Lucy the Tugboat by The Brooklyn Home Company



Lyndsay Caleo Karol spent her summers as a child on Lake Canandaigua in upstate New York and while vacationing there recently she spotted a 37ft Lord Nelson Victory tugboat and had a crazy idea. Why not acquire your own tugboat and renovate it to make it a family getaway?

Lyndsay Caleo Karol and Fitzhugh Karol, husband and wife co-founders of The Brooklyn Home Company, rehabilitated a 1983 Lord Nelson Victory Tug.

Lyndsay started her hunt and didn’t have to look far. She found a 1983 Lord Nelson Victory tug just up the road in Stonington, Maine. “I went from Maine three times to see the tugboat before deciding this would be our next project,” Lyndsay says. “As the boat had been out of service for some time, it was quite moldy and corroded, and it was clear that there was a lot of work to be done.”

The duo gave the 500 square foot space a complete overhaul that included rewiring the electrical system and finishing the parquet.

Lyndsay and her husband Fitzhugh Karol are the co-founders of the design firm Brooklyn Host Society, so they knew how to renovate brick and mortar buildings, but they had never put their skills into the sea. They had their work cut out for them.

“We kept the existing layout, but removed the original cabinetry above the kitchen peninsula to create a more open and airy space,” says Lyndsay.

The couple learned that the 49-foot tug had an interesting history, with a handful of past owners, the last of which resides in Vinalhaven, Maine. “A fun fact that we learned about Lucy is that she actually won the Queen of the Miami Boat Show award in 1987,” Lyndsay said.

Design elements like the white bead panel and brass hardware give the interior of the tugboat a classic nautical feel.

The couple named the old tug after their dog, Lucy, moved it to Brooklyn and got to work renovating the 500-square-foot ship.

“I wanted the boat to be timeless, like every project executed by The Brooklyn Home Company, and the renovation was heavily inspired by details borrowed from antique yachts,” said Lyndsay. “Although the renovation included many modern amenities, such as changing the kitchen and adding a bar, we kept the focus on the original details and design.”

“The design choices, such as the heavy bar stools in the galley, were made to ensure the boat could perform well at the dock or at sea,” says Lyndsay.

“I wanted to change the kitchen,” Lyndsay says. “The cabinets were too dark so we wanted to lighten it up. At first it was an orange wood and we ended up painting it white to achieve it.”

The stern-to-bow redesign took the couple almost a year and involved rewiring the electrical systems, restoring moldy and corroded parts, finishing the teak and holly wood floors, and painting the l interior in white from Farrow & Ball. Brass details, from the light fixtures to the cabinet hardware, add a timeless nautical touch to the old ship.

“The biggest challenge was that we had to redo the wiring, and we actually filled three 30 gallon garbage bags with old wiring. creative director of the company. “We added a kitchen, redone the bathrooms, added a flush toilet and a roof terrace. We also installed a living room, bar, extra bedroom, hidden storage and plenty of drawers throughout. . “

“The sleeping spaces are strategically configured to accommodate family and guests,” says Lyndsay. She made sure to design the berths with plenty of storage space.

As a family of four, the Karols had to adapt the layout and equipment of the tugboat to their way of life. Lyndsay has gone to the max with storage to keep bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces clear of clutter – and loose junk stowed away at sea.

“I loved the line and shape of the boat with all the stairs,” says Lyndsay. “It really is a compact and brilliant use of space.”

Sconces and workstation lighting can be seen throughout the ship. “We added reading lights and sconces to create a warm atmosphere in the space,” says Lyndsay.

The renovation also added a flush toilet to the old ship.

The couple reconfigured the master cabin as an open plan kitchen and living room, with a custom brass helm. It was also important to provide enough bunk space to accommodate traveling friends and families. The couple therefore created a third bedroom in the pilot’s house, behind the captain’s seat.

To maximize the space of the berths, the captain’s bench can be transformed into an extra bed.

Buy the look

For more square footage, they also added a teak roof terrace with a swim ladder, outdoor shower, and hammocks. The family now uses the space for sunbathing and alfresco dining.

“We take Lucy out three to four times a week from April through November,” Lyndsay explains. “Every year we take a few longer trips to the Bahamas and Florida. We also took her to Charleston, and our longest trip was 15 days off the coast of Maine. We even had friends at Brooklyn who sleep there overnight. “

“The top of the boat was all the storage, and I knew I wanted to make it a bigger outdoor space for entertaining,” Lyndsay says. The new roof terrace offers space for sunbathing and dining upstairs.

If the family yearns for the open water life, they’ll plan a sleepover on Lucy while she’s docked at One ° 15 Brooklyn Marina in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The renovation took almost a year and the family are now using the boat for vacation getaways to the Bahamas.


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