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In this paper, the positioning of large surface vessels using multiple, autonomous tugboats is investigated. Specifically, the paper investigates the development of an adaptive position controller that compensates for select system parameters such as mass and drag coefficients and also for an unknown thrust configuration matrix which is the result of unknown tugboat locations. The control design is facilitated by strategic placement of the tugs about the vessel hull such that it does not require transmission of information between the tugs. Performance of the controller is investigated by simulations for a scaled model of a surface vessel.