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Uh, aren't these actually pushboats, a type of tug? Towboats may also be launches that are deployed to rescue and tow other boats to port. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 18:34, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
I am certainly not a global maritime expert, but my experience and some research supports the term "towboat" as the most common for this class of vessel in the USA. So what is the best way to accommodate one class of boat that has different common names depending on global location? Related to this, it seems rather inconsistent to have the leading paragraph and article title referring to these vessels as "pushers" - but all the other references in the article call them "towboats".
I have therefore made the term "towboat" more prominent in the first paragraph, but I'm not changing the article title even though I feel strongly that for readers in USA the title should be "towboat"