Model Bow

Where did the term “model bow” descriptor for tugs come from?

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a curved “moulded” bow as opposed to a square push bow

somehow the stoopid coonasses couldn’t say moulded so they changed it to model


Great question! I couldn’t find any reference. Capt CWT Layton had no mention in his dictionary.

There is a boat builders term; “model hull” which is the standard pointy bow and roundy stern.

I don’t know where the term came from but I’d guess it means an off the shelf model rather than a more exotic design.

Another guess, many tugs have a “model bow” but a square stern so the term “model hull” is not seen often.

Looks like a typo here but:

Model Hull A type of hull design in which the form is molded, curved, and shaped into a pointed and rounded stem.

Here is the link:

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Model hull and model bow do not appear in deKerchove’s International Maritime Dictionary (1949). But we have molded breadth, molded depth, molded draft, molding book, mold loft, and mold loft batten – all leading toward molds, which are the patterns made of thin boards used to bend or fashion frames or other structural parts.

I think @c.captain may have the right of it.

That could be, I used these search terms and a some hits on “model hull”,

“model hull” tug glossary

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It seems to be rather specialized jargon centered on Louisiana:

"The model-bow tugboat, a combination towing and pushing vessel, is not exclusive to Louisiana, but close to it. There are a smattering among her Gulf Coast neighbors, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas, and a few on the Atlantic Coast, but the Pelican State is where the design shines, pushing barges along the inland waterways and bayous that vein the wetlands and towing them offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. "

Also, deKerchove says Towboat – see tugboat; whereas McDonough Marine Services says Tugboat – A model hull towboat of relatively deep draft used primarily for pull towing and designed for navigation in open or unprotected waters.

That strikes me as a shall we say inland-centered viewpoint.


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of course I nailed it…

thanks for recognizing the fact