The Harbour Master is the narrator of the series which we also see him at the start and the end of each episode in the Harbour Master's Office. He is portrayed by Denny Doherty in the English speaking versions.
He has seen most of the world's waterfront but still has not figured it all out. Of all the vessels he has seen or worked on through his former career as a captain, he likes the tugboats the best. The stories he tells are from their point of view, and his affection for them is obvious.
It is his role to be in charge of the busy Big Harbour. It's his office that sets out the code of conduct for the harbour, balances the sometimes competing interests of all the various harbour users, and determines which docks will be assigned to which boats.
It's a demanding job that usually keeps him in his office overlooking the harbour (sometimes overnight), where he tries to keep on top of everything with a collection of charts, two-way radios, scanners, harbor radar, phones, and his trusty binoculars.
Generally, he remains only the narrator and keeps out of the model series. However, in one episode, while narrating, he claims a ship was moving dangerously close to his office.
He sometimes converses with other (off screen) human characters, like Hillary the mail woman, as well as fellow harbour worker Rodney.
- In most European dubs of the series, the Harbour Master scenes are left out, but in the Finnish dub, the narrator (Jari Silvennoinen) speaks over the intro/credits, saying roughly the same dialog as the English studio segments.
- The French dub of Theodore Tugboat features Denis Mercier as the Harbour Master. The segments are recorded in the same studio as the English version, with the 'Harbour Master Office' signs localized.