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Bear with me here . . . you’ll understand the title in a bit.  But first, any sense of the difference between these first two fotos A and




It turns out that the person who sent these fotos to me has since also used them . . . and put them first in his post, just as I had chosen to before seeing his post.

Nearer vessel below is Terrapin Island, taken just outside the Narrows in May 2012.  Vessel in the distance is Ellen McAllister.


Here are more closeups of Terrapin Island.


At some point since May, she headed down south to southern Georgia . . . northern Florida coast.


Next fotos come from JED.  That’s Terrapin Island in the background.


To see what JED does with the above fotos and many more, click here.

Many thanks to JED for the first two and last fotos.  The difference between A and B is eight knots v.  twelve.

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.

About a year ago, bright-eyed bowsprite caught a glimpse of USAV LCU-2011 running through the sixth boro.  Last week I knew another LCU was heading northward in the Chesapeake as the schooner race proceeded southward.  Little did I know I’d intersect with it at several points as I returned to the sixth boro myself.  The first visual contact I made at Fox Point State Park, along the Delaware between Wilmington and Chester, PA.    Fox Point’s namesake is S. Marston Fox, who inspired the Park’s creation from what had previously been a riverside dump, and of course many more positive things before that.   See the LCU way in the distance?

And this is looking back toward Wilmington (and the Delaware Memorial Bridge)  from near where the previous shot was taken.

I hope you didn’t think that mere speck above was the only view you’d have of Brandy Station.

The Commodore Barry Bridge and Philly Skyline are visible here.  I’d never have guessed the Commodore Barry was younger than the Verrazano.

To my surprise, a few hours later . . . I arrived at Penn’s Landing, et voila!

The Army has 35 of these vessels.

That’s the Ben Franklin Bridge in the background.

Our third encounter happened the next morning . . . as Brandy Station arced across the river and headed back to . . . . the Chesapeake!

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who’s back in the sixth boro.

For an LCU high and dry, click here.  For LCUs worldwide, click here.

When this event happened on Memorial Day in the sixth boro, I wrote about it as “cast.”   The New London cast right after the 4th of July was quite different.   All these fotos come with thanks to Birk Thomas, now at sea. Ferry New London is automatically part of the local and daily cast .

Thames (rhymes with “james” ) Towboat Company’s   John P. Wronowski (2004) was built in Florida.

Gwendolyn (1975) was built in Louisiana.

USCGC Eagle began to take shape in Hamburg in 1936.

USS Carter Hall had her keel laid in Louisiana in 1991.

Adam uses her 450 hp mostly around the Thames Towboat Company yards, where it was built.

Patricia Ann came out of a Louisiana shipyard as a YTB on hull #758 . .  to Hercules #766, now in Nigeria.

Figureheads need inspection.

John P. and Paul A. Wronowski (1980 in Connecticut) assist USS Carter Hall into its berth.  Paul A. was one of the first z-drive tugs ever built.

Ticonderoga (1936 by Herreshoff in Boston as Tioga) begs to be seen from closer, much closer.

Ferry Race Point is cast, even if she’s really working the run to Fisher’s Island.

Behold Wolf . . . she flies the flag of the Conch Republic, where I found myself exactly a year ago!

Cisne Branco . . . like Eagle was in the sixth boro almost two months ago.

Schooner Brilliant, 1932 in the Bronx, is truly brilliant.

Schooner A. J. Meerwald, 1932 in South Jersey, homeports in Bivalve . . . yes the village is truly called that.

Wisconsin-built YP-700 had its keel laid in 1987.

Another shot of Paul A.

It’s Amistad  (Connecticut with a 2000 launch) with its unmistakable rake.

Again . . . many thanks to Birk for these fotos.

First . . . a foto from Cape Town thanks to Colin.  Any idea what purpose the wire coils around the bulwarks of Teliri serve?  Answer at end of post.

Next, from French mariner Herrou Xtian, a LeHavre-based rotor tug RT Claire, now working in Bremerhaven.  For a sense of what she looks like below the waterline, click here.

Also from Xtian, it’s a huge salvage tug Abeille Bourbon.  Xtian’s has a model-building question later in this post.  And I hope to have fotos of a huge tug myself in the next few days.

And from Dave Chappell, Mobro’s Rio Bravo (ex-Gus Candies, 1973)  towing a scow through Jacksonville, FL.

Also from Dave, two old tugs (anyone identify??) travel under the Ben Franklin swing bridge near Charleston, SC.

Teliri has been laying cable in pirate/gangster? infested waters, so it could be construed the coils of barbed wire intends to discourage unwelcomed visits.

And here’s Xtian’s question, stemming from his work on Crowley’s former vessel Centurion.  On his model, the lighter strips represent the keel coolers.  How far do the ones marked A and B extend, and what exactly do they look like.

Here are fotos I took of Centurion high and dry on Mighty Servant 1, about to leave NYC’s sixth boro for Nigeria.  However, the portion Xtian wants to see is obscured in all my fotos.  Anyone help?

