Alice Moran Makes Port

Not-so-sticky greetings from the Tar Heel State! This past weekend, I delivered the finished painting of the Alice L. Moran to my great-uncle, framed it (in a frame he made), hung it, and rearranged the furniture in the room (so the Alice & the M. Moran are more viewable). My, is he pleased.

Again, as with the M. Moran, Uncle Joe (Joseph F. Hack) designed the Alice, and at the time (1966, I believe), she was the most powerful tug in the world. (The M. Moran is similar in that it was the most powerful in the Moran fleet when it was constructed.) The Alice was assembled in Japan, then sailed to England; she is still in service in South America but under a new name. Originally she had four engines (totalling 9600 bhp), but when she went south of the equator, two were cannibalized.

Uncle Joe shared that Admiral Moran (alias “the boss”) once confided that he did not know how he was going to crew the ship since she was so powerful; he thought perhaps a Dutch, Scandinavian, or German crew. Later, the Admiral’s son took over and hired a less-qualified Spanish crew for much less money. They took her on her maiden voyage from Japan to England. There, they tore up the dry dock because they didn’t know how to handle her. The lesson? Cheap isn’t always cheaper.


Although Alice has seen her share of toils, troubles, and disassembly, she still makes for a lovely painting.