"Tuggy McTugface" Ruled Out in Naming Contest for Electric Harbor Tug

Published Jun 12, 2020 9:13 PM by The Maritime Executive

The port authority for Auckland, New Zealand has asked the internet community to select the name of its new all-electric tug, and it has received 3,000 suggestions, including several novel options. Learning from the experience of the UK Natural Environment Research Council - which was surprised when the online public selected "Boaty McBoatface" as the name for its new $250 million polar research vessel - the seaport is curating the choices before the final vote. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the port authority decided to remove Tuggy McTugface from the running for the new tug. Also eliminated were The Fighting Queen of Covid, Electric Disco Biscuit and Doug.

“It looks like people had a lot of fun making up names, and we've had a lot of laughs sorting through them. We’ve narrowed down the field, tested the short-list for operational suitability and arrived at the final four names going to public vote," port communications manager Matt Ball said in a statement.

The final four options are ?rahi (a Maori word meaning to lead, escort, conduct or drive), Hiko (Maori for electrical, power), E.T. (an acronym intended to represent "electric tug") and Sparky. Any member of the public can vote for the new name at https://www.poal.co.nz/name-the-tug

The as-yet-to-be-named vessel will be the world's first full-size, fully electric ship assist tug. The 25-meter boat will have 70 tonnes of bollard pull - the same as the port's strongest diesel tugboat. She will be able to do three to four shipping moves on a full charge, or about three to four hours work. A fast charge will take about two hours. 

As for "Boaty McBoatface," the UK NERC departed from the original plan and selected the much more serious name of RRS Sir David Attenborough. The original name lives on, though, appended to an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) which is carried and deployed by the research vessel.