Final shot, also from Colin . ..  who’s following the progress of Alwyn Vintcent inland from Cape town on a 90-wheel rig operated by ALE.  Here’s a previous ship-haul job by ALE.

I won’t post tomorrow or friday most likely . .  because I’ll be gallivanting “on assignment.”

Thanks much Colin, Xtian, and Dave.


Shuttles and warships and barks come and go, but the work in the boro never quits.  Greets to all the crew on Falcon (1970),

Crystal Cutler (2010),

Kimberly Poling (1994),

First Coast (1968) and Grace D,

Mary Turecamo, barge Tennessee, and Explorer of the Seas in the background of several of the shots above,

Cecilia Miller and an unidentified WaterTaxi over by Brooklyn Ferry Landing,

All fotos by will Van Dorp, who will be “on assignment” for a few days.

Meanwhile some ponderables:

Movies to see:  Terraferma (maybe Wednesday night) and Beasts of the Southern Wild . . .

A new radio show to create called Boat Talks . . . now that Tom and Ray are parking it . . .

Tugster does not strive to be a “shipping news” site, but each time I walk or ride my beat, I DO keep an watchful eye for change, novelty, well . . . new sights.  Certainly this was true yesterday:   let’s start with the orange vessel to your left.  You’ve seen the colors before, but is that a “hole through the stern above deck”?

I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a bit more of Swan in the next few days.  And I trust lessons have been learned from last spring’s Blue Marlin saga.

So Beauford Sea has begun its Kirbyfication.  As has Norwegian Sea, but I was too far off to get a good foto.

Resolute‘s foredeck seemed to be carrying a lot more than deckhands yesterday.  And is that a movie camera?  And what were they all looking at?

How about this unusual equipment on Ellen?  Is MOL Earnest that tough a customer?

Iron Eagle is not new to the harbor, but the Conti name is . . . at least to me.

Rosemary Miller?  New too.  I wonder what has become of Sorenson Miller.

With spring comes the sailing season, and America 2.0 . . .  I last saw closeup  here last fall.

And one last “newby” I was lucky to catch yesterday was Mark Moran, headed south to  .  . who knows where?    Mark‘s so new that even on Birk and Harold’s excellent site, there’s only a drawing of her.

Followup on lots of these soon.   All fotos taken yesterday by Will Van Dorp.

For the news from the Narrows between Detroit (which means “the narrows” in French) and Windsor, click here for Isaac’s site and some great fotos from Wade.  The surprise there for me was Zeus, who worked the sixth boro a bit a few years back.  Also, there are more shots of DonJon’s huge Great Lakes ATB unit.

Also, of course please vote for tug Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79.   The fact that they’re not in the top few places should NOT be a reason to give up;  we have a daily vote until the 21st.

I was delighted to learn that Birk Thomas had taken these last week.  They are golden hour fotos of a highly unusual transit up the East River.   That’s Queens on the left and a varying Manhattan skyline on the right.

In the past, this blog has published fotos of  covered submarine parts headed south to Newport News, like here and here . . .  ( read Les’ comment in that first link) but Birk caught the uncovered and partially assembled cargo headed north toward Connecticut.

A large part of what motivated me to start fotoblogging the traffic in New York harbor, which I started to call the sixth boro, is the diverse and intriguing traffic on the waters.  No single person I met knew the whole story or appreciated all the details.  New York is no simple river town where one person could sit on the bank and see everything that passes.  So to all of you who’ve collaborated on this tugster project in some way, I really appreciate it.

Here, in Hell Gate, Birk Lyman and Sea Shuttle look to be a whole different tow, given that the late afternoon sun is now behind the camera.   Here’s my first posting of  submarine sections on tugster almost three years ago.

Many thanks to Birk, who started this amazing resource.   Lyman belongs to Gateway Towing based in New Haven, CT.  Check out the Gateway Towing page.

Here and here are two previous “submarines in the sixth boro” posts.

I like collaboration.  Number nine was a week and a half ago, but I do appreciate fotos like the ones here.

Ken of Michigan Exposures took this one up in Bay City, MI, a hundred plus miles northwest of Detroit.  Any guesses on the vintage of this attractive tug . . .55′ loa x 12′ ?  Answer follows.

Staying with vintage Great Lakes tugs, this foto comes from Jason LaDue, who recently sent these fotos from upstate.  The foto below was taken in Oswego, NY, in late 1998.  Three tugs had been sold south by Great Lakes Towing.  The tugs below are from RIGHT to left, Gull (1952 ex-Jennifer George, Galway Bay, Oregon), Sea Tractor (1951 ex-Messenger, Patricia Hoey, New Hampshire) and the one I’ve called Grouper, whose entire saga you can find by using the blog search window to the left.  Gull and Sea Tractor were both built in Louisiana at Alexander Shipyards.

