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Fishnets get dragged by different forces around the world, but what’s remarkable is the similarity of modern commercial fishing boats. Scroll through this “December holiday” series taken by the master of yacht Nolwandle to see net boats from South Africa.

I’ll be really surprised to see a net boat called after the Norse sea goddess Rán, an original “fisher of me” and this Sunday’s siren. Above are some Jersey shore boats.

By the name, you’d guess this photo to have been taken in Asia, but . . . Jersey shore, again, although the boat’s registered in Pennsylvania. Check out this great post showing Galician boats from El Mar.

Here are two shots, above and below, of boats from Long Island and New Jersey.

What makes people who fish commercially part of a global brother- and sisterhood is the constant danger; it’s one of the most dangerous professions, whether nets or traps are used.

Anyone out there can send fotos or shout out blogs of fish boats in Asia, Europe, the Pacific, Australia? South America?

Finally, unrelated except through the danger factor, read cruelkev‘s April 5 report on–and foto of –a French sailing yacht taken by pirates off Somalia.

Check the quote at the end of the previous post in this series here.

I saw this orange vessel zooming toward me the other day and was certain someone from the homeland intended to secure me . . . I escaped only to learn (two days later) a dear friend was aboard. Hi g. g. ! In the background that’s remnants of a wooden floating dry dock, itself dry-docked on a bank west of Shooter’s Island, ex-yacht building site for the rich and famous.


If I misread security for survey on the as-yet unnamed (that I know of) vessel at the top, markings are clearer on Smoke II, a 1958 Fire Department tender. I love the lines on this boat. Read a Smoke II rescue story here.


Redfish, below, based in Greenport, was the winner of the 2007 Workboat Race there. See her as a speck in the last foto.


Survey vessel Red Rogers sleeps at a marina on Arthur Kill, but I now nothing about RR.


Thinking back on this post . . . fotos of red boats without much to read.

Speaking of names, look what’s got “Steve Irwin” on its stern now.

In two days tugster begins year 2 of blogging. Hence, some retrospection these days. Stories I missed include the biggest, I mean biggest! tanker to enter NY harbor possibly ever, a VLCC aka Malaccamax named Centennial Jewel ex Courtenay Bay 300,000 dwt! This compares with an average tanker dwt of under 70,000 in NY harbor. And, you might ask, where was tugster?


Uh . . . on a bridge over the Mississippi with his eye focused on a big snapping turtle drifting closer to a clueless duckling, maybe? Friends told me about the VLCC, but well, I missed it. And then there was Proteus. Not the seagod or any of the other meanings. But where was I, you might ask?


Uh, at the beach watching boa constrictors where they oughtn’t be. This boa’s eyes transfixed me, and I couldn’t break away, I confess.

Anyhow, while we’re on big unusual things, beasties and such, here’s another monster I missed. Before–long before–I was born, believe it or not . . . a whale shark was caught off Fire Island, August 9, 1935. Damn! I missed that one too. Check this out. A better picture hangs in White Caps in Islip. Don’t click on the link at the end of this sentence if you wish to avoid seeing more–this time from National Geographic–about the Japanese humpback hunt. It’s disturbing.

I missed many more stories, too. So I’m hoping in year 2, tugster evolves into more cameras and eyes. Email me: I’d love the collaboration and multiple PsOV.

Speaking of other points of view, click here for Peter Mello’s coverage of the sinking off Antarctica.

Thanks to the tillerman, this post, long enough gestated, gets published. Over two months ago I posted about wheels, and if you look at the last foto in that post of Cornell’s wheel sans projecting spokes, you’ll understand what modifications are made to protect the helmsman’s face/teeth during quick maneuvers associated with docking assists.


Scroll thru to nautical etymologies here to “tiller” to see the crossbow connection. Sorry, not alphabetical. While looking there, is there a difference in usage today between scow and barge?


Most assuredly the helmsman on Rosemary Ruth is handling a tiller. Read the saga of Orbitlog here.


Note the tiller/rudderpost connection here. Scroll down for the rest of the vessel.


Here’s the front section driven by that tiller/prop farther above. No mast? Why the low freeboard? Come back tomorrow. The two fotos immediately above were taken in southern Long Island.

