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Letter: Tugboat should be moved to land

To the editor,

Mr. (Miles) Woodruff is absolutely right, the water is a terrible place to keep a boat ("City takes next step in moving Edna G.," Jan. 5). From the moment the boat is launched until the time it is removed from the water, Mother Nature works tirelessly to sink that boat, no matter how large or small, no matter the material it is made of.

The tug Edna G no longer earns enough revenue to pay for continual repairs to keep her afloat. She is retired and must be hauled out of the water to preserve her.

From her arrival in Two Harbors in 1896 to her last tow on Dec. 30, 1980, the Edna G made it possible for Minnesota iron ore to leave Minnesota and arrive at various smelters east of here, winning wars and building America. She is no longer capable of sailing and working, but can still sink.

The Lake County News-Chronicle and Duluth News Tribune have made a couple of factual errors that must be corrected.

You stated the tug as being 154 tons, suggesting this is her weight. This is her registry tonnage of 154 tons. Registry tonnage has nothing to do with her weight, but everything to do with her enclosed volume. A registry ton is a measure of volume, and is ordinarily the only figure of interest to shipping and insurance industries.

The tug's actual weight is her "dead weight' or "displacement," and in round numbers, is 300 tons. This number was recently calculated by an engineer at Fraser shipyard, based on the original lofting diagrams from the tug's builder.

Your other mistake is that she was in service to the federal government for four years during World War I. The U.S. participation in that war was only its last two years. The Edna G was federalized from November 1917 to August 1919.

Thomas V. Koehler

Two Harbors