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Three years ago I did posts about wooden vessels and names while in the greater Cape Ann area.  This time what struck me was the variety of vessels in this small but intensely important peninsula.  Essex Shipbuilding Museum is always “must stop there” . . . and make a donation if you wish.  Essex has fewer than 4000 people.   Treat yourself to beautiful lines fleshed out in old  . . .

and new like these.

Speak of random tugs, it’s YTL-438, built on City Island, NY,  in 1944, Nicholas T today.

I can’t hear the word “Gloucester” without thinking of fish and lobsters and other sea life.  Read what Capt Joey has to say about Western Venture, here with Osprey. Joey’s GMG does “citizen journalism” par excellence on many aspect of Gloucester life, and a more historically focused website on Gloucester industry can be found here.

Vessels old and

new–like these three midwater trawlers of Western Sea Fishing– line the piers when they’re not at sea.   It no secret that fishing brings risks:  a vessel I featured here three years ago–Plan B-- sank earlier this year.

Small and newish like Cat Eyes or

or classic, versatile, and large like 1924 Highlander Sea (for sale)  and 1926 Adventure both Essex built . . .  they all lie in the few dozen acres of water in Gloucester’s Inner Harbor.   See Adventure‘ s site here and some fun fotos here.

Treats appear at every glance, near and far.

Can anyone tell me more about Traveler . .  and all her lives?  Here’s what I learned from Good Morning Gloucester:  follow the comments and you’ll learn that she was launched in “1942 by Cambridge Ship Builder, Inc. based in MD, for the US Army. She is 79.9 ft. long, was a rescue boat serving in WWII picking up downed fighter pilots and had full infirmary facilities aboard.”

More Gloucester tomorrow.  All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who realizes he should come back here more often.   And if you’ve never been to Cape Ann, sooner is better.

First, check “parrotlect flickrstream” along the left margin here for my favorite 45 fotos from the start of the Great Chesapeake Schooner Race last week.  I had posted some of them earlier, but put them up in the moment and without the benefit of my “foto-cleanup” tools.

Here is the real predecessor for this post . . . small specialized East coast designs.  And here’s a question . . . guess the loa and beam of this vessel.  Answer and fotos follow.

 Some small craft are just beautiful . . .  sweet

not to emphasize the “just” there.  Seriously sweet lines here.

And here. And nearby but in the shadows was a twin called Puffin.   And that vintage Johnson Sea horse 18 was attached to the

the prettiest motorboat I’ve ever seen.  I don’t think that Johnson comes with the blender attachment seen here!!

This is Silk.  Silk is a pushboat.  Believe it or not, it’s the prime mover for a 65′ skipjack, and while hauling for oysters, Silk needs to be hanging high and dry.  I regret I didn’t get a chance to look at the engine.

Stanley Norman dates from 1902.  And that boom looks impossibly long.

And here’s a surprise, maybe.  The vessel in the top foto here is a restored 1925 Hooper Island Draketail named Peg Wallace, measuring a belief-defying 37’6″ loa with a beam of only 6’8″!!  I’d written of local Chesapeake and southern boats here almost two years ago, but this was my first encounter with a draketail.  Scroll down to pete44’s comment here to learn his sense of the origin of the design.

I’d love to see her move through the water.

Draketail . . .  named for a duck.  Make way!

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Celebrity ships call in Bayonne at what’s technically called the Cape Liberty Cruise Port, one of three ocean-going passenger ports in the sixth boro.

This is a port surrounded by people known far and wide, and although I don’t look for celebrities, I’ve crossed paths with the likes of Al Sharpton in Penn Station one dawn on my way to work and Lou Reed on the westside esplanade a rainy weekend day,  I suspect a celebrity must be on a vessel to merit a water display like this one last weekend as Norwegian Star exited the Narrows.

Then there are eye-catching yachts like this one.  Actually at first glance I thought this one was Manhattan or Justice.  But clearly, it had less sheer and more house.

Only when I got back home did I read the name S. S. Sophie and that it is or was the 1947 Trumpy owned by Greta van Susteren.   I know she’s “a celebrity,” but as a non-consumer of TV news, I’ve no idea what her voice sounds like.  And the S. S. ?  steam?  Nope.

Springer spaniel, the owner’s dog . . . if you read that link embedded in the 1947 Trumpy above.  Here and here are  tugster posts with yachts by Trumpy.    Here’s a foto taken from the deck of Scanaro’s Manhattan.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Is Marion M (Greenport, NY 1932) on her own power projecting that potentially gorgeous deck before her?  Might she be?

