Registration number 2744
Status Registered


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Tug
Location Chatham Historic Dockyard
Vessel type Tug
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions Yes


Builder Cook, James W, Wivenhoe
Built in 1962
Hull material Steel
Rig None
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Inboard diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Length: Overall
69.29 feet (21.12m)
Breadth: Beam
18.64 feet (5.68m)
7.48 feet (2.28m)
Air Draft
13.12 feet (4.00m)
Tonnage: Gross


TOUCHSTONE  is a tug of welded steel construction built by Cooks of Wivenhoe for the Cory Tank Lighterage  Co. in 1963.  Until the early 1980s she was mainly employed towing petrol lighters from Thames Haven to Aylesford on the River Medway.  When this trade was discontinued she was assigned to the River Thames household rubbish trade running between City of London wharves and Cory's disposal/landfill site on the Mucking Flats marshes.

By the early 1990s she had become a standby tug at Gravesend.  In 1999 TOUCHSTONE was sold out of service to Rob Chandler who endeavoured to maintain her as a working preserved craft and regularly attended festivals in South east England and Europe.

Update, July 2024: Vessel under new ownership. The tug has had an MCA survey ready to pass back into commercial service with no defects and only a few recommendations. She will remain locally operating on the Thames and Medway by a family run towing business

Key dates

  • 1962

    Built by James W. Cook of Wivenhoe

  • 1962/1999

    Lighterage work on the rivers Thames and Medway

  • 1990s

    Used as standby tug at Gravesend

  • 1999

    Laid up at Cory's yard at Charlton and sold to present owners

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