Little Bitts Members Speak Out!!!!
IN 1993 A RETIRED SCHOOL TEACHER NAMED MIKE TWOHIG, FROM LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK, PURCHASED THE PLANS FOR A CANDU E-Z TUGBOAT. HE WAS EXCITED ABOUT HIS BOAT, THE "DRUMMER HOFF" AND ASKED TO START A TUGBOAT BUILDERS ASSOCIATION. BERK WAS VERY ENTHUSED ABOUT THIS IDEA, GAVE HIM THE GO-AHEAD AND "LITTLE BITTS" BECAME A REALITY. UNFORTUNATELY, THIS GROUP HAD TO DISBAND AFTER ALMOST 20 YEARS.
This is a photo taken of Mike Twohig and Berkeley Eastman together on the "Drummer Hoff" in New York.
Mike Twohig took his first look at this site and this page, and I have to print his letter, as I find it an inspiration to all of us to do whatever we have to in order to keep this organization going! Thanks to each and every one of you who have helped me with providing information, pictures, html codes, links, letters and inspiration. Without you I probably wouldn't have gotten this far this quickly! I appreciate the Little Bitts group more than words can say, and I know what kept Mike Twohig marching forward for 14 years! This endeavor makes me miss Berk more than words can say. I think he would be very proud of ALL of us! -Susie
Congratulations!!! You have produced an outstanding website. Less than 8 months ago we needed a new direction. You stepped right up and showed us the way, taking up the task of reorganizing us electronically and setting up the website.....no easy task. We appreciate your time consuming efforts and enthusiasm. Thanks to you the little world of minitug enthusiasts continues on.
The pride in the accomplishment of building a tiny tug is only exceeded by the delight it brings to all who behold it.
Berk always said, "Keep on tugging." and you have.
Thanks from all of us.
This is a letter and photo just contributed by member Woody Snell. This is our very first contribution! Congratulations, Woody!!! What a terrific story!-Susie
My wife, Laura , and I just went through a wonderful experience and wanted to share it with you.
You will recall that long-time member John Bosier advertised his mini-tug, the Helen-L, for sale in “Little Bitts”. Well, I’ve had the plans to build my Mini-Tug for quite some time but just haven’t gotten around to starting the project (surely none of you have ever had that problem). When John offered his boat for sale, I leaped on it, sight unseen (but liking the picture of it a lot). I called John and explained to him that I wanted to buy his boat, but that I had a slight problem….he and the mini-tug were in Michigan and I was in Alabama. I wanted to buy, but didn’t want to pick up until pretty nice towing weather. That was in November as I recall. John agreed to a purchase with him keeping the boat in his garage until I could get there to pick it up.
Well, my wife and I kept tracking the Michigan weather. Stupid me thought we might be able to get up there in April (Springtime here). Good grief, they were still having snow! May was still “iffy” for travel up there. So finally, in June, we made the trip, stopping along the way to visit with my family in North Carolina , including my soon to be 95 year old mother. Leaving Raleigh , we headed out for our Michigan to Alabama adventure.
It was a great trip. John had given us great directions to find the Bosier home and, within a couple of minutes of our arrival, John and Helen had made us feel like family. What great people! Not only that, being able to see the mini-tug for the first time was super exciting. My first impression was that she was everything he had told me and more. John had done a great job building her and it was obvious from first sight that I had a second love (when you have a wife, you have to say “second”!).
We took pictures, looked at John’s photos of the mini-tug building process (plus other super boats John and his sons have built, wooden canoe, houseboat, etc), got a tour of John’s great workshop and had a wonderful time just talking.
We hooked the red, black and white mini-tug up to our red Ford F-150 truck with black trim and, though unplanned, that combination looked like the two had been made for each other. John walked to the end of his driveway to watch us depart. I hope that what I say now doesn’t embarrass him in any way because I’d feel the same way were I in his shoes. As we left the driveway, John waved good-bye to us and I think I might have seen him wipe his eyes. He had asked us to call him as soon as we got home to make sure we got there okay. When we did that, he “came clean” saying “ Thanks for calling, I just wanted to make sure that my baby made it there okay.”
The drive back was great and I can’t tell you how many people fell in love with the little tug as we headed back to Alabama . We spent one night in Warren, Indiana, where people took pictures of the tug in the parking lot of the motel (including truckers), one guy wanted to buy it on the spot and everybody we talked to just said that the boat was “Too Cute.” In the Cullman, AL , area we got caught in a traffic jam. Creeping in the right hand lane, we noticed that a number of cars and trucks were hanging back for a period before passing us. We finally figured out that they were taking pictures of the mini-tug with cameras and their cell phones! At one point, a camper pulled up beside us; as traffic stopped, the door swung open and several guys got out and began asking questions about the boat, took pictures and gave another thumbs up as we drove away.
