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"You do know your river, Sunshine."
Ten Cents, Bigg Freeze

Sunshine is Captain Star's seventh and youngest tug, a small switcher who is used for a wide variety of tasks around Bigg City Port. He has many capabilities that range from the towing of barges to liner docking operations, despite his size and the fact that switchers are new to towing liners into Port.

Sunshine speaks with a rather soft Newcastle (or Geordie) accent and whistles most of the time when he says a word with s on it, because he is missing some of his front teeth.


TV Series

Sunshine is the newest tug. He lived and worked upriver from Bigg City Port. Billy Shoepack appears to be a friend from those days.

Captain Star brought Sunshine to help out with his fleet’s extra work, but he and Ten Cents were then tasked to bring in the Duchess when Big Mac was unavailable. During the docking, Zorran nudged Sunshine out of the way and everyone thought it was Sunshine that almost caused an accident. Depressed and disliked by the Stars, Sunshine ran away from Bigg City and crashed into a mudbank. Luckily, Izzy Gomez happened to have seen everything and the Stars took Sunshine to Lucky’s Yard.

Ever since Sunshine joined the Fleet, he and Ten Cents have been best friends. They have shared many adventures, almost to the extent that it is impossible to imagine one without the other. Ten Cents was the only one that didn’t dismiss Sunshine after the accident and tried to find him until Izzy told him what happened.

For the first time, Sunshine took part in Bigg City Port’s annual regatta, towing his crush, Sally Seaplane.

When ships out at sea were being quarantined out at sea for forty days, an annoyed Captain Star wanted Sunshine to bring in Nantucket, a tramper Sunshine appeared to hate and referred to as “Dirt Bucket”. While going to fetch Nantucket, the disgusting tramper took his quarantine flags down without the authority’s permission and requested a tow. Sunshine wisely didn’t risk being quarantined.

Because Sunshine worked up-river for a majority of his life, he is very experienced there. When there were no available fuel barges for Lillie Lightship during the harsh winter, Sunshine remembered the light barge kept in a creek ready for emergencies. Despite being a very bright tug, Sunshine isn’t always on the right side. He once got himself trapped in a log jam and Captain Star once warned he and Ten Cents would be sold for scrap for underperforming.

In winter, Sunshine was the only tug who didn’t dismiss Big Mac when he said he saw ghost tugs one night. The next night, Ten Cents and Sunshine saw the ghostly tugs and a galleon emerge from under the sea. As lightning struck the galleon, Sunshine saw a face he identified as Neptune appear in the sky. The next morning, Hercules told his fleet who the white tugs really were and that the galleon was frozen in an iceberg that melted. He shrugged off Sunshine’s claim of seeing Neptune.


When Zip and Zug heard how a dreamy Sunshine wanted an adventure, the devious Zero switchers took advantage of that wish by kidnapping him and tying him to a disused warehouse. Sunshine escaped by cutting the rope on a piece of metal in the water. Another day, Zorran gave a barge to Sunshine since it was to be delivered to Johnny Cuba. Knowing who Johnny was, Sunshine alerted the Customs Launch and had Johnny arrested.


Sunshine can be occasionally cheeky at times, but he is very strong willed nevertheless. He is quick-witted and takes action swiftly without hesitation. He is generally level-headed and cheerful, and takes on most jobs with little complaining. He also appears to have a slight crush on Sally Seaplane.

Sunshine also can figure things out very quickly, as in Jinxed where he points out that each of jinxed tug Boomer's unfortunate mishaps occurs right after Ten Cents sounds his steam hooter, suggesting a cause-and-effect relationship. He's also more open-minded about unusual phenomena (such as ghosts) than Ten Cents is.

In early stages, Sunshine was slightly less obedient and during his first time working for Captain Star, he winded up the Z-Stacks. [1]

Technical Details


Like the rest of the Star Fleet, Sunshine is based on the tugs of San Francisco waters from the 1920s.


Sunshine 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 "7" on his funnel. He was originally painted in the Salvage Fleet's white livery. He wears a red cap.

Throughout most of Jinxed, Sunshine's handrails on his wheelhouse are white. At the end of said episode, the handrails are yellow, just as they are in other episodes.



Books and Annuals

Audio Files

On the subject of whistles, Sunshine's is middle-to-high pitched and has a distinct whooping sound which could best be described as upbeat, suiting his personality and name. Sunshine also has the second highest pitched whistle of the Star Tugs, with the first highest going to Grampus.

Voice Actors


Salty's Lighthouse


  • In the television series, Salty's Lighthouse, which reused edited episodes of TUGS, Sunshine was portrayed as a female character (along with Captain Star and Little Ditcher), and was Ten Cents' little sister, presumably to appeal at a wider audience of children.
  • In an episode from the Theodore Tugboat series called "Bedford's Big Move", the Harbour Master receives cookies that are in the shape of Sunshine. Similar cookies in his shape also appeared in another episode of the same series called "Theodore's Bad Dream".
  • He and Warrior are the only characters to have an episode named after them. Had the cancelled episode Hercules been produced, Hercules would have joined this club.
    • He is however the only character to have both an episode and book named after him.
  • In 2012, Sunshine's model was purchased by The Star Tugs Company and is currently on display at the TUGS Exhibition.
    • Sunshine's face masks were sold to an unknown buyer in 2012, and their location is unknown. His scared face mask is currently the only one in the possession of the Star Tugs Company. In April 2015, a new happy face was made and designed for Sunshine by using a 3D printer.
  • Unlike the other tugs, Sunshine does not have a sign on his stern that shows where he is from.
    • This may be a result of him being from Up River.
  • Although it may not be his basis, there actually was a real tugboat named Sunshine. This particular tug itself worked on the River Thames in the UK until it was scrapped in 1960.
  • Sunshine and Billy Shoepack are the only tugs that don't have ventilators on their decks.
  • Shaun Prendergast based Sunshine's voice on a clown called Gypsy Jackie his father had created for him, as well as a child he once knew who spoke with a whistle.
  • Along with Ten Cents and Top Hat, Sunshine is one of the only characters to appear in every episode.
  • In November 2020, train operating company CrossCountry made a post about Sunshine on Twitter. [1]
  • Sunshine is one of three characters to join a fleet during the course of the series, the others being Boomer and Grampus.
    • He is also the only tugboat to become a permanent member of a fleet, not counting Grampus.


"Hullo, Sally…"
— Sunshine, upon meeting Sally Seaplane, Sunshine
"Hey! I hope you haven't spoken too soon!"
— Sunshine, Jinxed
"Hey, I know that whistle! It's... it's Ten Cents! Ten Cents, what a mess! What happened?"
— Sunshine reuniting with Ten Cents, Munitions
"Well... that's coincidence, not jinxed!"
"Call it 'anything you like', but it seems to coincidence Boomer when you do it!
Ten Cents and Sunshine, Jinxed
"You think that storm never happened, eh? It's a lovely evening now, bud."
— Sunshine to Ten Cents after the storm, High Winds



7 Tugs | 1 Submarine | 1 Former Member