Fred Murphy

$15.00 - $630.00
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A 26' to 29' tugboat

For a PDF study plan download, click HERE

CATEGORY: Tug Yachts
CONSTRUCTION: Sheet plywood/wood framing, or welded aluminum or steel

It's probably not fair to class our Fred Murphy as a "mini-tug" since it's capable of serious cruising whether for work or play. The deep draft displacement hull has the seakindliness and feel of a little ship whether you build the short or longer option, both of which use the same plan set. The spacious forward cabin includes two 6' 6" berths with space for a head below and with hanging lockers aft both sides. Additional storage is below the berths and whatever one arranges in the deckhouse, which can be outfitted with additional accommodations, galley, and helm station as desired. You can even lengthen the house a couple of feet for more enclosed space if you wish.

About Our Tugs:

All the world is enamored by tugs. So imagine the pride and satisfaction you’ll get piloting and owning one of these authentic scaled-down replicas. Conceived by Al Sorenson and refined and detailed for amateur construction by Ken Hankinson, these are serious vessels meant for work or pleasure. They feature deep-draft, heavy-displacement hulls for the motion and feel of little ships. With their oversize props, big rudders, and deep keels, these boats can turn on a dime and punch through seas that would stop or flail about less-able "flyweights" of similar length.

Other big boat features include self-bailing cockpits, fantail sterns, walk-around decks, raised bulwarks, 6'3"+ pilothouse headroom, and the reliability and economy of a real inboard motor (gas or diesel). Internal ballast is used for stability and to bring the boats to their lines. Yet all models except the 26-footer can be trailered without special permits.

Construction is robust, yet these boats are well within most do-it-yourselfer’s abilities, and not expensive. Ordinary materials and building methods are detailed that most anyone can handle. The accompanying photos show how it’s done in the case of metal construction. But sheet plywood/wood construction is optional. In either case, FULL SIZE PATTERNS for frames and stem eliminate lofting, and the plans come with material lists for making cost estimates. Study Plan Paks are also available for each model.


SWEET 16 has a convertible double berth under the aft trunk and 2 or 3 can stand in the pilothouse. A portable head can be stowed below the foredeck. You can omit the trunk for more cockpit space. Nominal crew weight is 600 lbs max. Layouts on GOLIATH and TITAN are similar. Each has a v-berth for two forward with portable head under, and spacious pilothouse where a galley can be worked in. TITAN can be lengthened to 21'6". On day trips, GOLIATH can handle a nominal crew weight up to 800 lbs, while TITAN can handle up to 900 lbs. FRED MURPHY has a large cabin forward with v-berth for two, space under for a portable head, and lockers both sides. The pilothouse has room for a galley and dinette/settee to suit; the house can be extended aft for more interior space if desired.

Length overall:
8350 lbs.
Suggested power range:
Speed within HP range:
7 kts.
Fuel capacity:
60 gals.
28'10" opt.