First some background . . .from  Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Chapter 24 . ..  last two paragraphs:

“If I shall ever deserve any real repute in that small but high hushed world which I might not be unreasonably ambitious of; if hereafter I shall do anything upon the whole, a man might rather have done than to have left undone; if, at my death, my executors, or more properly my creditors, find any precious MSS. in my desk, then here I prospectively ascribe all the honor and the glory to whaling; for a whale-ship was my Yale College and my Harvard.”

New York once used a Liberty ship as a high school . . . from the late 1940s until the early 1980s, if I understand correctly.   The photo below comes credit to Seth Tane.  Read the print on the bow.


Here’s another photo of that school.  Click on photo to see its provenance and more.


August 2011 . . . NYC Department of Education’s Harbor School takes possession of Privateer on long term lease from NYC Department of Transportation,  Staten Island Ferry.  It’s an ex- 46′  BUSL . . .”boat utility stern loading,” and


here’s Privateer today, after a “learn-on-the-job” transformation in which Harbor School students participated.  Click here for a six-minute video shot mostly on the vessel used in vessel training AND oyster bed restoration.


Photos below show the Schottel drive unit being installed in Privateer after reconditioning.



Another one of Harbor School’s boats is Indy 7.  Indy is so-named because she was one of twelve utility boats aboard CV-62 Independence, which I visited in Bremerton, Washington a few years back.  CV-62 was a Forrestal-class carrier laid down in Brooklyn, and I’m thrilled that the tradition lives on, a government boat having a second life  training local youth.


Thanks to Capt. Aaron Singh, waterfront director at NY Harbor School for this info and these photos.  Photo below showing the Boston Whaler named Pescador comes credit of  Captain Chris Gasiorek.  Thanks, Chris.


If you’re reading this and you’re a graduate of Harbor School OR the SS John W. Brown School, I’d love to get a comment from you, especially about the path the school put you on.

Here and here are posts in which I’ve referred to Harbor School.

Unrelated but interesting:  a floating school in Bangladesh, a school boat bus in Washington on the Salish Sea, and finally a floating school in Nigeria.