This live steam, radio controlled tugboat model, Fergus, is a hefty five feet long. It’s boiler is heated by propane and it has sailed many hours on the water around San Diego. 

The plans for Fergus were taken from a Royal Navy WWII rescue tug named Stormking. The Stormking was built by Cochrane & Sons Shipbuilders Ltd. (Selby, JK), laid down in July 1942, and launched November 24, 1942. It was commissioned four months later on March 29, 1943. It was originally called the Stormcock but was renamed Stormking before commissioning. It carried the pennant W87 and was in the Assurance class of ships. After the war, it was sold in 1957 and went through several name and ownership changes before being broken up for scrap in 1969.

In 1968, William Brown obtained the plans for Stormking and decided to make his own steam tug, which he named Fergus. Mr. Brown’s model is radio controlled and features a working 2-cylinder steam engine, feedwater pump, and steam whistle. The boiler is fired by means of a propane tank mounted in front of it. The water tank for the boiler has a simple float pole with markings that can be seen through the forward cabin door on the port side when the superstructure is in place. The radio gear used to control the servos for steering, throttle and steam whistle is from around 1968 as well. The model was sailed many times.

We have displayed the model with the superstructure raised above the deck so you can see the workings of the steam boiler and engine.

Exhibit added: October 18, 2014 - Last modified: April 19, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship