Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sold! 2007 American Tug 41 #21

2007 AT-41 #021  Reduced by $75,500   Tsillan is now SOLD! 

I worked very closely with the owner when we had Tsillan constructed in 2007.  He had previously made 5 trips to Alaska on his last boat and was specific in how Tsillan was to be optioned and outfitted.  It was nice to work with a gentleman that had very well found opinions and made great decisions in her commissioning.  She is a fabulous American Tug 41!

Tsillan was built for an experienced yachtsman and includes many special touches.  She has the Cummins QSC-540 common rail engine, Onan 9Kw gensest, Village Marine 600 watermaker, Nick Jackson 3-axis crane, Raymarine electronics suite with 3ea multifunction displays & 48-mile open array radar.

She is a beatiful boat.  Deep brick red carpet and upholstery with gorgeous Jatoba wood.  
Call Steve to arrange a private tour at 206-930-6139.  Moored in a covered slip in Edmonds, WA.

Steve Scruggs, CPYB
Expedition Yacht Sales
Anytime: 206-930-6139

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fine Edge Publications: Discounts for the American Tug Family

Get the best cruising guides and unlock the secrets of the Salish Sea.

Mark Bunzel at Fine Edge publishes the very best cruising guides and planning books for cruising the northwest. I have always relied on the yellow "Exploring" series books. A few years ago I discovered the new "Dreamspeaker" series and they are a great compliment to my on board library. Mark has generously offered a 15% discount on all of his books to the American Tug family.

These books make great gifts for the holidays!

Mark is also now the publisher of the Waggoner Cruising Guide and has the all new 2012 book on his site.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Let SJY help pay for your American Tug!

San Juan Yachting would like to add a couple of Tugs in their charter fleet

The very best charter fleet in the pacific northwest would like to help pay for your American Tug!

I had a great conversation with Rick Sale, manager of San Juan Yachting in Bellingham, WA. He said they need a couple of tugs and he can keep them working for you. His conservative pro-forma shows that just over half the cost of your tug can be paid by others; and that is before any depreciation or tax advantage is figured in, which can really save you.

Rick sent me the cash flow projections for an AT-41 and AT-34. Lightly pre-owned boats such as Forever Friday (AT-34) or Cinnamon Girl (AT-41) cash flow extremely well. I would be happy to forward these pro-formas, just call 206-321-2164 or email me at:

Let’s get together with Rick and work out the details.

Thank you,   Steve Scruggs, CPYB

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sold! 2005 American Tug 41 "Cinnamon Girl"

I am very pleased to add AT-41009 to the Expedition Yacht Sales brokerage


Beautiful rich interior with neutral colored upholstery and new oat colored carpet.

Originally built for the owner of American Tugs. She is well equipped and very meticulously maintained. Powered by a Volvo 500hp common rail engine with trolling valve and dual controls, bow and stern thrusters, Raymarine E-series displays, Tanner mast, factory custom cabinetry, tons of engine spares, Village Marine 600-gpd watermaker, dual Nova Kool refrigerators, 12-foot inflatable with console and Yamaha 25 engine, etc..

The complete details are included at:

This is the boat that I delivered to Alaska this past spring.  You can read the trip blog here on the American Tug News.   Look in the articles from last May & June.  This is your opportunity to take her north!  Super well sorted and ready to cruise.

Call Steve at 206-930-6139 to arrange a private showing in Bellingham.  Cinnamon Girl is ready for your next Expedition; to the Broughton's, Alaska or Mexico!

Thank you,  Steve

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Expedition Yacht Sales is born!

Steve & Cindy Scruggs are proud to announce the formation of their new brokerage; Expedition Yacht Sales, LLC.  With a combined 40-years in the local marine industry it was time to hang out our own shingle.  We will serve the greater Puget Sound area and are always available to meet on your boat or the yacht you wish to see.

"Cindy & I are excited to be working together for the first time and able to offer the highest level of service and integrity.  We are going to do this right!"

Specializing in high quality cruising tugs, trawlers and expedition grade sailboats.  These are the boats that are ideally suited to cruising the waters of our Salish Sea and inside passage to Alaska.