With the boat home now, I called John and let him know that we arrived safely, the trailer did fine and the boat was just fine too. Since then, I’ve done a few things to her and I’d like to think that John would approve of all of them. I put some white striping on her, made some hangers for the rope bumpers I’d bought for the boat I was going to build, put on new lines, touched up paint here and there, mounted a chrome horn on the top, mounted a teak flagstaff on the stern and also did something I hope he and Helen will understand too. I changed her name. Because so many people had said the same thing every time they had a chance to talk to us on the way back, the beautiful little boat, formally the “Helen L” is now named “Tu Quute”. Just maybe somehow that’s the same name because I'm sure that John will agree that Helen Bosier, for whom the boat was originally named, is "Tu Quute" too!
Many thanks to the Bosiers for their hospitality and for their “baby”. The adoption went well and we look forward to taking care of and enjoying the mini-tug for years to come.
Now, I’ve still got these plans to build an 11 foot mini-tug and I’m not exactly sure when I’ll get around to it; come to think of it, Laura and I might be out in the Mini-Tug so long that I might not have time to build it at all!
Here is the latest from Woody and Laura!
Here are pictures taken at our Memorial Day Parade in small town America (Holtville, Alabama). We had a record 85 entries this year a great turnout of people watching the parade. Everybody loved "Tu Quute", especially the kids....young and old. Our friends Peg and Joe Young drove the truck while my wife Laura and I threw candy to the kids along the parade route. We had lots of questions and comments both during and after the parade ranging from, "Is she seaworthy?" to "How many people will it hold?" to "That's just too cute." It was really a fun morning, good weather and lots of candy for the kids.
Here is a new note from Woody, dated June 2008:
Susie....you are doing a fabulous job and Berk must be up there smiling! Thanks again for taking the reins and making good things happen for not only the little tugs, but for boating in general.
By the way, we took the little tug out on the lake on Memorial Day and the reaction was fabulous....two teens on a jet ski pulled alongside and said, "That's the coolest boat we've seen all day!" Meeting pontoon boats with families on them, we blew the whistle and the kids absolutely loved it. The boat is fun mostly because we get such pleasure out of others' (young and old alike, but especially the kids) enjoyment.
Keep up the great work and we'll see the membership jump big time again....and, while you didn't say it, I hope you are selling lots of plans.
The following letter was received from Mike Magnant, and I know that you will find it highly interesting and entertaining! Please note that Mike has jumped in and offered his help to anyone who needs it when constructing their tug! Here goes:
My name is Mike Magnant. I heard about your new web site through a friend of mine. I'm so sorry to hear that your dad has passed away. He really designed a great little boat.
I ordered and built Berkley Eastman's 14 and a 1/2 foot minitug back in 1998. It took nearly 5 years for me to complete, working on it part time. "Toot Toot" was launched in August of 2002. It is 5 years old this week and I cannot tell you how much enjoyment my wife and I have had in those 5 years. It doesn't matter where we go everyone loves it. As you may already know it has more room than some 21' center consoles. My wife and I have slept on the boat just as your dad said we could.
Toot Toot has an 18 HP Tohatsu outboard motor using the motor well design. I have also installed a 12 volt water pump to pump water out of hoses mounted on the cabin roof. This year I even installed a 12 volt 4 rpm gear motor that turns a wind up key. I must say it really is a head turner. It is definitely, I think as your father had said, "The most fun you can have with your clothes on."
Mike Magnant I have also included some older PICS of Toot Toot.
Enjoy, good luck, and I look forward to hearing from you when you have time. Mike
♦♦NOTE: You can find Mike's Toot Toot on the Candu E-Z page!
The following letter and photos are from Anders Olsen in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. His Candu E-Z is named "The Colonel". This is interesting for those of you who may be considering putting a diesel into your boat! Photos are below the letter. Here goes:
Hi, great to see this site, this is my candu ez "THE COLONEL".from Yarmouthport ma. We installed a 13 horse power diesel set down in a wide keel, so it has a very low shaft angle and can sit on the sand at low tide and remain very stable perched on her keel.Another modification was raising the pilot house by 3 inches for the necessary head room and laminating the caprail out of many layers of 1nch x3/16 inchx16 foot pieces of clear fir.We feel all these modifications made the boat ideal for our circumstances.She sips fuel @ her 4.5knt cruise and stands proudly upright in the sand at low tide.
thanks anders olsen
Oh boy, look what happens when the tug bug bites you!!!! The picture above is Little Bitts member, Captain Ben of Massachusetts. Ben has had his "Atlantic Hunter" cruising the waters of Massachusetts...then he jumped in with both feet! His current project is a newer, LARGER tugboat...29 feet! He has been working on this boat all winter, snow and all! You can see the full version of the new tug below, and below that is an "almost" UH-OH!!!!! Ben, you made it by the skin of your teeth! Great photos and thanks for sharing!!!!
One of the original members of Little Bitts, Randy Hind, of Ontario, Canada, sent in a photo of his aluminum tug, "Little Mac".
"Hello, I was a member of the original "little Bitts" club and just happened to find the web site. Will read more about the new things going on and I am glad to see that the club is still going forward. Here is a photo of a aluminum tug I built based on Berks ideas.
We had a note from new member, Herb McWilliams, who lives in Canada. I wanted to share it with you!
I bought plans for of the Candu E-Z , back in 2004, but due to some heath problems, have not finished.
I plan on completing the boat this year or next, have to wait and see.
I like your news letters on your web site, and I hope to be on it once I finish my boat.
