Soundings - - Contents - BY STEVE KNAUTH

Al­lan and Sally Sey­mour found a ca­pa­ble, com­fort­able power­boat in a 37-foot Lord Nel­son Vic­tory Tug.

So many boats, so many ways to get out on the water. For Al­lan and Sally Sey­mour, it was trailer-boat­ing with a 19-foot Bos­ton Whaler, cov­er­ing the East Coast from New Eng­land to Nor­folk, Vir­ginia. “It was a Nan­tucket model, one of my fa­vorite boats,” says Al­lan Sey­mour, 78, from Put­ney, Ver­mont. “I had a Honda 150, and we trail­ered it ev­ery­where, stay­ing at waterfront ho­tels. We’ve been to Lake Cham­plain, up the Maine coast, around Con­necti­cut and in New York Har­bor. And Isles of Shoals [off New Hamp­shire]. That’s one of my fa­vorites.”

Sey­mour and a friend even made a run up Ch­e­sa­peake Bay, through the C& D Canal and out to the coast, end­ing up in New Jer­sey. “I like to go places, see things, get in and ex­plore,” Sey­mour says. “That’s part of boat­ing, to me.”

Still, there came a time when a 19-foot open boat just didn’t serve any­more. “We de­cided we wanted a cruis­ing boat with a head, a gal­ley and ac­com­mo­da­tions,” Sey­mour says. “We’d just sold our busi­ness and re­tired, and wanted to live on it in the sum­mer­time.” Twin diesels “with a lot of power” were also on the must-have list. “I was go­ing to thrash through ev­ery­thing,” he says.

The cou­ple started their search in Maine. “We saw a Lord Nel­son Vic­tory Tug tied up at a dock and an­other one nearby,” Sey­mour re­calls. “The owner in­vited us on board. Af­ter a while I said, ‘Sally, this is the boat I want.’ ”

Soon af­ter, in 2009, they found a 37-foot Lord Nel­son Vic­tory Tug in An­napo­lis, Mary­land, vintage 1985, built by Ocean Eagle Yachts in Tai­wan. The cou­ple traded in their Whaler (to the tug’s owner) and set­tled on a deal for the 24-year-old boat. The price was $180,000.

“I had no idea of them,” Sey­mour says. “I had seen one once and thought it was a cute boat. I had sailed on a Lord Nel­son sail­boat, too, and they were built at the same yard, so the tug felt at least a lit­tle fa­mil­iar. We both liked the lay­out, with the saloon and the gal­ley to­gether, where you can see out the win­dows to the water.”

Sey­mour quickly came around to the tug idea. “I was con­verted al­most overnight from the big, fast, twin-diesel boat to some­thing that’s slow, that doesn’t have a big en­gine,” he says. “But this is me. It’s var­nish. It’s beau­ti­ful-look­ing wood. It’s clas­sic.”

The Sey­mours are on their 10th year with the tug, their sum­mer home. “The lay­out of this boat is very com­modi­ous,” Sey­mour says. “It’s very prac­ti­cal, and we can cook and live in com­fort.”

Own­ers are sup­ported by a strong LNVT as­so­ci­a­tion, Sey­mour says. “The peo­ple are

mar­velous. We get to­gether ev­ery year and talk tugs all week­end.”

Peo­ple do tend to call the Vic­tory Tug “cute,” but Sey­mour says it’s a good boat, too. “De­signer Jim Backus came up with a good hull; it slips very eas­ily through the water,” he says. “The pilothouse is high up, and you can see the stern from the wheel. There’s also a side door. And with the bow thruster, I can walk it away from the dock.”

Boat­ing out of Portsmouth, New Hamp­shire, Sey­mour is used to a lot of sea con­di­tions. “Ev­ery boat is a com­pro­mise,” he says. “The tug is beamy with a shal­low draft, and it han­dles well in con­fined wa­ters. Still, I can run from Cape Ann on up to New Hamp­shire and go straight across. I don’t mind be­ing [off­shore] in good weather. Com­ing out of the Cape Cod Canal in choppy wa­ters, it han­dled it well. You learn about what a boat can do and can’t do.”

Power is a 150-hp Cum­mins 4BT diesel, an en­gine used for com­mer­cial trucks. “It’s com­mon, and you can get parts any­where,” Sey­mour says. Cruis­ing speed is around 7 knots, burn­ing about 1.5 gph. “With more than 200 gal­lons of fuel, you can go a long way,” he says. “It’s a nice power plant for it.”

Last sea­son, the Sey­mours took the tug up the Hud­son River and into the Erie Canal, voy­ag­ing through his­toric up­state New York with an­other LNVT. On the re­turn trip, they passed into Lake Cham­plain, a “gor­geous place to travel,” Sey­mour says. This year, they’re ex­plor­ing Maine, head­ing far­ther Down East, past Bar Har­bor to Roque Is­land. “It’s a cir­cu­lar har­bor, quite a nice des­ti­na­tion,” Sey­mour says. “There are no real mari­nas up there, just some small boat­yards, so it will be kind of fun to be get­ting a lit­tle fur­ther into the boonies.”

Has the Lord Nel­son Vic­tory Tug ful­filled the sum­mer cruis­ing vi­sion the cou­ple had 10 years ago? “Ab­so­lutely,” Sey­mour says. “It’s a lot of fun, hav­ing this boat.”


Power­Boat Guide calls the Lord Nel­son Vic­tory Tug a “pop­u­lar coastal cruiser with a bold work­boat pro­file.” The tall bow and rounded wheel­house are her two most dis­tinc­tive tug­boat de­sign fea­tures, fol­lowed by the smoke­stack and sig­nal mast.

The lay­out has a sin­gle state­room down and for­ward, set up with an off­set berth, hang­ing lock­ers and stowage. An ad­ja­cent head com­part­ment has a shower. The saloon is aft, well- lighted and ven­ti­lated with side win­dows. It has room for a set­tee and ad­di­tional seat­ing. The U- shaped gal­ley-up is to port.

The raised pilothouse of­fers good views around the boat, and there’s a Dutch-style side door next to the helm. Vic­tory Tugs have a teak in­te­rior, and var­nished rails and trim on deck.

Al­lan and Sally Sey­mour

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