The occasional tugboat assisting a freighter in Sandusky Bay is not uncommon. Visitors to the bay's shoreline have had their share of double takes when seeing a new tug coasting along the downtown skyline without a freighter in sight.
King and Marie Baer, residents at the Chesapeake Loft Condominiums, are the proud owners of Coastie, a 22-ft custom built harbor tug. King bought the boat formerly named El Toro from a yacht yard in Newburyport, Massachussetts. It was bought in September of last year and the Baers had it trucked to Sandusky.
Since then King has repainted everything but the black hull of the boat, added parts from his personal collection and given the tug a name.
To see more photos of the little tug, click HERE
Baer, an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, named the boat Coastie and worked with the Sandusky Paint Company to give the boat an accurate Coast Guard paint scheme. King'sservice was one reason for the theme of the boat, but Coastie's home, Newburyport, was also home to the first Coast Guard Station.
Coastie is powered by a 135 hp Ford Lehman Diesel engine with a Hurth gear and a 22-inch three-bladed propeller. The hull is made of hand-laid fiberglass.
The Baers have no plans to assist stray freighters in the bay and will use the boat for recreational rides around the bay. King said the only thing left to add is a horn like the big tugs carry and that shouldn't be too far down the road, or river in this case.