The History of the Fowey Tugs
The Port of Fowey made its first shipment of China clay in 1869 when the railway lines into the Harbour opened it to the export of the locally mined china clay. The Jetties were built and operated by the railway companies and the Harbour Commissioners were formed to become the port authority in the same year.
The sailing ships using the port in the early days did so with the assistance of small boats and whenever possible the wind. Those who have sailed in Fowey will know that these winds are fickle and together with the river currents, proceeding to the commercial berths situated nearly one mile upstream was fraught with problems. Assistance from a power driven vessel was essential both for safety and for commercial reasons. This came in the form of tugs; the first of these came to Fowey in 1881 and from that time until the present time a towage service has been provided to the port.
The tugs are an essential part of the commercial aspect of the Harbour - guiding vessels to the jetties upstream from the seasonal mooring areas of the harbour and, with the inbound shipping, executing a 180 degree turn using two tugs for the vessel.
For further information visit the Fowey Harbour History website