News & Events

A Selene 47 yacht to the rescue of veteran tugboat « Parthia »

Rick and Pam Panowicz’s Selene Yacht 47 « Jeanne Marie », became a tug boat to tow the re-floated historic « Parthia » to Port Townsend, where it was hauled-out and trucked to Olympia, Washington state.

When « Parthia », one of Olympia’s longest working and oldest tugboats sank in Hood Canal in early August, 2017 several members of the nonprofit South Sound Maritime Heritage Association, SSMHA, swung into action to save the tug. More than three months later, on November 16, after hundreds of hours of planning and volunteer, donated and contracted work, and two days of marine towing, provided by Rick Panowicz using his Selene Yacht 47 « Jeanne Marie », the more than century-old Parthia was back in Washington’s Capital City at the Port of Olympia’s.


A perennial participant, and winner of five Olympia Harbor Days tugboat races, the venerable tug had been sold to a new owner in 2016. After she sunk, he offered to donate the 45-foot long « Parthia » to anyone who would salvage her. Not wanting to lose an icon of the city’s working waterfront history, the SSMHA decided to take him up on his offer to acquire the tug.

After Parthia’s re-floating, the initial plan was to have the owners of vintage tugs that had participated in past Harbor Days events use their retired work-boats for the 100-mile long tow from Pleasant Harbor in Hood Canal to Olympia, but logistical and scheduling difficulties prevented it. However, after hearing about the problem Olympia businessman and former tugboat owner John Warjone came up with another solution. Together with his retired business owner friend Rick Panowicz, and Rick’s nephew, tug captain Rob Panowicz, they proposed to use Rick’s 47-foot Selene trawler yacht « Jeanne Marie » to tow « Parthia » from the site of her sinking on Hood Canal north to Port Townsend for haul-out. Rick’s nephew, a licensed, experienced tug master with Sause Brothers Ocean Towing of Coos Bay, Oregon, would be at the helm for the 36-mile-long tow.


According to Rick, the tow process was initiated on one of the worst weather days in Puget Sound. Sustained winds were in the 40-knot range with higher gusts. « The most difficult part of the tow was maneuvering the tug into a side-tie slip in Port Townsend with 40 knots of wind. Our thrusters got quite a work out! I was glad we had new thruster batteries and my nephew at the helm », said Rick. « Our Selene Yacht 47 handled the towing and maneuvering beautifully and we were able to tow « Parthia » the 35 miles to Port Townsend at around 6.5 knots running around 2,000 RPM. »

Congratulations to Rick and his nephew for stepping in to be part of this worthwhile project!

Story courtesy of South Sound Maritime Heritage Society

February 5, 2018 Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *