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.
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.
From the OSMRM Collection
Photos by Bob Bennett, Notre-Dame de Pierreville, QC. 1986.
Bill Broadhead photos, Port Dover, c. 1989 - 1990.
Paul Capel photos. Port Credit, ON. Date unknown, but c. 1990.
Wendy B. at Pierreville, July 27, 1997.
RBF notes: Wendy B - Sold 2005 to Washington, USA
(Toronto, ON July 29, 2002)
April 15th, 2005, Toronto. From the Gerry Ouderkirk Collection.
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.
Photos from Laurence Kent Jones, 2007.
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