This will be the 11th small boat i have built in the last 40 years.
I had the pleasure of talking to Eastman about his plans and I am sure he's still watching over us all. Sincerley, Herb
Member of Little Bitts (AND one of Berk's oldest family friends) Ted Fuller, CMC, United Stated Coast Guard, has sent in a photo of his Perfect 10, now named "Turnbuckle". Ted and "Turnbuckle" have been living in Florida, where Ted has been stationed for some time. They are happily moving to San Francisco, California shortly. Those of you who live in the bay area can keep an eye out for them! Also, note that Ted is going to write a history of how he met Berk, how they built boats together, and he is going to share a little about their mutual US Coast Guard link. We can't wait!
Our member, Dean Fabian, purchased the "Jenny Rose" that is shown on our Mini Tugboats For Sale page. He has been working like a fiend on the boat, and sent in a photo for us, showing the new, updated version! Great work, Dean, and thanks for sharing!
I bought the Jenny Rose from Ray Verner in NJ. I have been working on her for some time now and she will be launched this weekend. She has been re-named the "Little Mac" and USCG documented, and as a Captain and Operations Manager for McAllister Towing here in Virginia the color and name probably make sense. I just wanted to send some pictures of my progress along.
Here is a photo of "Little Mac" that Dean had taken at their recent Harborfest!
Well, how exciting for US! We all of the sudden have a group in Australia, calling themselves the "Little Bitts Downunder"! They are all in the process of building either a Candu E-Z or a Candu Jr. All have promised to share the experiences with us as they go, and to send photos! The group consists of John and Fay Rigg, Malcolm Newbiggin and Adam Boslem, his grandson, Phillip and Roseanne Sachman and John Atkins. The group is growing almost daily! Welcome aboard!
John and Fay have made up a website for us on their progress! You may use the link below to access it. I suggest you do, as it is done well and has some great photos on it! Below is a note from Fay and John, and then the link to their site!
Sorry for the delay in keeping you in touch with our progress, so I have quickly put together our web site with current photos. As time goes on, I will improve the format but at least its' a start.The site address is http://members.wideband.net.au/jrdesign/
Heard from Phillip today and we now have a great little network starting; Little Bitts Downunder perhaps! Thanks so much for putting us all in contact with each other.
Take good care of yourself and hope you are keeping well.
Very best wishes,
Fay & John
Click Here for the Little Bitts Downunder!
One of our members, Clint Skelton, and his crew, built their mini tug, the "Little Toot". She was begun with plans from Berkeley Engineering's Candu E-Z. However, Clint wanted to "beef" the boat up a bit, so that it would be a little bit more sea-worthy to travel in the waters off the shores of Spain, her home port. Clint has a website that is an incredible journal complete with photos on his complete building process! This is something that everyone will enjoy! See the new version now for the launching of the completed "Little Toot"! It is just a great video! Congratulation, Clint!
The season with 'ADIX' is over and we are back into building 'LITTLE TOOT'.
We have just put a few photo's on the site of what we have done in the last
The boat will start coming together from now on and hope to have it finished
by the end of the year. (Note that the boat was launched in February, 2008)
Will update it at least once a week.
Clint, Paul and Haden
Click here to see the building of the Little Toot!
Member Dave Delott of has submitted photos and the story of his "Goliath", a Berkeley Engineering Micro 9 minitug. Photos are below! Thanks for sharing, Dave!
"Hi Susie, Here is the history of "Goliath". The Tug was built and named by Jim Sterling of Mequon, Wisconsin. It was built around 1990 and used on the Milwaukee River. Power comes from an old Evinrude Fisherman 6 HP. Jim put in old gauges and some 100 year old wanescoating on the interior. The tug was in rough shape when I got her. I repaired the bottom, cleaned and re-worked the interior and installed working lights,air horns,and a CB unit. I left the old gauges in tact. They get a lot of attention and are always good for a laugh. I use Goliath on the Wolf River near Fremont, Wisconsin and although I have another Classic boat, I have never had a boat get so much attention. Its wonderful. Dave Delott Appleton ,Wisconsin."
Member John Coccaro of Cartersville, GA. has sent in some photos of his "Tuggin Along". This is a Candu Jr. and is powered by a 4-cylinder Subaru! This may be the only one of it's kind! Photos follow of the tug and the motor. Thanks for sending these, John! NOTE: THIS BOAT IS FOR SALE! PLEASE EMAIL SUSIE FOR CONNECTION TO JOHN!
Attached are some pics of the Candu. I named it Tuggin Along.
If you want to know any particulars, let me know. I could write a book on it but it would probably bore you to death; so let me know if you want to know anything.
From what I have seen over the last few years, this may be the biggest engine put into a Candu.
If anyone wants to ever contact me, they are more than welcomed.
The Little Bitts Association's original website was designed by member Alan Locke. These pages have a lot of good information and we suggest that you take some time looking at them! We know you will enjoy it very much!
Click here to see the original Little Bitts website!
«If any members have a contribution please submit to Susie! Submissions
Sorry for any inconvenience...we have had to cancel new Little Bitts memberships. Thanks very much, Susie