At this point these fotos were taken in December 1998, all three tugs were headed south, but Grouper has never left the Erie Canal yet . . . in the past 13 years.  Did anyone catch Gull and Sea Tractor coming through the sixth boro in early 1999?

Here’s Gull working the icy Great Lakes as Gaelic’Galway Bay, and

Sea Tractor in the same green as Patricia Hoey. Note the wheelhouse design of Patricia.

When these tugs had first come to the Great Lakes, via the Mississippi/Chicago River, they looked different.  Tug on the far right is Messenger, before becoming Patricia.

Which brings us to the present.  I’m told that Gull was scrapped last year in Virginia/Philly (?) as American Pride.  Anyone have other fotos?  Here are two by shipjohn.  Thanks, shipjohn.

And Sea Tractor (then called Shark) was reefed a year and a half ago near Miami’s Haulover Artificial Reef site in September 2010.  I’d LOVE to see fotos of her in her last years, maybe even of the scuttling.  Anyone help?    Here’s a poor quality foto of  Shark being hauled out to be reefed in 255′ of water.

No news currently on Grouper in Lyons, NY, but I wish the restoration of the 100-year old tug success.

Thanks much to Jason and Ken for these fotos.

Jill Marie, 121 years old!!  Built 1891.

I’d planned something different for today, but then my inbox started to fill.  And it makes me happy to feel a community building here.  So . . . thanks all for reading and sending fotos and links.  I wanted to go out taking fotos, but a pile of tasks told me to stay home.

First, Ann O’Nymous sent me a link to Tugboat Tales, a fabulous documentary made by the late Bart Lawson back in 1991.  This first-rate documentary is divided into parts one, two, and three.   A click gets you to youtube.

Next, harbor photographer extraordinaire John Watson went to check progress on Ambrose, and discovered the drydock had been floated out and reoriented 180 degrees, with the lightship on board.  That would have been a sight to behold.

  Now here’s the bow . .  as seen from shore.   Given the wind, the blue belly over the mushroom anchor is clearly a blue tarp.

Next, from Allen Baker, this foto of a lightship undergoing restoration two hundred miles . . . downeast . . . well, in Boston.   It’s LV-112, which last appeared in this blog almost two years ago.  That info back in 2010 was passed along by Matt of Soundbounder.  Check this link (Thanks to Rick) for many more fotos of LV-112.

As I said, I stayed inside this morning, chomping at the bit because Orange Star was headed out.  Had I realized that her sister vessel was coming in and that they’d cross not far from the Narrows, I would have “busted out.”  Nothing could have kept me inside.  Then, I got an email from bowsprite informing me that Orange Babe Wave had come into port, and I was beside myself.  At which point . . . .

I got an email from John Skelson, with attached fotos of Orange Wave!!!  If you’re new to this blog, I’m a self-professed orangejuiceaholic.  Here, thanks to A. Steven Toby is a link to the technology of these juice ships.

And since this post has become a gallery of other people’s fotos, here’s another from Allen Baker.  A little self-disclosure here:  I moved to the Boston area in the mid-1980s.  One day in 1986, I was walking near the Science Museum and saw two very tired tugboats there, Luna and Venus.  The sad sight drew me in.  To see these beauties in such an utter state of disintegration broke my heart.  I thought both were doomed.  Venus was clawed into matchsticks in 1995, and Luna very narrowly escaped the same fate.  Read the much nuanced story here.   Luna dates from 1930, the same year as W. O. Decker.  I hope to see Luna again soon;  too bad I didn’t carry a camera around back in 1986.

And Decker brings the post to South Street Seaport, which I’m thrilled isexperiencing early springtime, frigid temperatures notwithstanding.  Also, if you’ve been in NYC recently, you know it’s been a snowless winter so far;  this foto was taken last year.  I’ve always know the vessel below as Helen McAllister, but now I’m embarrassed to note that she’s also the ex-Admiral Dewey and Georgetown.  I’d never realized that.  Further, she came off the ways into the KVK in 1900, built at the same yard that produced Kristin Poling!    And this raises two questions:  is Helen McAllister that last power vessel of that yard  still extant?  And, does anyone know of fotos of Helen McAllister that show her working during OpSail 1992.  Which raises the question . . . am I the only one NOT hearing talk of planning for OpSail 2012 New York?

Both Ambrose and Admiral Dewey/Georgetown/Helen McAllister are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It’s cold outside and tomorrow should be colder, so you could click on every link above  and drink some hot tea.  Did I complete many of my tasks today?  No, but I had a ball with these fotos.  Watching all three parts of Tug Tales will take about a half hour, but it is well worth the time.

Thanks to Ann, John, Allen, bowsprite, Steven, and John for fotos and info.

Finally, here are two other worthwhile places to check while emptying that pot of tea:  Oil-Electric on “marine railroads” and a treasure trove of fotos from the National Maritime Museum on Flickr.

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