HOWB 016 – Tug Buse, wooden boat builder, long distance sailor, historian: interview

by admin on January 5, 2012



Interview: Tug Buse
Michael “Tug” Buse grew up on the water.  In fact, looking west from his parents’ Warm Beach (WA) home dining room, all you see is Port Susan bay and Camano Island in the distance.   Beginning at the tender age of 10 months, Tug was getting sea legs on his parents’ wooden tugboat, the “Maggie B” while cruising around Puget Sound.

Buse always wanted to build a little sister for Maggie B.  He wanted a boat that was his very own but closely related to his parents’ tug.  Tug purchased plans for a ’14 sailing pram from the same renowned Seattle naval architect that designed the Maggie B – William Garden.  The pram was designed to be easy to sail, stable, and rock solid on the water.   He took Garden’s plans and  built “Adventure” during five summers, finishing her in 2008 after a total of about 2,500 hours.  She is a striking boat with a stout 6′ beam, cedar strip planking, a small cuddy cabin, and sitka spruce spars.

When Tug moved to Sioux City, Iowa to be a college professor at Morningside College in 2007, he felt landlocked.  After doing a little research he discovered that the Missouri river system in his back yard was connected with other rivers to the south and eventually dumped into the Gulf of Mexico.  Next, he discovered the intercoastal waterway, a mostly protected 3,000 mile long waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts that could take him east along the gulf, then as far north as Maine to his alma mater, Bowdoin College.

The rest “is history”, as they say.  Click on the green player button above to listen to the interview about Tug’s 4000 mile, 14 month journey.

Here’s some pics to enjoy:

Tug at the helm of Adventure

Tug on Adventure with deck tent up

Tug rowing - this pic says it all!

Tug's parents' 1961 tugboat - Maggie B

Tug’s email is  Thanks again Tug for taking the time to meet with me!!!

Next Week – Interview with Dale McKinnon – wooden boat builder, long distance open ocean rower.
Dale tells the story of how she built a Sam Devlin designed dory and rowed it single handed 800 miles from Ketchikan Alaska to Bellingham, WA.  Tune in again next week folks – you won’t regret 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 blogs comment sections, email me at, or call my feedback hotline at 424 261-2360.


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