Between them they have cruised or raced boats on all of the west coast from Southeast Alaska to Ensenada, Mexico and covered most of the east coast from Halifax, Nova Scotia to the Chesapeake.  Throw in a couple of races to Hawaii, Bermuda, an Atlantic crossing and several years on the Caribbean circuit for offshore experience. They have owned twin-engine powerboats, racing sailboats and an offshore capable sailboat.  They know boats and all the local cruising grounds from Olympia to Alaska.

When just 26-years old Steve founded his first boat dealership and service company in Seattle.  Most recently a yacht broker for nearly 10-years working in the Puget Sound area for a large dealership, now able to offer the service that customers really deserve with his own brokerage.  He has been involved in the sale and commissioning of over 200 new boats and countless pre-owned yachts during this career.  This is experience you can rely on.  Steve holds the CPYB designation as a Certified Professional Yacht Broker and subscribes to their code of conduct.

A fifteen-year veteran of the marine industry, Cindy will run the operations of Expedition Yacht Sales.  From listings to closings, expect first class service handling the details of your dream yacht.

Contact Expedition Yacht Sales at 206-321-2164 or visit  We stand ready to help you achieve the happiest day of your life.

Steve & Cindy

Friday, August 5, 2011

Catching Prawns in Desolation Sound

A great week of catching prawns near Cortes Island.

Our most successful year ever!

For the past eighteen years Cindy & I have headed north to Desolation Sound with friends to cruise for a week or two in early August.  The greater Desolation Sound area is a wonderful marine area and offers fantastic cruising.   It is a couple of days journey north of the San Juan's or Gulf Islands.  One of the highlights of the trip is putting out the prawn traps and seeing what we can pull up. 

The Spot Prawns are larger than shrimp and make a wonderful meal.  We generally set the traps in a depth of a little over 300-feet.  Every fisherman has their favorite honey spot, but a good guide is to put your pots near a locals and do what they do.

This is Cindy's new boat, the Mystery Machine, in beautiful Desolation Sound.

The rig I use:
Yellow top float with 75-feet of leaded line
400-feet of 1/4" polypropylene line
2ea 8-oz clip-on lead weights
Prawn trap
Scotty screw top bait jar
Bait pellets

Prawn traps are marked with yellow floats, the second jug is for extra flotation in areas with strong current.

A hose reel is an easy way to store multiple 400-foot lines tangle free.

These Dependable Trap Co. pots fold away for easy storage on a boat.

Ladner makes nice commercial style pots for sports fisherman.   Easy to empty.

Snap a couple of lead weights on the poly line to keep it from floating on top.  Scotty bait jars work great.


The commercial prawn bait is very effective.  It is like oily dog kibble.  Some use cat food.

Power pot pullers were made legal about five years ago.  We are going over 300-feet deep!

For the first ten-years we went prawning the power pullers were not legal, and we pulled the traps hand over hand...  It was great exercise.   The Brutus "Ace" puller is nicely made and fits on to a Scotty Downrigger base and uses the same power jack.  It pulls about 100-feet per minute.  A welcome addition to the Mystery Machine!

Thanks for reading my blog.  Steve

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Welcome to Steve's American Tug News

Your best source of current information on the fabulous American Tugs

Steve Scruggs - Owner of Expedition Yacht Sales, LLC.   Let me be of help.

Cinnamon Girl - American Tug 41 in Desolation Sound, British Columbia

Welcome to my blog about the American Tugs, their builders and owners.  Take a look around and be sure to read through the past postings; find information on the various American Tug models, pre-owned boats, equipment reviews, trip plans and the log of my recent Alaska adventure aboard Cinnamon Girl.

You can navigate into the older posts by clicking on the past months in the right hand column. 

Please save the link as a favorite and come back regularly as I will be constantly posting new information that is both informational and entertaining about these great boats.   Cindy & I live in La Conner, WA just down the road from the Tomco factory.

I am the owner of Expedition Yacht Sales, a brokerage specializing in Tugs, Trawlers and quality Expedition Sailboats, these are the boats ideally suited to cruising and exploring the Salish Seas and waters of our Inside Passage to Alaska.

