Owatonna was built in San Diego by the U.S. Army and launched in 1955 as LT (Large Tug) 2083. She was intended for service in the Korean War, but when the war ended soon after, she was laid up for about 8 years.
In 1964 the Army passed LT-2083 on to the Navy, which re-outfitted her in Alameda and christened her YT 756, USS Owatonna, in the tradition of naming boats after Native American chiefs. The Navy put her to work at Concord Naval Weapons Station. The later part of her military career was spent tending the big ships of the Reserve Fleet in Suisun Bay.
When the Kuwait War developed, the Navy did extensive refitting on Owatonna, planning to send her into service there. They remediated the asbestos, bringing her into modern compliance, did general clean-up, yet another haul-out, and most of an engine rebuild.
When events shifted with the Kuwait war, the Navy decided it was time to sell her at auction to private owners. They completed the Navy's work, and did a thorough redesign of the interior for use as a civilian live-aboard, while preserving the workings of the tug in the engine and machine rooms. They added the aft salon on the main deck, the aft salon on the pilothouse, resulting in the equivalent of a roomy and comfortable 4-bedroom home, including the 29-foot galley from which they entertained often.
But Owatonna wasn't all that interesting to look at when we bought her. We did a full redesign of the exterior, with her new color scheme, and added further improvements in the galley and in the cabins below decks. We also solved some issues below decks, doing extensive clean-up in the engine room, bilges, and some tanks, rebalancing the boat, and adding amenities to make recreational sailing and rowing easy with the tender we have onboard.
Owatonna is now an icon for visitors to Sausalito from all over the world. Tour boats and private charters stop and turn directly alongside so visitors can take pictures of her. Boaters in kayaks, on paddle boards, from sailboats and big cruisers regularly hail us, often saying, "This is our favorite boat in the Bay!"
Owatonna is now available to realize your dreams for life aboard the handsomest tug on the American West Coast.
Details and Price
Details and Price
Owatonna is 107' on deck, with a 26' beam. She displaces 350 tons, and drafts about 12 feet right now. She is an ice-class vessel with 7 fuel tanks that hold a total of 21,000-gallons of fuel.
The areas converted to living space amount to approximately 2000 square feet. This number does not include the engine room and ancillary mechanical areas (some of which some owners also convert), nor the outside spaces on deck which amount to about 1000 square feet of additional space.
The tug is equipped with a 1200 HP, 6-cylinder Cooper-Bessemer engine, about the size of a cargo van, that idles at 80 RPMs. When the engine is started the propeller is in motion. She is a direct drive tug, no transmission: When you're ready to go in reverse, you shut down the main engine, shift gears, and restart the engine with compressed air created by the 371 GMC generators on board. Underway she does 7-12 knots.
The engine room also contains, to name a few items, a fire-suppression system, and a domestic furnace that runs on diesel from the belly tanks for central heating in all areas except the aft salon.
Aft of the engine room is a workshop with some of the original spare parts carefully preserved in their greased-filled, sealed packages, huge wrenches, bronze fire nozzles, blocks and tackle, some of the original DC lamps for navigation and other illumination, a workbench and tools, and an assortment of original electrical and mechanical devices from the 20th mid-century. At the stern end of the workshop is the 3,000-gallon water tank that we've never used; and under the fantail, a ballast tank. There is more below, but it's too much to enumerate, you'll just have to see it.
When some buy tugs like these, they repower with a much smaller, but more powerful and efficient engine, making it easier to operate and allowing the new owners to use the approximately 25' x 40' x 10' engine room in much more creative ways.
A KitchenAid side-by-side refrigerator freezer; a 6-burner Dynasty range; a smaller apartment sized refrigerator; an electric dishwasher; a clothes washer; a gas-fired dryer; and a propane-fired, on-demand hot water system.
The tug comes with a 12-foot fiberglass row/sailboat from Gig Harbor which can be lowered into the water by means of a motorized davit on the port side.
The slip fee is $3,000/month, which includes water, a parking space, but not electricity, which is billed through the Harbor. Waste is pumped out once per week by a local service. The boat is equipped with high speed internet. You also have the option of renting additional parking spaces.
No. Owatonna is a boat. You’d have to seek funding from a marine lender, such as Customfin.com, maritimecapitalgroup.com, or private sources.
Owatonna runs well but must be captained by an experienced pilot, by order of the Sausalito Yacht Harbor masters; however, they prefer that the tug not be used for pleasure boating.
SYH prohibits retail uses of any kind, including Airbnb or similar arrangements.
No one has a long-term lease in SYH (as far as we know), but the Harbor has now instituted an official liveaboard status on a case-by-case basis, for which there is a surcharge of $500. If you do not plan to make the tug your primary home, that status is unnecessary.
The Harbor has long been a stable base for many big boats that have changed hands numerous times, and a significant portion of boat owners here spend a lot of time on their boats. Owatonna also has the advantage of being a perfect fit for her slip. Tugs are uniquely robust, capable of easily and peacefully resting in an end-tie barely wide enough. Our slip is not easily occupied by wider, or less hardy vessels. And of course, Owatonna is now an icon of Richardson Bay, and a boat beloved to Sausalito Yacht Harbor and the Sausalito community.
Credit is available from Customfin.com and maritimecapitalgroup.com.
Owatonna is a place where memories, art, and agreements are made daily.
The richness and specialness of the environment and the intimacy of these salons make real conversation likely. Something opens up for people as they step aboard. We’ve seen it over and over again. It could be just because it’s so comfortable and quiet, but many have told us that being on the tug inspires them question their assumptions about life and what’s possible.
Owatonna is therefore also a great place for creative work. At any time of day it’s usually possible to find a sheltered place to sit with our laptops outside, or in any of the many salons, letting our thoughts wander as we write or plan.
We’ve recorded numerous videos and audios in our office in the pilot house and below decks. Our particular way of life led us to adapt the large forepeak cabin to a video studio, a meditation room, an exercise room, and an extra bedroom. But it would also make a great master bedroom.
We have had many life-affirming experiences on board, both personally and professionally. That’s not an accident. It’s part of being on the vivid edge.
You will find that many love this tug. We have encountered people around the world who have taken pictures of Owatonna when they visited Sausalito years ago, and who still remember it. Visitors to the town and passing boaters and paddle-boarders have often told us:
“That’s my favorite boat in the Bay!”
“Every time I’m in town I bring the family to see her!”
“This boat is my goal!”
“Will you trade lives with us?”
Dinner boats pivot alongside so that tourists can take photos.
Many of our guests from years past have told us that parties onboard are now wonderful memories and will be for many years to come.
We've never sold swag, but your guests may be interested in something like these.