96' 1944 TP Class Tugboat being Refurbished in Juneau, Alaska
by Timothy Miles
Tugboat Challenger, a 96' TP Class tugboat, is currently being refurbished in Juneau, Alaska.
The keel was laid in March of 1944, in Wilmington, CA. August 1944 she was completed and designated as TP 126- ON 177380.
"TP" stands for Tug/Passenger.
She was built for the Department of the Army to service the West Coast up to the Aleutian Chain.
Currently no information has been obtained as to what she did during her "war years."
In 1946, she was decommissioned and sold to "Island Tug and Barge", on Vancouver Island, and renamed, "Island Challenger."
She operated throughout Puget Sound, to Northern B.C., pulling log rafts and barges, providing ship assists and salvage operations.
Boat Books on-line
There is a picture of her in the book, "From the Wheelhouse" by Doreen Armitage.
In 1971, she was re-named "Seaspan Challenger" after the merger of Vancouver Tug and Island Tug.
In 1983 she was retired and sold to a private owner.
In 1985 her residence became Lake Union, in Seattle, where she became a B&B (Bunk & Breakfast).
She remained as such until 2002.
Evidently, her owner had passed away and she languished at the dock for a couple of years until purchased by a friend of the current owner.
After being put up on the hard, she was brought up to Juneau.
She is now the home for her current owner and his family as well as home for "Heartstrings Violin Studio" where 36 children learn to play violin aboard her.
She is currently being refurbished and will be used for SE Alaska adventuring as well as a B&B, in Juneau.
Additional pictures can be viewed on her Facebook page.
Search "Tugboat Challenger."