"Hey, I know that whistle! It''s Ten Cents!"
Sunshine, Munitions

Ten cents


Ten Cents
  • Number: 1
  • Type: Harbour Switcher Tug
  • Affiliation: Star Fleet

Ten Cents is the main protagonist of TUGS. He is Captain Star's first tug. He is used for a wide variety of tasks around Bigg City Port. Ten Cents' capabilities range from the towing of barges to liner docking operations. Like the rest of the Star Fleet, Ten Cents is based on the tugs of San Francisco from the 1920s, and his name reflects his American origins.

He speaks with an East End Cockney accent.


Ten Cents is one of the younger and braver Star Tugs. He has a tendency to be somewhat cheeky at times, but is strong-willed, and it takes a lot to break him. He is quick-witted and takes action swiftly without hesitation. He never lets other tugs bully him, never fails to stand up for others, and is always willing to set aside his own safety for the sake of others. He has a bit of a short temper, but he is also smart enough to listen to the advice of the older, more experienced tugs. 

Unlike the other tugs of Bigg City, Ten Cents' whistle was modeled to resemble a face complete with a red flat-cap like Sunshine's; its tone is strident but middle-pitched and Ten Cents almost always sounds it in a quick double-or-triple-bursts. The audience's attention was focused on this whistle in the episode Jinxed when it seemed that any sounding of it by Ten Cents would prompt some unfortunate event for the hapless tug Boomer.

Ten Cents Hooter 01 01

Ten Cents usually works with Sunshine, the Star Fleet's second and smallest switcher. They have shared many adventures, almost to the extent that it is impossible to imagine one without the other. Ever since Sunshine joined the fleet, he and Ten Cents have been the best of friends. Hercules often relies on Ten Cents to look after others such as Lillie or The Duchess.


Ten Cents is painted in the Star Fleet's corporate livery. This consists of a black hull, a yellow superstructure, white mast and an American flag-styled red, white and blue funnel. His name is painted on the sides of his bow in white and he has the number "1" on his funnel. He wears a blue cap.

Salty's Lighthouse

In TUGS' spin-off series, Salty's Lighthouse, Sunshine (who was portrayed as female) was Ten Cents' sister and he looked up to Hercules as his older brother.

Lead Character?

Although TUGS did not officially have a lead character, Ten Cents was the closest the series came to one. He appeared in all 13 episodes, the majority as a major role, and was a character that was mostly used in merchandising. He is also the tug depicted in the TUGS logo.




Salty's Lighthouse

  • Mixed Signals
  • Too Young to Be Included
  • Taking Off
  • Let's Party
  • Blackout
  • One Bad Day
  • Hands Off!
  • Salty Come Lately
  • Count on Me
  • Knot So Nice
  • Taking My Turn (cameo)
  • Backwards Day
  • Banana Splits
  • Clear the Decks
  • Claude in Charge
  • The Favorite
  • Strike Up the Band
  • Blankety Blank
  • The Last of the Red Hot C-Gulls
  • Farley Frog
  • Boss Man
  • Sophie Come Home
  • Who Took My Crayons
  • High Spirits
  • Some Guys Have all the Luck
  • Dream On
  • Sound Off
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Who Turned Off the Lights?
  • If the Clue Fits, Wear It
  • Desperately Seeking Sadie
  • The Big Birthday Splash
  • Stop the Music
  • Let's Wing It
  • No Strings Attached
  • Guilty Gull
  • Bivalve Blues

Books and Annual Stories

Voice Actors


  • His model was purchased by The Star Tugs Trust, and is due to be on permanent display in their exhibition.
  • Ten Cents is the only tugboat to have an anthropomorphised whistle.
  • It is currently unknown if Ten Cents' other face masks still remain in existence.
  • In a picture from Ten Cents' Busy Day, Ten Cents is shown as a harbour tug instead of a harbour switcher tug.



Merchandise Gallery

Star Fleet
Ten CentsBig MacO.J.Top HatWarriorHerculesSunshine
Captain StarGrampus

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