Come and discover the Pythonga Tugboat
The Pythonga, awaiting its visitors on rue Des Oblats, in Maniwaki. Photo Daniel Daoust. The Pythonga in its environment, on Baskatong reservoir. Photo Stephen Homer.

The forest industry and the log drive contributed greatly to the prosperity of the Upper Gatineau Valley. For almost 65 years, the Pythonga towed millions of cubic metres of timber on the Baskatong Reservoir.

Free Tugboat Guided Tours


June 13 to August 25, 2019
Thursday to Sunday (closed Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays):
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Phone : 819-449-7999

rue des Oblats, Maniwaki
(Near the arena)

GPS Codes
N 46 22.643
W 75 58.718


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The Pythonga: a tireless worker

The Pythonga was first transported by rail to Maniwaki and then by sled over the snow to the Baskatong Reservoir in 1928. The tugboat measures 85 feet long by 16 feet wide, with a total weight of 70 tons.

There was a crew of seven, comprising captain and mate, two mechanics, two deckhands and a cook. The crew shared the day and night watches. The captain had a personal cabin, while the others took turns in the bunks.

The Pythonga had no navigation instruments, so piloting it depended entirely on the experience of the crew. The mechanic in the lower hold steered the boat according to the captain’s instructions, rung out on the ship’s bell:

  • 1 bell: start up
  • 2 bells: astern
  • 3 bells: reduce speed
  • 4 bells: full ahead!

On each trip, the faithful tugboat crossed the Baskatong Reservoir, skirting the islands and peninsulas, and avoiding the shallow waters.

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