Foss Maritime has been the first—well, last—name in tugboats since Thea Foss and her husband launched the company with only a row boat in 1889. The classic tractor tug, which chugs through Elliott Bay, is named for their son, who did salvage in Pearl Harbor after the attack.
Built by Seattle’s own Delta Marine, one of the world’s best and biggest luxury yacht makers, Boeing’s 151-foot company yacht is, like other mega boats, largely out of reach to the public—but often spotted docked in Westlake.
The schooner’s 1913 maiden voyage was to take an adventurer to the Arctic to capture a bowhead whale (he failed). Today the National Historic Landmark—in Shilshole Bay in June—hosts youth learning about maritime history and environmental stewardship. soundexp.org
Of the Seattle Police Department’s dozen or so patrol boats that enforce marine law along 200 miles of city shoreline, the 45-foot no. 9 boat is the speediest, has air conditioning, and can carry SWAT teams around.
Like the lightship next door, the historic mosquito fleet steamer is parked in South Lake Union. Fifth in the line of ferries from a former Vashon Island operator, it’s the last remnant of the old passenger boat armada and free to board Thursday through Sunday. virginiav.org