Now a new lower price. Owning a landmark just got easier.
OWATONNA, is on the market! Here is the opportunity to own a piece of history, a local Icon, a treasured oasis!
She is a luxury home, on the water, in one of the most sought after destinations in the world, Sausalito California.
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.
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 belly 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 remove the main engine and related equipment and 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.
Domestic Equipment includes: a Subzero side-by-side refrigerator freezer; a 6-burner Dynasty range, a washer, and an on-demand hot water system, all propane-fired; and electric dishwasher and clothes washer with propane clothes dryer.
Services and Slip Fees: The slip fee is $2,000/month, which includes water, 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 Hi-Speed WiFi and DSL and a landline.
Tender: 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.
Driving the Tug: This tug is exclusively for experienced and licensed pilots to operate, a stipulation by the harbor masters of the Sausalito Yacht Harbor. This is not a boat for impulsive trips at the last minute unless you are an experienced tugboat pilot. Voyages require planning, staffing, and extreme care in operation.
Owatonna is capable of yachting, with some upgrades. We have preferred to use her as a very special place to be in Sausalito.
IMPORTANT: Every boat and every boat owner in the Sausalito Yacht Harbor earns the right to be here. We are all vetted by the harbor masters. What they're looking for is a knowledgeable, responsible boat owner and a good neighbor; someone who understands, has the wherewithal for, and the commitment to what's needed to keep Owatonna in great shape. When we receive the best offer from the best buyer, we will present that buyer to the harbor masters. If that buyer is refused, we will respond to the concerns of the harbor masters and seek another buyer.
It's a privilege to be a member of this community of accomplished and respectful boat lovers.
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.
A place of beauty most people only dream of
Sausalito is a haven of luxury and sophistication, minutes from San Francisco. But Sausalito is also a strong social community, one that's in intimate relationship with wildlife ... if you're on the water.
At night, it is deeply quiet on board. Night herons fish regularly from Owatonna's bumpers or her rudder. Then, in the morning, you may hear thousands of cormorants and pelicans sweeping into Richardson Bay hunting for herring or smelt. As you sit on deck with your coffee, harbor seals surface yards from you, snorting and sneezing as they fish for their breakfast. Loons, grebes, and coots swim and dive too.
On your way to a local restaurant, you'll encounter wild great blue herons and white egrets, so at ease among the boaters, walking the floating piers seeking the best fishing spots. Pause for them; they will do the same for you.
Everywhere you go, there are stunning, changing vistas of the Bay and San Francisco, reminding you daily of how fortunate you are to call this a home.
Morning breaks over the East Bay.
If you're an early riser, you can drink your morning coffee at the pilot house dining table and watch the sun rise over the East Bay.
Then you may go for a row, a run along the long waterfront, a walk in the hills of Sausalito, or a bike ride on the many scenic bike paths in Marin County.
Take breakfast along the port side with your legs on the rail and wave or talk with admiring boaters and stand-up paddlers. Sometimes the big utility boats will pass from the Army Corps of Engineers. They often wave too.
If you're heading into San Francisco, you can walk 5 minutes to the ferry where you may well make some friends among the regulars. If you haven't already eaten, you can take a little extra time to stop off at Poggio for their elegant breakfast (complete with an operatic soundtrack), or any one of the local eateries.
If you get to know and like your neighbors you may share informal get-togethers, excursions, and knowledge about your boats. Many on the docks are accomplished artists or entrepreneurs, unmannered denizens of the edge. If you're lucky and curious, you'll find your tribe.
This is a real community. If you enter with care, you may be well rewarded.
The tug herself.
Owatonna is 350 tons of steel, built and launched by the U.S. Army in 1955. It is only because of her strength and durability that she is able to lie comfortably and safely at this premium end tie, coveted by many.
Owatonna has many gearhead fans and it's easy to understand why. There is not a single thing fussy or electronic about this tug. Everything can be seen, accessed, understood quickly. All the original blueprints are on board, along with some spare parts and some of the biggest tools you have ever seen.
Owatonna currently has sleeping accommodations for four which can easily be expanded up to eight. It's hard to estimate square footage in a boat, but we figure she's about 2000 square feet of interior living space and approximately 1000 feet of exterior space on three decks. These estimates do not include the engine room which is quite large, the workshop aft, and the machine room over the engine on the main deck above (see below).
Below decks, in the forepeak, there are two cabins, one large with a 10-foot ceiling and skylight. We've used this an exercise room, video studio, and spare guest room but it could easily be made into a master stateroom. There is also a smaller cabin with two bunk beds and a desk, and in the common space, there is a workshop/library that we have used for craftwork.
On the main deck there is a full-bed cabin forward which was once used as an office, it contains a sink as well. Aft of that is the dining salon. Aft of that on the starboard side is the 25-foot galley, and aft on the port side is the full head with oversized bathtub. Between these two areas is the machine room and butterfly hatch, still intact, through which the engine can be removed, and which contains an assortment of equipment associated with the operation of the tug. Astern of the galley is a pantry, with washer and dryer, and on the port side is the half bath, which is accessible from the aft salon, roughly 14' x 14', astern of all these, which the previous owners added in steel when they did the conversion. We have spent many quiet evenings in the warm glow of that potbelly stove, as well as nights of hilarity in the summers when we have gathered here and on the fantail with friends.
On the next deck is the pilothouse. Forward, the pilothouse is intact, including the original bronze speaking tubes that connect the pilot and engineer from numerous stations around the boat. For the periods when the the boat is not being driven, we lifted the steering wheel off the steering column, hung it from the ceiling and lit it, and slipped a round tabletop onto the steering column, enabling us to sit in comfort and look out onto downtown San Francisco and the East Bay. In 20 minutes, the table can be removed and the wheel slotted back securely into place. There is also a full desk with cubby holes and built-in cabinets just astern of the stairs descending to the main deck.
Directly aft of the original pilothouse is a new salon built in steel. It was used by the original owners as their master stateroom and contains a sink and is roughed in for a toilet, both in one corner of the room. We use that cabin as an office. However it's used, it's a great away place.
On the deck aft of the pilothouse you'll find room for entertaining outside. We have relaxed there many times on chaises with our margaritas, watching the boat traffic, waving to passing sailors, and hailing our friends across the dock. We have hosted a swimsuit photoshoot, a wedding, and many many parties on this broad, flat area and around the boat. All U.S. military vessels are required to have fire-fighting capability so there are two fire monitors (water cannon) on this deck.
On top of the pilothouse there is a third water cannon and the most spectacular view of all.
Sailing into Richardson Bay on the ferry from San Francisco, you'll see Owatonna.
She's the first end-tie in Richardson Bay, a marker to incoming boat traffic that they have arrived.
What that also means is that she's the best place from which to watch boating of all kinds. You can see regattas and races on San Francisco Bay, watch sailing lessons launched from the Sausalito Yacht Club, where you can be a member; and greet passing boaters coming in and out of the Bay and the first fairway of the Sausalito Yacht Harbor. These are your neighbors.
After they get to know you, you may find you've joined a wonderfully friendly community of like-minded boat lovers with whom you may share joy on the water. This is not just a place to store boats. This is a place where lifelong friendships can be made. For that to happen, you've got to be a good neighbor.
It's true though, that many people come to their boats for respite from all the busyness of their lives. Owatonna offers a unique degree of privacy in this regard, despite her central location. It's just the nature of a big heavy tugboat to be inward-looking, built like a fortress, and consequently, well-guarded acoustically and visually. If your hatches are closed, no one will hear the loud music you're playing or your private conversations inside. No boat is alongside and often, at low tide, your neighbors across the dock won't even be able to see you.
But what you can see, oh, what you can see ...