A 94-year-old tugboat named Buffalo is being auctioned in upstate New York, and as of this writing, the top bid was $2,550. Whoever has the highest bid on Monday, Dec. 4 at 7:40 p.m. takes her.
Tug Buffalo was built in 1923 as a steam tug. The first 25 years were spent as a maintenance tug on the New York Canal System, after which she was sold to a private company. In 2002 the boat suffered severe engine damage and was idled for several years. In 2005 the Buffalo was donated to the Town of Waterford.
Through the efforts of Nobby Peers of Whitworth Marine Service, the engine was repaired in 2007-08. The photo at the top of the page was taken in September 2008, as Tug Buffalo headed to Albany under her own power to lead the Waterford Tugboat Roundup Parade.
Buffalo's engine is "direct reversing" meaning there is no clutch, no transmission, etc and the prop shaft is bolted directly to the engine. When the engine is running, the prop is spinning. To reverse, the engine is stopped and then restarted to run backwards. There are no controls in the wheelhouse other than the wheel itself. The captain uses a bell to signal the engineer to control the throttle or reverse the engine.
See and her the engine run:
For more info on the auction, visit Auctions International in Saratoga, New York.