I’ll be straightforward for once:  Marion M has been moved away from South Street because the museum needs space.  She is for sale. You/your organization can get information on purchasing her by contacting Captain Jonathan Boulware, Waterfront Director, South Street Seaport Museum.  His tele and email are:  212.748.8772      jboulware@seany.org.

Some specifics on her history accompany bowsprite’s rendering here.  Wooden tugboat W. O. Decker (1930) demonstrates that she has the stuff  still in her.  Decker stays at South Street Seaport Museum.   Here and here are two of my many favorite bowsprite illustrations of Decker.

All these fotos come compliments of Jonathan Boulware, who took them in late June, as

Decker towed Marion M out to

her holding area on the KVK . . . where you can pick her up.

I wanted to add a few more fotos of Helen McAllister . . .

who also has at least one

more life ahead of her.   Here’s how she might look under her own power headed your way.

And with all this movement, what might Peking be thinking, saying . ..  .?

Uh . . . she can’t talk, can she?

Again, Marion M can be yours.  Contact Jonathan Boulware, Waterfront Director, South Street Seaport Museum     212.748.8772      jboulware@seany.org      I’m told she’s listed in WoodenBoat‘s “Save a Classic” section, but I haven’t seen that yet.

I’d love to see her gussied up to 1932 standards.  I’d even put greenbacks and sweat equity in the project.  I’m reminded of what the “crazy farmers of Villiersdorp” managed to do . . . or the Onrust project in Rotterdam Junction.

Unrelated but NYTimes article about resurgence:  Cross-harbor rail about to expand exponentially on the sixth boro!!

means all kinds of stuff, starting out with this.  Bowsprite took this foto Thursday.  Yes, that’s the VZ Bridge in the distance.  Not sure what be-flagged and hatted thing does in the foreground go!.


Not sure about this either, but it was fast.

Yes, I have heard of Theodore, but did you know the entire vessel is wood and fiberglass?  Kudos to Bowsprite, who refuses to draw it.  I’ve no clue why it made a short sixth boro stay.

I’ve never seen a four-pontooner before, like this.

Since i’m being flip and opinionated today . . .  let’s me share my sense that the bow of a light container vessel is not a pretty thing!

Twisted Sisters has arrived to fish!  I’m wondering if that means that some

sort of  season begins 1 November?

Isn’t the house profile on this tanker unusual?

Maersk Murotsu entered service in 2010, so she is quite new, and her raked house and plumb bow are unusual.  Does it translate into

increased speed?  This PDF from the Onomichi Dockyard builders call this a Shin-kurushima knuckle-shaped bow, an energy saver.

As she left the KVK and the sixth boro the other day, crew on the bridge wing plotted a course for Aruba.

Thanks to Bowsprite for the fauxtug fotos;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

I looked for a name, but saw only this . . . ballyhoo, which reminded me of the conch republic already a quarter year ago.  Can you identify the yacht?

Black Knight, head-turner that she is, sports

no ballyhoo.

Nor does this large trawler in town last weekend.  Know her?  I love the stacks that suggest Sea Raven . . .

Here following replica vessel Clipper City past Ellis Island . . . it’s Black Douglas, with its tender Wild Oats.

Milk and Honey . . .  not my cup of tea, although I like the other yachts in this post.

Here’s the last clue to the ballyhoo-sporting three-masted schooner, high tech version of sail.

Spirit of Bermuda it is, recent winner of large boat class at the Gloucester Schooner fest.  Click here for a video by Capt. Joey.

All fotos taken in September 2011 by Will Van Dorp.

A lot has happened here in 10 days, although the fotos here reveal none of it.  The sixth boro has its way of obscuring change, seasonal or otherwise.  I know folks within 10 miles of this waterway who have no power yet and who have tossed to curb-side trash picker-uppers most of their water-befouled furniture, appliances, books, etc.

But along the KVK, Chem Antares (ex-Sichem Unicorn) transfers fluids,  while

Torm Sara waits to do the same.  [Doubleclick enlarges most fotos.]

Kings Point Liberator inspects other vessels along the KVK.  I’d never guessed she had a wooden hull.

Sarah Dann froths eastbound.

My shot is a half second late as splash dissipates from this Ken’s Marine boat.

Note the water color here from  Marie J Turecamo and from

Ellen Bouchard.

Anyone identify this crew boat?

To get a sense of scale on ATB Freeport, note the two crew outside the wheelhouse.

So far, Freeport is the only of the US Shipping Partners 12,000 hp ATBs.  Some years back, I was fortunate to have caught one of their ITBs–Philadelphia- high and dry, here and here.  For an update on Philadelphia‘s current location/status, read Harold’s comment below.  Thanks, much . . . Harold.

Skiff in the foreground seems to be capturing flotsam planks for reuse.

