HOWB 015 – 1890 Elmore wooden tug owners Dee & Sara Meek – interview

by admin on December 29, 2011



Interview: Elmore Wooden Tug Owners – Dee & Sara Meek

This week I interviewed Dee & Sara Meek of Oak Bay, WA.  The Meek’s have the distinct privilege of owning the 68′, 1890 wooden tugboat Elmore.  They purchased her in 1990 after Dee read an article about a couple that had turned a tugboat into a live aboard.  He convinced Sara they should buy an ocean going tug to live on.  Shortly afterwards they found the Elmore on the Snohomish River in need of extensive cleanup and repair.  They figured one year would be enough time to clean up Elmore and get her ready to live aboard.  After eight years of commuting 4 hours to the boat and working all weekend, they finished her up.  Talk about perseverance!

The Elmore has a fascinating history including ferrying passengers and freight to the Alaska Gold Rush in 1898 and being stripped of all machinery in preparation for being scuttled in 1982 before she was rescued by Dave Updike of Seattle.  Click this link to view the Complete History.  Click on the green player button above to hear the 40 minute interview.

Here’s some pics to enjoy:

The Elmore at home dockside, Port Hadlock, WA


Dee & Sara Meek on deck of Elmore


This 1940 Atlas 4 cylinder, 110hp diesel powers the Elmore


Dee in pilot house of the Elmore


The Elmore in early 1900's when she was a steamboat


The Meek’s email is if you would like to contact them.  Thanks again Sara & Dee for taking the time to meet with me and give me a tour of the Elmore!!


Email from HOWB listener Lee Bjorklund

Lee sent me an email sharing how his son bought plans for a boat (Tahitiana) at the age of 12, and eventually built the boat finishing it at the age of 30.  Here’s a pic of his boat “SV Yare”.  Congrats Tor!

30' Tahitiani design SV Yare


Next Week – Interview with Tug Buse – boat builder and adventurer

Michael “Tug” Buse shares the story of how he grew up on his parents 1961 wooden tug “Maggie B”, built a William Garden designed 14′ pram, and sailed it 4,000 miles in 14 months.  Don’t miss it!


Want to help?  Please leave feedback!

My goal is to build a community of folks who want to connect, learn, and have fun with wooden boats.  I would REALLY appreciate you sending me wooden boats pics, stories, or projects you are working on.  You can also write in my blog comment section, email me at, or call my feedback hotline at 424 261-2360.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

September 2, 2017

I am a French naval modeler and I am looking for information about an American tug “ELMORE” because if I have the possibility, I would like to make a sailing model and if you allow me because this ship is superb.
For this you have plans of hull shape and infrastructure as well as its dimentions and other details
I have a website where you will see my achievements:
Hope to have answers from you soon.


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