Top Hat is a railway tug and Captain Star's fourth tug. He is an uppity and snobbish character with a monocle, vintage top hat (hence his name) and looks down on everyone, friends and foes alike, thinking that he is the best tug in the Star Fleet.
Top Hat speaks with a posh English accent.
Although he tries to avoid any job that will make him dirty, he is used for a wide variety of tasks around Bigg City Port, mainly distributing railway rolling stock with his barges, Frank and Eddie. Despite his problem with dirty jobs, he is often used to tow Lord Stinker the garbage barge in episodes such as "High Tide." In that episode, he gained a great respect for the barge. Yet in other episodes he complains about the garbage itself, and often teases Warrior for his garbage smell.
Aside from his snobbish personality, Top Hat's most distinguishing feature is his elevated wheelhouse; it's this feature that distinguishes him as a railway tug, as real tugs built to haul railroad rolling stock on barges had equally high wheelhouses to allow their pilots and crews to see over the top of their high loads. Unlike his real-world counterparts, however, Top Hat can bob his wheelhouse up and down, giving his model an extra element of movement which was often used for dramatic or comedic purposes.
Top Hat cares mainly about himself and saving his own neck. He may pretend to be cool and collected, but when he is actually faced with a threat or is placed in danger, he will panic and complain. This type of behaviour is shown in the episodes "Ghosts" and "Regatta." He is often ridiculed by his companions, particularly Ten Cents and the villainous Z-Stacks.
Despite his self-absorbed and arrogant demeanour, Top Hat has proven himself on numerous occasions and can cope fairly well in an emergency, such as when he propped up Zebedee's steel load under a railway bridge to help Puffa get across, and when he used Lord Stinker to save the Goods Engine from a serious accident when the bridge collapsed. He also cares for the rest of the Star Fleet, although he very rarely shows it.
Like O.J., Top Hat's whistle is very deeply pitched, but softened somewhat in comparison with O.J.'s. He also has the deepest whistle of the Star Fleet.
Top Hat 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 "4" on his funnel. He wears a black vintage top hat and a monocle.
Behind the Scenes
Like the rest of the Star Fleet, Top Hat is based on the tugs of San Francisco waters from the 1920s, although he also resembles John-A.-Dialogue-&-Sons-built New York Central Tugboat 13, which is also a railway tug, and his personality is based on Kenneth Williams. His name derives from his trademark hat he wears.
- His face masks (except his shocked face mask) were sold to Ryan of The Star Tugs Company (formerly The Star Tugs Trust), although the whereabouts of his model are currently unknown, making him the only Star Tug that hasn't been sold yet.
- As confirmed by many fans, Top Hat has the ability to move his wheelhouse up and down so he can see over rolling stock on Frank and Eddie.
- Top Hat is the only character who can raise his head (wheelhouse) up and down.
- Top Hat is the only railway tug in Bigg City Port.
- Top Hat is the only tug of the Star Fleet known to have a foghorn, which is the same sound as battleship New Jersey's.
- Top Hat is one of the three tugs to have facial accessories, with the other two being O.J. and Sea Rogue's Uncle.