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Reader's View: Tugboat should be moved to land

Miles Woodruff was absolutely right: The water is a terrible place to keep a boat ("City takes next step in moving Edna G.," Jan. 5). From the moment a boat is launched until it is removed from the water, Mother Nature works tirelessly to sink that boat, no matter how large or small, no matter the material it is made of.

The tug Edna G no longer earns enough revenue to pay for continual repairs to keep her afloat. She is retired and must be hauled out of the water to preserve her.

From her arrival in Two Harbors in 1896 to her last tow on Dec. 30, 1980, the Edna G made it possible for Minnesota iron ore to leave Minnesota and arrive at various smelters east of here, winning wars and building America. She is no longer capable of sailing and working — but can still sink.

The Lake County News-Chronicle and Duluth News Tribune made a couple of factual errors that must be corrected.

The story stated the tug was 154 tons, suggesting this is her weight. Her registry tonnage is 154 tons. Registry tonnage has nothing to do with her weight but everything to do with her enclosed volume. A registry ton is a measure of volume and is ordinarily the only figure of interest to shipping and insurance industries.

The tug's actual weight is her "dead weight" or "displacement" and in round numbers is 300 tons. This number recently was calculated by an engineer at Fraser Shipyards, based on the original lofting diagrams from the tug's builder.

Another mistake was that she was in service to the federal government for four years during World War I. The U.S. participation in that war was only its last two years. The Edna G was federalized from November 1917 to August 1919.

Thomas V. Koehler

Two Harbors