I would be happy to answer any questions.  You can always reach me at 206-930-6139.   Thanks for visiting!


Steve Scruggs, CPYB
Expedition Yacht Sales, LLC
Anytime: 206-930-6139

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Crabbing season opens on Puget Sound!

Puget Sound crabbing season opened July 1st. 
San Juan Island areas open for crab on July 15th.

Mike Schoppert, President of American Tug with a full trap!

Crabbing season opened for much of Puget Sound on July 1st.  The San Juan Island areas will open on July 15th.  For 2011 crabbing is allowed Thursday through Mondays with a daily limit of 5-each male Dungeness.

It is time to get out out there and soak your pots!  The weekend weather was beautiful and summer is here.  Mike & I headed down to a favorite spot near Strawberry Point on Saturday and the crabbing was excellent. 

Let me know your favorite recipe. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Anchor Buddy - hold your dinghy off a rocky beach

The Anchor Buddy is a great addition to your nice dinghy!

A simple solution to an age old problem; you want to take your dinghy to the beach, but the tide is going out.  Keep her off the rocks with an Anchor Buddy!

It comes in black, blue, red, and yellow.  Simple & effective!

When about 30-40 feet away from the beach or rocky shore, toss out a stern anchor tied on with the elastic Anchor Buddy.  Unload the boat on the beach, keep a long bow line in hand and then let the Anchor Buddy pull your boat back out to deeper water.  Tie the bow line to something fixed on the shore and go have fun.  Your dinghy can ride out the waves safely away from rocks.   When you come back to the shore just pull in the bow line retrieving the dinghy and load up!

This is is a simple device, a length of heavy elastic inside a 4,000Lb capacity woven tube that is used for an anchor rode, it stretches from 14 to 50-feet.  I would replace the end hardware with quality stainless shackles.

The Anchor Buddy, use any type of anchor with it.  Click for larger.

Cruising in Alaska last month we had the opportunity to use an Anchor Buddy multiple times, and it worked very well.  The Puget Sound area the tide cycle can be 8-12 feet, in Southeast Alaska the tide is normally 16-20 feet which means that in just an hour it can change by over 3-feet.  If you leave a dinghy on the beach and go for a hike, you may find your dink 20-feet from the waters edge, or worse sitting on sharp rocks.

We used the Anchor Buddy to keep the dinghy off the rocks at the Anan Bear Observatory.

About $28 at Fisheries Supply or West Marine.  


PS:  If you have found a piece of gear that works for you, let me know and I will give it a try, and then report back here on the American Tug News.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Alaska Trip 2011: Our final day, back to Ketchikan

Day 24:  Fishing at Clover Pass and back down Tongass Narrows to Ketchikan.  20-miles

The city of Ketchikan - Ports & Harbors, operates multiple marinas such as the Thomas Basin, Bar Harbor (both in downtown) and the fairly new Knudson Cove marina out on the southwest corner of Revillagigedo Island.  This is a great location and nice facility near Clover Pass which historically has been good fishing.  We spent the night there in anticipation of finally getting my salmon...

Ketchikan's Knudson Cove Marina - early morning.  Cinnamon Girl at left.

If you have been a loyal reader of this series then you know my relationship with the salmon thus far has been a one-way affair.   In the past we have been fishing on incoming & high-slack tides, bait fish flashing, known good spots, but never with any other boats in the area which would indicate that currently the fishing is productive.  Clover Pass on this morning is different as there are a bunch of boats here.  This could be my day!

The cruise ship was not trolling, everyone else was.  Click for larger image.

We trolled for three hours.  No strikes.  We did see one of the professional charter boats net a small salmon, maybe 6-8 pounds, but that was the only action.   Later at the Bar Harbor docks I met Rick, a commercial fisherman who said that all the fish are down at the south end of Prince of Wales or out at Sitka, that they have not come "inside" yet.  He did mention that anyone can limit on Kings just south of town at Herring Cove, near the hatchery.  In fact the State had just raised the possession limit to six Kings in that specific location because of excessive hatchery fish beyond their need, if I had only known that a day earlier...

