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Home » » Tugboat Roundup Celebrates 23rd Event

Tugboat Roundup Celebrates 23rd Event

Written By Editor on 9/6/23 | 9/6/23

Waterford, NY - Sponsored by the Town of Waterford, the Tugboat Roundup organizing committee has recently revealed its distinguished honorees for 2023, marking another chapter in celebrating the maritime heritage and achievements within on New York’s waterways. This year, the esteemed title of "Tug of the Year" goes to the James Turecamo, a vessel with a rich history and enduring legacy. Additionally, the event has proudly selected Waterford native Capt. Thomas M. Doin as the Grand Marshal for the 2023 Tugboat Parade.

The James Turecamo was built in 1969 at Matton Shipyard in Cohoes, NY. This year, as we honor the 40th anniversary of the closing of Matton Shipyard under Turecamo ownership, we also celebrate the rich tradition of boat building and tugboating that is the very foundation of this annual event.  

Attendees at the Tugboat Roundup can learn more about Matton Shipyard at a Tug Talk scheduled for Saturday, September 9th at 5 pm in the Hurst Harbor Center. Andy Kitzman of the Erie Canalway Heritage Corridor will present on the Matton Shipyard, located a half-mile from the site of Tugboat Roundup. The shipyard's legacy is inextricably tied to the maritime history of the region. The James Turecamo, was one of the hundreds of tugs built at Matton Shipyard over its nearly seven decades of operation. Kitzman’s presentation will explore that history, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor’s work to preserve the site, and what is next for this historic maritime and cultural treasure.

The James Turecamo, with its historical significance and ties to the Capital District, underscores the central theme of honoring both heritage and innovation. The James Turecamo's journey through time reflects the evolution of maritime transportation and its ongoing importance.

Capt. Doin, a Vietnam War Army veteran, is being celebrated as the Grand Marshal of the 2023 Tugboat Parade. Capt. Doin's remarkable career includes his decades-long service as a tugboat captain for the New York State Canal Corporation, including of the venerable National Historic Register-listed URGER, the 2001 Tug of the Year.  Subsequently, he assumed the role of Floating Plant Supervisor overseeing marine operations between Whitehall, NY on the Champlain Canal and Little Falls, NY on the Erie Canal, an operating area of 242 miles. His dedicated contributions and deep connection to the waterways have left an indelible mark, making him a fitting choice for this esteemed role.

Town of Waterford Supervisor John E. Lawler said, "As we prepare for the 2023 Tugboat Roundup, we are thrilled to once again celebrate the rich maritime legacy that courses through our community and the heart of New York State. The Tugboat Roundup has become more than just an event – it's a testament to the enduring spirit of our town and its connections to the waterways. The Tugboat Roundup not only showcases the remarkable vessels that have navigated our canals for generations, but it also captures the dedication of individuals like Tom Doin who have dedicated their lives to community service, and to preserving and enhancing our waterborne heritage.” 

New York Power Authority President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, “The Tugboat Roundup highlights the very best of the maritime experience in New York – community, history, and tradition. This event is a testament to the tugboat operators that ply the canal waterways, and the innovation, past and present, that lends itself to the Canal system's significance. On behalf of the New York Power Authority, we sincerely congratulate this year’s distinguished honorees on this well-earned recognition.”

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “The annual Tugboat Roundup is an opportunity to highlight the mariners and the vessels that have worked on the New York State Canal system throughout the years. The event also allows us to celebrate a local canalside community and the partners who make this festival possible. We thank Captain Doin for his years of dedicated and distinguished service on New York’s Canals and congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition.”

Waterford Tugboat Roundup founder Capt. John C. Callaghan said, “I congratulate my friend and former shipmate Capt. Doin on this well-deserved honor. Like other Canallers of my generation, I learned from Tom Doin just as he learned from those who came before him.  That’s the story that this annual event still helps to highlight nearly a quarter-century after we started. This industry, and this waterway, represents not just the most compelling part of New York’s history, but perhaps the most promising part of its future.”

The tugboat parade will leave Albany at 3:30 PM on September 8th and will head north on the Hudson River, reaching Waterford at about 6:00 PM. The parade will include a number of tugboats and other vessels from Troy, Albany, Coeymans, New York City and other ports. 

Sponsors of the Tugboat Roundup include the New York State Canal Corporation, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, New York State Marine Highway Transportation Company, Moran Towing Corporation, CD Perry, LLC, D. Brake Marine, LLC, Stewarts Shops, Shaker Logistics, and Carver Maritime, among others. 

Visitors to the Tugboat Roundup can tours the tugboats on Saturday and Sunday. The festival also includes live music, vendors, presentations, competition, children's activities, a kayaking trip, a 5k, and more. 

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