Oh, by the way, four days  from now will be the sixth boro’s 19th annual tugboat race.  See you there?

All fotos today by Will Van Dorp.

How many of these tugboats cruising through along the Brooklyn waterfront here can you identify?  One might be as rare as a Mississippi kite soaring over New York.  Answers and more info follows.

And what’s this?  Also a rare film Manhatta (click here to watch the entire 10-minute 1921 silent film) by Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand greets gallery-goers at the Whitney entering “modern Life:  Edward Hopper and his Time.”  Only a few weeks remain to see this, as it closes on April 10.  In this capture from the video, a half dozen steam tugs wrestle RMS Aquitania into a finger pier.  The film becomes tugboat-intensive at the 6:25 point.

Also, Working Harbor Committee presents a rare and exciting documentary followed by a panel discussion THIS Wednesday in New York;  tickets are available here.  I have to work elsewhere that night, but panelists will include my friends Ann Loeding (below) and Jessica Dulong (scroll through), but also

but also many others like Cmdr Linda A. Sturgis.

If you haven’t checked bowsprite’s latest work, check it out here.  What caught my attention other than the actual fantastic drawing was her use of the term “wooden freighter.”  Well, Marion M was built in 1932, and that–from this collage of fotos–was a very different era, a time when freighters could still be wooden vessels.

Back to the first foto of this post:  from left to right and excluding the white vessel in the foreground, it’s Sea Raven, East Coast, and Penn  No. 4 . . . all of which you’ve seen on tugster before . . . and can relocate by typing each name into the search window.  But that black-hulled, white and blue trim vessel in the foreground . . . is Hercules.  I believe she’s a 2011 launch from Washburn & Doughty.

Is it possibly this is her first voyage and that she’s not yet seen the GOM waters where she live?  If so, these are some rare snaps?  Here she heads for the Narrows, Miss Gill behind her and Amy Moran in foreground.  And why do I not recall having seen Amy Moran before?

Fotos of Ann Loeding and Linda A. Sturgis are used by permission from Jonathan Atkin.  All other fotos by Will Van Dorp.

The title comes from St. Exupery.

Where is this 32′ x 5′ Cornish pilot gig emerging out of okoume?  (Doubleclick enlarges most fotos.)

In the sixth boro of course, in fact on Pier 40.  If you were to bore through the floor and lower your toes, they’d feel the chill of Hudson River water in late winter.   Pier 40 is partly used as parking, athletic fields for budding athletes of all sorts, and docking for fireboats and historic vessels.  There even used to be a trapeze school on the roof.  Hmm, maybe one of these days a digression will prompt me to put more trapeze fotos up.  But I went to Pier 40 this weekend to witness the tremendous efforts of the Village Community Boathouse,

where the Cornish gig is under construction, and where some thirty 26′ Whitehall gigs have been built.

What is a gig, a rowing gig?  Click here for dozens of fotos.

The lines on these boats–with only slight modification–date to a rowing race in the sixth boro in 1824!!  Yes, 1824 when a sixth boro gig called American Star beat a British gig called Dart, racing with 50,000 spectators on the waterfront, an event commemorated annually.  and not recalled solely in New York!   Oh . .  about that 50,000-spectator number . .  NY’s population back then was less than 200,000!   25% of the city never turns out for a baseball or basketball game . . .

An interesting twist in the American Star Whitehall boat story is that it was presented to General Lafayette in 1825 (?)  and has remained in France since then.  Mystic’s John Gardner took the lines off the American Star and constructed a replica, which in turn led to the design of the boats in various NYC community boating programs.

Check out the Village Community Boathouse blog here.   By the way, let’s cheer them on at the Snow Row (and Snow Ball) coming up in two weeks.  Here’s a video of the Snow Row 2010 sans snow.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Doubleclick enlarges.  Note the NYC skyline above the Staten Island horizon to the right.

Baykeeper the organization uses this 30′ skiff made with

cedar planks over oak

frames as their patrol craft.

See the builder’s name stamped into metal on the upper left.  The Pedersen family has built wooden skiffs in Keyport (pearl of the Raritan Bayshore)  for three generations.  This Star Ledger article from a few years back shows work in the Pedersen shop.

The top foto comes thanks to Andy Willner;  the others by Will Van Dorp.  NY/NJ Baykeeper has a Facebook page, as does American Littoral Society.

Related:  Riverkeeper also has a wooden patrol boat, I. Ian Fletcher, which I wrote about here back in 2008.

Lots of references to Keyport and Raritan Bay can be found in Mark Kurlansky’s The Big Oyster, which I’m rereading.  I’ve also recently read Jack Jeandron’s Keyport.

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My job . . . Summer AND Fall 2014

Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

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Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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