Alaska Marine Lines - the lifeline from Seattle to Southeast.  Trucks & boats on top!

Tongass Narrows is the 14-mile long channel that separates Revillagigedo and Gravina Islands.  Gravina provides the protection for Ketchikan and is the home of the Ketchikan Airport.  You may remember the "bridge to nowhere" issue during the 2008 presidential election; it was to span this channel leading to the airport now served by a 5-minute ferry ride.  It is a fun passage as every kind of boat imaginable is here, some never to leave, others just arriving.

Former Navy PT boat, now a yacht moored on the Narrows.  Very cool!

There is tremendous activity along Tongass, I must admit it is a bit of a shock after so much solitude.

Cruise ships docked & anchored in Ketchikan.  They will be busy at Thomas Basin today!

Bar Harbor Basin, slip #9-13, Ketchikan Alaska.  Our final destination.

I would like to thank Marc & Myra for making Cinnamon Girl available to us for this fantastic trip.  Cindy & I really enjoyed her.  The American Tug is a wonderful expedition cruiser, she was all systems go all the time.  A comfortable and capable passage maker.  We did not want to go home.

British Columbia and Alaska are incredible, the scenery is gorgeous and the wildlife was way beyond our expectations.   We had so much fun!

I want to go back; it seems to me that Southeast Alaska has two ecosystems and we navigated the southern coastal region, that still leaves the northern glaciated fjords to explore.  The areas north of Petersburg includes Tracy Arm, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Icy Straits, and others. I want to chip clear ice into my drink.  I would like to see the Anan Wildlife Observatory when the Pinks are running.  I would like to see two fishing poles with simultaneous hook-ups.  There is so much more...

Our trip was a one-way delivery with a little extra time in Southeast Alaska.  The schedule was tight and we moved at a fast pace.  I would have enjoyed another month there, or more, much more.  We passed through the central British Columbia coast very fast, there is a tremendous amount of cruising to be done between Cape Caution and Prince Rupert.  I have been fortunate to have cruised Desolation Sound and the Broughton's several times and look forward to seeing this area again soon.   The Inside Passage is an incredible cruising paradise that begs to be explored.  We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful area with friendly neighbors. 

Trip stats:
24 days
1238 nautical miles covered over ground (per Nobeltec & GPS)
1179 nautical miles covered over water (per the Log)
188.7 engine hours total
2.99 gallons per hour average includes travel, trolling, furnace and generator.
0 salmon (that one hurts)
Many, many crab...

Thanks for reading our blog, 

Steve & Cindy Scruggs
Expedition Yacht Sales, LLC
Cell: 206-930-6139

Call me for your next expedition yacht!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Alaska Trip 2011: Southbound in Ernest Sound & Clarence Strait

Day 23:  Moving towards Tongass Narrows and we find Orcas!  60-miles

Thom's Place will become a wonderful Alaska Marine Park.  It is beautiful.  Apparently the crab also like it here, based on the number of commercial crab pots.  It was fun to watch the fisherman aboard the Heidi J work their boat and filling a plastic barrel in only ten-minutes.

The Heidi J - typical Southeast Alaska crabber successfully finding Dungeness.

Stacey bet us he could get a crab with a fishing pole & chicken.   Not so easy!

Today we are taking Cinnamon Girl towards Ketchikan, down through Ernest Sound and then south past Meyers Chuck into Clarence Strait.  This is really pretty country with larger passages than we found up north.

Immmature Bald Eagle and Harbor Seals on Blanche Rock.

The water color has changed significantly from the area around Wrangell.  Where the Stikine River with its silt flows brown, the waters of Blake Channel and Ernest Sound are deep azure blue with good visibility.


A very large group of Dall's Porpoise came to play in Cinnamon Girls bow wave.  This photo shows two porpoise with the more classic V-rooster tail splash on the right, and a rare leap out of the water at left.  This pod stayed with us for twenty minutes, very cool mammals.

