The Fremont Boat Co.

by Hans | February 27th, 2010

Capt. Freeman: 50 Years Later

In September 2009, Captain Mark Freeman celebrated 50 years in business at the Fremont Boat Company in Seattle, Wash. “My dad ‘Doc’ bought the business which was called Fremont Boat Market on September 20, 1928 from Capt. V. C. Webster, who founded Fremont Towing in 1915 and Fremont Boat Market in 1916.” Freeman’s wife, Margie, had 30 years of her own to celebrate with the company last September. Freeman was born in 1934, during the depression. “

started running one of dad’s tugs the launch Dolphin II, a 36 footer when I was 11. Boy, what a thrill that was. At age 13 I got my first tug, an ex-Navy 21-ft motor dory, the Seal Rock, with a tremendous eight horse power. I used her for log salvage and called the company Tatoosh Towing & Salvage.”

* Mark on board of the Skookum in 1942 as a eight years tugman

” Freeman did log salvage and general towing until he joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1955.  “I served the Coast Guard for eight years: four active and four inactive. After boot camp I went to the Grays Harbor Lifeboat Station at Westport and stood watches in the lookout tower

* Mark on board is first tugboat the Seal Rock

before I got to run all the different motor lifeboats and utility boats. We had the 52-ft Invincible and a smaller 36-ft lifeboat, the 36469, a 26-ft Monomoy surfboat and three different 40-ft fast utility boats.” “I always laughed that when I joined the Coast Guard all I did was change

uniforms and take a drop in pay and start towing for them.” Freeman received a Coast Guard Commendation medal for rescuing the crew off the Liberty ship Sea Gate which went aground on Sonora Reef near Pt. Grenville on the Washington coast and a Letter of Commendation for the rescue of two boys in the surf at Grayland. After leaving active duty in 1959, he went back to work for his father, whose business was now selling boats and renting moorage, “a typical small business,” Freeman said. After his father passed away in 1963 Freeman took over the business with the help of his mother, May. “I didn’t really like selling boats so I resurrected the tugboat side of the business and formed Fremont Tugboat Company. I had a grand time with it.”

Fremont Boat Companies tugs Grace; Standfast &  Dixie

In 1979, Freeman’s wife, Margie, also began working in the business. Freeman’s son, Erik, born in 1970, started on his first boat, the 15-ft tug Barf, when he was eight-years-old. Today Captain Erik Freeman has 30 years in the business. “I sold the tugboat company to my son Erik and his best friend Tom Bulson in 1995 and they still own and operate the company. Their main tugs are the Dixie, Standfast, Stinger and Halftrack and a flat scow FT 4519.” “I have my own Tugboat Museum in my office and a collection of over 100,000 tugboat photos. Chuck Fowler and I got together and published the book ‘Tugboats on Puget Sound,’ so now I am an author, although I couldn’t spell it last week. I still run a small tug so that makes it 64 years that I have been running tugs.”

Photos courtesy Captain Mark Freeman
Story by – Raina Clark/MarineLink 


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One Response to “The Fremont Boat Co.”

  1. CAREL BOON says:

    Ik prbeer al enige tijd een vlootlijst samen te stellen van fremont
    heb het boekje wat hij noemt, heb denk ik alle namen van slepers, die voor hen gevaren hebben/ nog varen, maar de geschiedenis per sleepboot is moeilijk te achterhalen.

    Heb jij nog een idee ?


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