114-year-old Tug Being Restored After Sinking

One of Puget Sound’s oldest surviving wooden tugs is being restored after sinking in Hood Canal in the summer of 2017.

Built in 1906 by James Hall, the tugboat Parthia had a long-life servicing ships that called to Washington’s Capital City, Olympia. Beyond working, she is also a five-time winner of the Olympia Harbor Days vintage tugboat races – a true icon of the city’s waterfront.

After the vessel sank while under private ownership, several members of the Puget Sound Maritime and Olympia’s South Sound Maritime Heritage Association (SSMHA) ensured the Parthia was salvaged and is now being restored to her original glory. After restoration, she will be permanently located on Olympia’s waterfront as a historical maritime exhibit.

This past April, Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) traveled to the shipyard, where the vessel is undergoing repairs, to scan the exterior of the hull as well as sections of the vessel’s interior. Engineers used a FARO laser scanner to create a “point cloud” of the hull’s exterior. The data is used to create a 3D surface model in Rhino and a conventional 2D lines plan drawing for the owner. These models will aid in the restoration of the Parthia.

3D scanning is a valuable tool used to gather data with ultimate accuracy. Scanning a vessel is a quick process that delivers a wealth of knowledge and provides our engineers the ability to evaluate data and solve problems more precisely. The result is an effective visual communication tool that vessel owners, operators and shipyards can use to make better, more informed decisions.

EBDG says it has found this to be especially helpful during the coronavirus pandemic. One engineer can conduct a 3D scan while following social distancing guidelines. The finished product can then be shared digitally and accessed by many. This eliminates the need for an outsider to board a vessel.

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