecamo until being sold foreign in 1965, with the “new” Turecamo Boys being sold off not long after. Merritt Demarest would continue to design tugs (including a number for Turecamo) until passing away in 1979 at the age of 82.

The “new” Turecamo Boys featured in the 4/1945 Diesel Times

I had posted the first photo of the tug in the facebook group, which led to a great discussion about the use of the swastikas’ by Turecamo. I was quite surprised when Robert Pacheco saved and colorized the photo! Turecamo used a wonderful wood grained steel paint job on their tugs, which Robert nailed.

One thought on “The Turecamo Boys

  1. As I remember the Winton preceded the Cleveland Diesel. I remember the 268 prior to the 278A. Smaller bore. The 278A gave way to the 567, then the 567A, B C and eventually the 645. Thanks for sharing a bit of history.


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