Sunday, June 6, 2010

Yacht Visitor and Cousin

The yacht Canim is tied up at Murphy's Wharf (the Cable Wharf) en route from her Texas base to her Michigan base. This lovely 98 footer was built in 1930 in Seattle for the publisher of the Seattle Times to a design by Ted Geary. She has been well cared for over the years but underwent a major restoration in 2002. She is a wooden vessel, built from select west coast materials and is a beauty to behold. The boat saw service in World War II as a patrol boat, and was also owned at various times by Natalie (Mrs. Buster) Keaton and by Clessie Cummins (founder of the Cummins diesel engine company.)
The yacht is currently owned by a private corporation based in Harbour Springs, Michigan and The Woodlands, TX, and has a wonderful web site at:


By coincidence, I saw a larger cousin while I was in Vancouver. Thea Foss is a 120 footer by the same designer, built for the actor John Barrymore Sr, also in 1930. It was purchased after World War II by the Foss family of Tacoma, and named for the matriarch of the family and founder of the now huge tugboat business, Foss Maritime. Not only did the Norwegian born Thea Foss found the company, she inspired the character Tugboat Annie. Thea Foss looks better in my opinion because of her length, and is also beautifully maintained

1 comment:

  1. I had the honor of painting the top deck, the Hull, (off of a skiff) and did some wood work on the captain's quarters of Thea Foss, the flag ship of opening day. Previously owned by John Barrymore then Charlie Chaplin before Mrs. Foss bought the 120’ yacht. Thea Foss launched the future tugboat firm on the Tacoma waterfront in the summer of 1889. She started the Foss Launch Company, which eventually became the Seattle-based Foss Maritime.
    The boisterous Tugboat Annie character first appeared in a series of stories in the Saturday Evening Post written by the author Norman Reilly Raine which were based on the life of Thea Foss of Tacoma, Washington. Then Tugboat Annie, a 1933 movie starring Marie Dressler and Wallace Beery, a comically quarrelsome middle-aged couple who operate a tugboat came next. Then came the Adventures of Tugboat Annie a 1957 Canadian-filmed television series.