Stuck horn on a tugboat keeps Everett, WA up all night


Originally published at:


Pretty sure it doesn’t take longer than an hour to beat the shit out of a malfunctioning horn until it dies. Either that or cut the power to it.


The tugboat owner is lucky the community didn’t apply that same approach to them.


Fog horns are usually air powered. There are always a valve or two on the circuit, just got to know where it is!


I figured it might be air powered, but not being savvy i wonder how long an airhorn can go off? I thought that they wouldn’t be able to sound off indefinitely. Unless it was going off intermittently as it compressed more air.


It seems incredible they couldn’t turn it off, cut the power, stuff a rag in the horns throat…

Wonder what the real problem was.


The horns I’ve worked with were hooked to the “service air” piping: 7 bars compressed air used around the ship for powertools, pneumatics, etc. Usually, there is a big tank and a small compressor automatically starting when the pressure drops. So it can last a looooonng time as long as there is power to run the compressor.


Interesting :slight_smile: I guess i should have deduced such a thing, it makes sense. But thanks for clarifying that for me! Definitely my line of thought if i worked at the barge would be to kill the power and deal with it later.


$10 says there was nobody onboard. Electrovalve fails on the horn, air goes out, horn sings the song of its people.


That is a serious looking tug boat! Nothing like the cute anthropomorphized ones I’d read about in my little golden books.


Night staff at the port will be clueless and an hour isn’t so bad for tracking down somebody with appropriate access keys, codes etc, in the middle of the night, waking them up and them getting there and figuring out which valve or breaker to best cut it off with.


Curious. What does the fact that it is hot have anything to do with this?


Heat makes it hard to sleep.
A fog horn doesn’t help.


People have their windows open to cool down, I guess.


No AC? So folks in Everett sleep with the windows open. Got it. As an East Coaster South of the Mason Dixon sleeping with windows open is not an option in May, June, July, August, or Sept and most of Oct. It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. Even with the windows closed I’m sure one could hear that horn loud and clear.


All kidding aside, there are probably some very good legal reasons why someone can’t just go mucking around on another’s tugboat. Stuck horn or not.


True… but as water-craft go, tugboats are SO asking for it!


If ever there was an appropriate use for a Molotov Cocktail, this was it.


If it was a continuous sound I think I would have gone to sleep quite well. It’s the jumpy sounds that keep me up. For example my neighborhood has began shooting fireworks in preparation for the 4th of July.


You could sink the offending tugboat in less time than that. And it would deserve it.