We had some debate about how far to travel, Stacey was flying out of Ketchikan the next day, but we could always get up really early... In the end we decided to keep pushing south as the day was beautiful and we were not reay to stop.  I looked at the tide table and we were going to be near Ship Island at high slack water, and that is reportedly a good trolling spot.

We finally had a "strike" at Ship Island.

Once again all the indicators for salmon were here, baitfish, slack high, a strike, tide rip...wait...did he say "strike".  It is true, we had our first salmon strike and it was over just that fast.  He was gone along with the bait.  We did a quick reset when Cindy said "whales"!   A pod of Orca's was also working this tide rip.  

We tried to figure out the pod size, guessing 12-18?

Mother and a calf.

Leap of faith or just showing off?


Spy hop, where the whale puts his head up to look around.

Tale slap.  One of the whales was very vocal.

We finally found two things we had been looking for; salmon and Orca's.  Unfortuneatly it is tough to catch a salmon while they are hiding from the top alpha predator of the ocean... that is the Orca for those of you that were trying to decide if the alpha was the whale or me...

A fantastic day with Alaska wildlife putting on a private show.  It would have been nice to get that salmon but it was awesome to spend nearly two-hours drifting with a pod of Killer Whales, engine off and no other boats around for miles. 

We docked at Knudson Cove near Clover Pass, just outside of Tongass Narrows.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Alaska Trip 2011: The Anan Bear Observatory

Day 22:  Exploring the Anan Bear Observatory and Thom's Place.  25-miles

We delayed our trip to the Anan Bear Observatory as long as possible, going to Petersburg & Wrangell first so that we could wait a bit longer.  The bears come to Anan Creek to eat Pink Salmon.  Unfortunately the Pinks have not started to come in yet...   We hoped that by waiting an extra week it might make a difference.  We did not see any bears.

Anan Creek has the largest run of pink salmon in Southeast Alaska; three-hundred thousand fish come here to spawn or be eaten by bears while trying.  Cindy really wanted to see the bears win!

The National Forest Service has built the Wildlife Observatory in one of the prettiest places I have ever been.   Pictures will not do this justice.  The Observatory consists of a shelter with great views, a photo blind, observation decks and a boardwalk leading the 3/4-mile in from shore.

The Anan Wildlife Observatory.  Click for larger image.

We anchored Cinnamon Girl in the shallow bay near the mouth of Anan Creek.  The Exploring Southeast Alaska book warns of poor holding here, and to have someone stay aboard and keep watch.  I took the American Tug over a 12-foot deep hump, and put out the anchor in 25-feet of water using 175-feet of chain, and then allowed the 10-knot wind to blow me back over the shallow hump with an in coming tide.  That way if the anchor drug, it would have to drag up hill.   She did not budge in the three hours we were there.   Stacey and Cindy took the dinghy in and went up the trail, I stayed aboard.  Later Stacey came out and I had my turn at the Observatory.

The dinghy approach is to a rocky shore, there is no beach, dock or float here.  We used an elastic "Anchor Buddy" to pull the dinghy back away from the shore after hopping out, and tying a long bow line around a rock.  This way the dinghy can stay safely in deeper water, and upon our return we can simply pull her back to the rocks and climb aboard.  

The Forest Service has a Ranger on site in July and August.  Permits are required from July 5th until August 25th, that must be the time to visit...  There are plenty of bears in the area with fresh scat all over.  We made lots of noise while hiking up the boardwalk.

River Otters in Anan Creek.  They were playing while we were there.

This is what my pictures were supposed to look like, photo borrowed from NFS gallery.

This is a very cool place even without seeing any Blacks or Browns.  With bears I am certain that it would be the highlight of our entire trip.  We will come back.

Cindy shooting Eagle photos.  The Eagles are also ready for the Pinks to arrive.

Our evening anchorage was Thom's Place, a new and undeveloped marine park.  Thom's Place is beautiful, full of crab, good holding, empty.  It is a fairly large bay and not particularly protected.  

Thom's Place at midnight. 

Day 22 was a treat.  I had fun messing around in boats.  Cindy and I look forward to visiting Anan again.

Thanks for following the blog, you can subscribe over on the right side.