The Tugboat by Flawless is considered to be a classic atomizer in the same category as the Patriot and the Nemesis. It is an older atomizer but still does the job of churning out big, flavorful clouds.
Flawless Tugboat 22 Testing and Performance
The tugboat is one of my favorite RDA’s. In fact, it was one of the first atomizers I bought from one of the best online vape stores when I started dripping. As a newbie, I was a little intimidated by the 3-post design but soon learned how to build single and dual coils pretty easy.
It has been out for some time but mine still works the same as when I first bought it. It has a nice deep juice well with plenty of room for coils and wicks. I have the polished finish so it is smooth and shiny, looks very nice and feels sturdy.
The post holes are big enough for builds with 24 – 28 gauge wires and the Phillips-head screws are average sized so you can use regular screwdrivers. I have done a number of builds on the deck including single coil, dual coil, dual parallel coils, and Clapton coils and they all fit perfectly on the deck with no problems with wicking.
Build quality and design
The build quality is top notch. It is made of stainless steel and feels heavy in the hand. It also comes with a matching stainless steel drip tip and the “tugboat” and “flag” logo is laser etched into the metal on the side and on the drip tip. It is a very nice looking atomizer and looks great on any mod. It is available in a sandblasted finish, polished finish and copper finish. This is a very elegant looking RDA and will look great on any mod.
It is well-made and machined perfectly with no scratches or burrs anywhere. It has one O-ring on the base which makes it easy to remove but leaves it a little loose. It would have been better with two. Depending on how heavy your mod is, if you just grabbed it by the top it may slip right off.
I like the build deck in this one because, even for a beginning builder, there is plenty of room to build single or dual coils without worrying about touching the top cap. I can also tuck some cotton scraps in around the edges for extra juicing. The simple three-post design is easy for new builders to work on . The holes are large enough to fit 24 – 28 gauge, and even better for thinner wire like 30 gauge. I do use it to build above ohm coils in the range of 1.5 and 1.8 but I wouldn’t suggest using 32 gauge wire in this because it is so thin and I have actually melted one of those.
The Tugboat has a nice deep juice well which is one of the things I like best about it. I prefer to use a lot of cotton in my builds because I don’t like to have to drip constantly. Because this well is so deep, I tuck a little extra cotton in there so I can add more juice without worrying about leaking.
The deck and barrel are made of high quality polished stainless steel. It is strong and durable and hardly has any scratches in it, even after 5 years. I know I can count on it to work perfectly every time and produce good vapor.
Ease of Use
This is one of the easiest RDAs to build on that I own. The 3-post design is staggered, the middle post is the tallest so the coils can be positioned in the middle or off to the side, whichever you prefer. There is plenty of room for thick wicks and large builds.
I love vaping on the Tugboat. I like to do a single-spaced macro coil with longer wicks to soak up the juice. The clouds are good, the flavor is good, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an RDA for a beginning builder. The deck is nice and big and the post holes are easy to fit your leads through.
The only issues I had with leaking is from over-dripping. With brand new cotton in it, I can fit almost 2 mils of juice in the well. When the wicks have saturated I open the drip tip and add a few drops. The air holes are midway up the barrel so they are not on the bottom to leak juice out.
The airflow is a little restricted in this atomizer. It has one 2.5 mm air hole on each side. It produces some pretty good clouds, even without adjustable airflow. The later versions included more holes and made it adjustable. You can get good solid lung hits from it and flavorful vaper.
Single coils or dual coils, either one produces really good flavor in this RDA. I use my 7 Daze Reds Apple in this and I am in heaven. It tastes just like biting into a fresh apple and sucking the juice into your mouth. I get better flavor from this RDA than in my tank.
What We Liked
+ Deep juice well
+ Can use other drip tips
+ Single or dual coil mode
What We Didn’t
– Single O-ring on the base
– Airflow is a bit restricted
– Single air hole on each side
The authentic Tugboat versions run anywhere from $60 to $80 depending on the retailer and how many they have in stock. To me, the price is worth it and if you love this type of RDA you will think so too. I have had mine for the past five years and still going strong with it.
I love this RDA and have had it in my vape collection for a long time. It is still a favorite and I use it on another mod as a backup. There is not many of them around anymore so if you find one, buy it. The simple design of this device makes it a good first RDA for a beginning builder. This is a classic and will last you for years and years with good care.