Russel Brothers Limited OWEN SOUND, ONTARIO Steelcraft Boat Builders
|Lynn B. / Wendy B.|
Hull #359. Canadian List of Shipping 1970 and 1994: Steel steam tug Lynn B. [C.154628] built 1940 at Owen Sound by Russel Bros. and launched for C. S. Boone Dredging Co. Ltd., Toronto, but taken over by the Royal Canadian Navy upon completion and served at Halifax as boom gate vessel until the end of hostilities. Returned to Boone in 1945 and named b] Lynne B. 1945 - 1961; renamed b) Wendy B. 1961 - present. See clipping file for pic and file in this folder. RBF Notes: as Wendy B. owner (Gordon Bennett) died 2004. Son Bob Bennett took over and put tug up for sale on Scruton Marine later in summer 2004. Sold to Laurence Kent Jones of Washington DC. From Toronto, she found her way through the NYS Canal down to Washington, D.C. where her current owner David Beckmann found her. It seems she had been piloted south by David�s grandmother. It was love at first sight and David bought WENDY B and went down with his brothers, cranked up the GM-671 that hadn�t been run in five years, and they sailed her north through the inland waterway. They are now planning the restoration of the ship.
The Georgian Bay Explorer, April 5th 2007
Internet article by Andrew Armitage, source here.
The Wendy B. was built in Owen Sound by Russel Brothers in 1940. A 65-foot coal-fire tug, she was commandeered by the Royal Canadian Navy. Until the end of the Second World War, the then un-named tug was a boom gate vessel in Halifax Basin. Returned to her owners, the tug was then named the Lynn B. For the next six years, she performed well until 1951 when down-bound across Lac St. Louis, she was rammed and sank.
A decade later, she was raised from her bed of mud. In 1961, sporting a new name, the Wendy B., she was back in action. But not for long. Based in Kingston and employed breaking ice for the Wolfe Island ferry, the tug once again went to the bottom. Someone had opened her sea cocks. Refloated, her owners decided to sell the unlucky Russel Brothers tug.
In 1964, the Wendy B. was towing barges on Lake Champlain when she was converted from coal to diesel. Brought to Montreal for a hull examination, the tug was being lifted out of the water when a line snapped. She fell thirteen feet back into the water and promptly sank. That was the end for the Wendy B. For the next 25 years, the tug sat on a mud bank in Pierreville before catching the eye of John Gordon Bennett, a retired West Indies ship captain. After refurbishing the hulk, he obtained a certificate of seaworthiness and the Wendy B. returned to life.
Registered as a Coast Guard auxiliary vessel, the Wendy B. spends her time at a dock at Cobourg. One of the many tugboats built by Russel Brothers in Owen Sound, the little tug that sank over and over might well be in attendance next July when the Owen Sound-Russel Brothers Tug Fest gets underway.
(NB - Bob Bennett notes (April 2007): Wendy B.'s home port was Oakville, Ont., untill the river got too shallow then to Toronto from 2001 thru 2004. In 2004 she was sold to a gentlemen from Washington DC, her new port is now the Capital Yacht Club on the Potomac River.)
From the Company Brochure
"Steelcraft Fishing Boats and Equipment"
From the Company Brochure
"Steelcraft Powerful Diesel Tugs"
Click to enlarge to 600 pixel. From the OSMRM Collection
Factory photos from Art Busch's scrapbook,
courtesy Fort Frances Museum.
Photos by Bob Bennett,
The Wendy B as we found her in 1979 on the St Francois River in Quebec.
Photos by Bob Bennett, Notre-Dame de Pierreville, QC. 1986.
Ken Potter comments (Mar. 11, 2019): "I was a member of the crew that delivered the Wendy B. from Pierreville to Toronto for Gord Bennett back in 1986 or so.... Some adventures could be told from that trip...It was Dana Kennedy, his girlfriend Pauline, myself and Gordon. It started off with us touching bottom while being towed out of Pierreville. Two hours later Gordon missed a turn and we ran aground on a mud shoal. The grounding popped the depth sounder transducer from it's housing and the engine room began to flood. It took me a few minutes to figure out where all the very cold water was coming from. We got that sorted out but by then the Seaway Traffic folks were on to us, wanting to know what was going on and why we didn't have a pilot on board. Gordon convinced them that we were a private yacht, and a passing CCG vessel created a large wake for us to rock the vessel and become unstuck...onwards up the river. The vessel had no working navigation lights and when we arrived at Beauharnois lock the first evening Gordon put flashlights in the fixtures. The lockmaster took one look at us and told us we were not going any further until daylight. Maneuvering was interesting because there was no bridge control. Gordon had rigged a doorbell next to the main engine and would use it to signal me as to what he wanted to do. And thus it went all the way to Toronto.
