The history of the seagoing steam tugboat ‘Hercules’

Early 1915 in the province of Groningen in Martenshoek (Hoogezand) at the yard of G. & H. Bodewes the keel was laid for a small seagoing tugboat which was built at yard’s own risk. The vessel as well as the boiler and engine were built under Germanischer Lloyd class 100 A 4 h. She was called ‘G. & H. Bodewes 3’ with yardnumber 597, tonnage was 63,61 gross and 11,47 nett. The boiler and steam engine were supplied by “machinefabriek A.S. Fulton”.

(click on the photo for an enlargement).

After completion and a few months being idle alongside the yard’s berth, interest was shown from Danmark. It was the Danish Admiralty who showed their interest for the tug, to which a sea trial followed. According to a newspaper that time, the tug made a speed of 11 knots and the engine developed an output of 250 ipk during this trial. After an underwater hull inspection at the yard Niestern in Delfzijl by two Danish navy-engineers, the tug was sold for the amount of fl. 44.500,- , of which fl. 16.500,- was paid to A.S. Fulton for the engine and boiler.

The Fremad 2 working with a small barge for the Danish navy, date unknown(click on the photo's for an enlargement).

The tugboat was called ‘Fremad’, which means Ahead, and manned with a Danish navy crew she departed for Copenhagen.

Some memorable events for the ‘Fremad’

December 16th 1964 the vessel was sold through “Government Domains” to mr. Jurgen Hastrup, who wanted to change the name in ‘Ditte Hastrup’. This name was never displayed on the hull. For a long period the vessel served as a houseboat for Jurgen’s brother. After this man died in the engine room due to a heart attack and the tugboat was unmanned and idle for a long period, she was gradually stripped from bronze and brass parts and ship’s antique.

In Copenhagen between 1964 and 1978 maintenance was not or barely carried out. (Click on the photo's for an enlargement).

Ship broker J. Mos discovered the vessel late 1978 and brought her from Copenhagen to Enkhuizen. Arrived there all bilgewater was pumped out at first by the steamtugs ‘Noordzee’ and ‘Scheelenkuhlen’.
The tug was offered for sale and was almost sold to somebody who did have the intention to rebuild her to a motor tugboat. Fortunately this deal was cancelled.