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"You don't pull barges from the side!"
— Theodore
Different Strokes - Different Boats

Robert D. Cardona


Andrew Cochran


Jeff Rosen


The Harbour Master
(Denny Doherty)
Jan Nonhof (Dutch Dub)

Air date

July 9th 1993

Previous episode

Foduck the Vigilant

Next episode

Hank and
the Mermaid

Different Strokes - Different Boats is the fifth episode of the first season.


At first, Theodore is pleased that he has been chosen to teach Hank the finer points of towing a brand-new barge named Barrington. It means that The Dispatcher has noticed that he's been doing a good job. When Hank starts towing young Barrington from the side instead of from the front, Theodore objects, saying that Hank's way is all wrong. But when Hank tries to tow Barrington Theodore's way, the result is disastrous when he hits Emily, who is desperately trying to lift Blankston, a new buoy who is in Bedford Buoy's spot while Bedford is being repaired. Hank fails his towing test and doubts that he'll ever become a good tugboat. Later in the day, when Theodore convinces Emily that there is more than one way to move Blankston, he realizes that there can also be more than one way to move little Barrington. When he lets Hank tow in his own way, Hank passes his test with ease.



  • The episode title is a take on the phrase "Different Strokes for Different Folks".
  • The scene of Theodore going under Benjamin Bridge is used in the opening of the show.
    • Also, part of the episode (with the footage sped up) was featured in a PBS Kids promo from 2001, called "Use your Imagination," which was released on several PBS Kids VHSs from 2001-2004. During the scene, Carla's horn can be heard.
  • First appearance of Barrington.
  • This is probably the second episode to be filmed in the series, after Is Anybody Listening? That's because The Dispatcher is missing the insignia on his hat, as well as Bedford still being on the model of Blankston.
  • This is the final episode to be dubbed into French.


  • When Hank is having a hard time pulling Barrington Theodore's way, Theodore keeps swapping places next to Hank and Barrington. Also, when Hank says "I don't think I can pull from the front", Theodore appears to steer off course and then immediately stop.
  • Throughout most of the episode, Barrington's eyebrows are falling off.
  • When Hank is heading towards Blankston, the buoy is facing Willy's Island, but when Hank hits him, the buoy is facing towards Emily. Also, Blankston appears to be behind Emily, but in the next scene, he is beside her.
  • Theodore's head moves a little when he keeps telling Hank his instructions.
  • In this episode and a few others, Hank can only tow barges from the sides. But in a few others, like Hank's Hiccups, and Theodore's Whistle, he pulls Bobby Barge from the front.
  • Blankston is mistaken for Bedford.
  • In the last scene, The Dispatcher is missing the insignia on his hat.
  • When Theodore is pulling Barrington around Blankston, a studio light can be seen just above Benjamin Bridge.
  • When Theodore is being told to teach Hank to move barges, Hank's underwater mechanism is visible.

Video Release

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Dutch Leder Zijn Eigen Manier Each In His Own Way
French A Chacun sa Methade To Each his Own Method