Bill Broadhead photos, Port Dover, c. 1989 - 1990.
From the OSMRM Collection, c. 1990
Paul Capel photos. Port Credit, ON. Date unknown, but c. 1990.
Wendy B. in 1995. Bob Bennett comments (Sept. 4, 2019):
"This one is myself, daughter Sam, and my dad Gordon Bennett."
Wendy B, 1997. Photo by Boris Spremo.
Wendy B. at Pierreville, July 27, 1997.
Early 2000s, Toronto. Photos from Roger Read.
Bob Bennett notes (April 2007): Wendy B.'s home port was Oakville, Ont., untill the river got too shallow then to Toronto from 2001 thru 2004. In 2004 she was sold to Laurence Kent Jones from Washington DC, her new port is now the Capital Yacht Club on the Potomac River. I have a lot of documentation collected over the last 25 years. I have the original Blue Book from 1959 from when she was reconditioned after the 15 years on the bottom, also a copy of the investigation from 1945 on her sinking, her original cotton ensign from when she was a gate vessel during war times and a lot more. My father Capt. I Gordon Bennett and I documented all the work from the time we purchased her as scrap 25 years ago till I had to sell her. Wendy B, Pascol and Emerald Bay in 2003, during my fathers Captain J. Gordon Bennett�s funeral.
Tug Wendy B clearing ice from Pier 35, Toronto, ON on March 25, 2005 by Bob Bennett.Sold 2004 to Laurence Kent Jones from Washington DC, her new port is now the Capital Yacht Club on the Potomac River. 2004 photo by Robert B. Farrow.
boatnerd source: http://www.boatnerd.com/news/newsthumbs/newsthumbs_117.htm
Tug Wendy B. being hauled out on Apr. 15 at Atlas Crane; to be departing for the Potomac
River shortly. Toronto photos by Charlie Gibbons.
boatnerd source: http://www.boatnerd.com/news/newsthumbs/newsthumbs_122.htm
April 15th, 2005, Toronto. From the Gerry Ouderkirk Collection.
Laurence Kent Jones blogged (early 2005): So I'm nuts. The Wendy B is a sixty five year old tugboat that has not been in commercial service since 1945 and spent the late forties and the fifties under the St. Lawrence River. It's been owned for the last twenty years by a licensed captain who pulled it out of a mudbank next to a dredging company dock, re-engined it, and lived and travelled on it. It's a lovely picturesque boat, but still mostly a steel shell. A work in progress! The sale is in progress, pending survey and insurance, but if it all comes together I will take posession in Toronto in late spring and bring it down to Washington DC as soon thereafter as practicable. http://wendybtodc.blogspot.ca/
Taken on March 23, 2008...Mr.TinDC: Wendy B. Tugboat
While walking along the SW waterfront, an old tugboat caught my eye, named the Wendy B. I did some Googling, and it appears she was built around 1940 in Canada, and was restored and brought to the Potomac a few years ago. Note the Canadian maple leaf on the funnel, and the seagull that happened to be flying by when I took this shot. http://www.flickriver.com/�/mr_t_in�/tags/washingtonchannel
Photos from Laurence Kent Jones, 2007.
Waterford Tugboat Roundup 2012
Waterford, NY. Photo by Tug 44.
Waterford Tugboat Roundup 2012 Waterford, NY. Photos by Will Van Dorp.
Waterford Tugboat Roundup 2012 Waterford, NY.
Erich Amberger photo from Will Van Dorp's blog, Feb. 2015.
For more Russel exhibits visit Owen Sound Marine & Rail Museum 1165 1st Ave West, Owen Sound, ON N4K 4K8
(519) 371-3333 http://marinerail.com