Btw, happy thanksgiving. And thanks for reading the blog.

Posting for the 300th time entitles me to some ecstatic indulgence, doesn’t it?


‘Nets gets my attention anytime…


Any color or design . . .


On or off the dragger . . .


Even lacey gillnets and float flags inspired by Christo. Lucky for me I’m not a fish. I’d rush in, and . . .


I’d become someone’s omega-3. Where has she been netting?

All kidding aside: this news and this about the offensive against humpbacks really disturbs me.  And–as conflicted as we are all sometimes–how do you call this scientific?

This series — 5, 4, 3, 2, and the original– has looked at vessels whose function has changed significantly enough to say it has a second life. Here’s a slight twist on that . . . this one went from work boat to work boat in its 127-year life. Look closely at the fotos and see if you can detect the change before I reveal it.










Shout it out, Charlotte!

“I began my life as a sandbagger sloop, maybe a cat.” Read her bio here.

Look at the speeding government boat below. Imagine what it might be doing in–say–2035.


I love some of the design features like the built in side boarding steps. I’d gladly then, when it looks like an antique, buy it in order to give it a second life.


Someone appears to have “privatized” this 44-foot self-righting surfboat. Scroll through the link to see both the 44- and the 47-foot boats.


And this vessel, enjoying a new career, appears to be a repurposed 25-foot motor surfboat. Fred has a much better shot of it here.

Can October already have arrived? Summer 07 chucked into the memory?


Surely autumn winds must be hurling this cute sloop. Anyone know the name of this vessel in Greenport last weekend?  And the four sails’ names?  jib, staysail, gaff-rigged main, and topsail?


Not a day younger than a century plus a year, the Mary E sails towards the east and soon headed west. Catch her as she heads through the west end of Long Island Sound.  By the way, what name goes with the forwardmost sail currently set here?


Other than that this schooner with tanbark sails goes by Gallant and has sailed out of Greenport for decades, I offer nothing.  I gather the color came originally from a bath used to preserve sail cloth?


I caught a glimpse of Kalmar Nyckel, Delaware‘s tall ship, the other week as I crossed westward on the Verrazano. Thanks to Daniel for sharing this foto and to Fielding for helping me identify what I saw. It looked tiny as it motored toward Sandy Hook past an anchored tanker.  As to sail names here, guess I’ll just have to go to Delaware and take a tour.

Workboats past and present can be as stripped down and unique as some farm trucks I once drove.


Thanks to Brian for this foto of a gundalow from New Hampshire, one of my old ports in New England. Notice the lateen sail and the long oars in locks. Gundalows strike me as sailing scows, but I’ve never had a sense why the name resembles the Venetian canal craft.  Were gundalows used elsewhere along the marshes and bays behind barrier beaches of the East Coast?


A rudimentary yard tug, BTU was the official boat of the Greenport workboat component of the maritime festival. The forward house perforated by the stack . . . covers nothing but a Ford Lehman diesel. And no lifelines or bulwarks.


The classy grate on the afterdeck gives access to the stuffing box and bilge. Is that a police uniform worn by the man on the dock?


The self-propelled barge is named Preston. Any guess what the foredeck of Preston transported later that day?


Would you believe three companies of pipers piping and traveling in style?  A workparty on a workboat, no doubt.

After the parade, a race happens.  If this blog did audio and “sensearound,” you’d hear the roar and feel the splash and pitch. You’d need towels for your desk and a cloth to clean your glasses. For now, read the fotos and imagine the sound. Cover your keyboard lest the spray damage it though. Picture the photographer, back braced against the deckhouse, one foot against the inside of each toerail, as the sweet official boat BTU rocks. I’ll try to put up a foto of BTU and pushing matches tomorrow.

A stealthy tugboat Dragon churns forward,

Cornell builds momentum,

Illusion dashes towards the breakwater,

and Patrician Ann cuts us close, but lags far behind Redfish almost invisible off slightly to port.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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

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More Photos

Seth Tane American Painting

My other blogs

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Henry's Obsession

My imaginings and bowsprite's renderings of Henry Hudson's trip through the harbor 400 years ago.

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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