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I wonder what kids now 12 or 13 imagine as part of their future, their 2050s, 60s, and beyond. I expected the beginning of the 20th century to bring flying cars, routine trips among the planets, and a whole different looking fleet than what we have. Of course, who knows if what we have and will have is what we need. But I digress. Hydrofoils just have not evolved as expected a half century ago. Previous posts I’ve done on the subject are here.
Actually hydrofoil history goes back more than 100 years and Alexander Graham Bell was a pioneer. Another key developer seems to be Helmut Kock (or Koch). The entire 20th century brought all kinds of research and craft. All the following photos and clippings come compliments of Capt. Ray Graham, US Navy vet and former hydrofoil captain in his native New York City’s sixth boro as well as in Florida and Vermont. The photo below shows the original Albatross in Shelburne (Burlington) in 1966. I realize this is 20/20 hindsight, but it seems risky to hang that name on any innovation.
After driving hydrofoils in New York and Vermont, Ray went to Miami,
where the next few photos were taken.
Here are Ray’s words: [Later] “I left hydrofoils in Miami because I could see the end coming. I hired on as a Captain running a double decker sightseeing boat out of Haulover Docks on the Intracoastal Waterway. When an opening came I applied for and got a job with the City of Miami as an Assistant Dockmaster at one of their Marinas.”
Here are undated images of prototypes clipped from various magazines and newspapers. Click on this photo gallery from the International Hydrofoil Society for many, many more photos.
Left to right here . . . Miss USA 1966, a hydrofoil “stewardess,” and Capt. Ray Graham, after an exciting tour of the harbor on then-“the latest” in transportation.
Click here for a range of info on hydrofoils and hydroplanes. Click here for an “I don’t know what it is” vessel that visited the sixth boro back in 2007 . . . and I missed it, heard about it the next day.
Seriously, what astounds me about this technology is how thoroughly it has disappeared, at least from the US Northeast, my perspective. As I looked for info on hydrofoils on Lake Champlain, e.g., this (about halfway through the article) new use of “hydrofoil” come up.
When I asked Capt. Graham why hydrofoils have mostly disappeared here, he opined that “they all died of the same disease, mismanagement.” He added, “starting off carrying passengers was a mistake; it might have been better carrying light freight across the Sound and up and down the Hudson.”
I asked if he thought today’s catamarans were an evolution of this generation of hydrofoils, he said, “They’re a horse of a different color entirely, in my opinion. When I worked testing the air cushion vehicle (ACV) for General Dynamics, we had a smaller boat (16′) configured like a catamaran, known to us as “hard walled” or “hard sided” which had to be rigged with a lift engine. [But after a year] General Dynamics dumped the whole project . . . we were all laid off, returned to jobs in the Electric Boat division. In my opinion, today’s catamaran ferries are more offspring of ACVs than hydrofoils.”
Many thanks to Ray for sharing these photos, stories, and opinions.
Click here for a post I did a few years back with a photo showing the ignominious end of Plainview AGEH-1.
Here are previous posts in the series.
The next two photos come from Tugbitts vol. 16-1 Winter/Spring 2005 issue, pages 12 and 13. In the accompanying article, “From Flash Gordon to Handsome,” Capt. Harold Rudd describes how he bought David (1936) as she looked below in 1968 in West Palm Beach, FL, and delivered her to Long Island and then rebuilt/transformed her into a conventional looking tug.
I’d love to find more photos of her–either in Louisiana, Florida, or New York–when she had this visibility-limiting appearance. Anyone help?
The next two photos are the result of research by William Lafferty, much appreciated commenter on this blog.
The image below comes from Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
Dimensions on David were 54.4′ x 15.5.’ In Rudd’s 2005 report, he said that at that time, the tug had been sold to BAC Inc. Does anyone know if she still exists and if so under what name?
Art deco streamlining, which –IMHO– did nothing to enhance the performance of the tug, had its manifestations in other boats like Kalakala and SS Admiral and certainly in land vehicles, some extreme examples can be seen here and here.
As I said above, some of these photos appeared in Tugbitts over 10 years ago. Tugbitts recently announced it has decided to cease publication. I think its demise is a great loss, but I have to admit I did very little to help sustain it, which I regret. Click here for the announcement about the closing of the journal.
How about cold pics today, like these first two of Line. For the story, click here, an article that never got paper published.
What floats in the Hudson here is like what floats in my tea all day. I recall that the crew I interviewed here told me I should try to see one of these in dry dock to understand how the design of the hull makes these small tugs great for breaking ice. “It has an ice pick,” one person said.
Anyhow, this is about WYTL design. See the ice pick? The bow rides up on the ice and the perpendicular notch saws through.
I’m glad I finally got to see this, and I hope you too are chilled by thinking of icebreakers and the beautiful season shaping us a half year from now.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
Do you want to do the Great Loop, all 5000+ miles of it? And you don’t have more than–say–a few days? How about a few hours on a weekend when the weather’s inhospitable? Now you can do it . . . and click on the photo below to see what it looks like to do the circumnavigation at warp speed . . . from Sandy Hook to Liberty Landing in . .. just over a minute.
That video of one of over a hundred now available on Youtube. Try this one . .. Liberty Landing to Croton Point Half Moon Bay in just over two minutes in the rain. The videos were produced by ActiveCaptain. The vessel, a DeFever 53RPH Trawler, below is the ActiveCaptain’s version of the google camera car. Read Bob Stopper’s article on the project here. Bob also took all the photos in this post.
Many thanks to Bob for info about these videos and these photos.
If you ever drive eastbound on Staten Island’s northern “land edge” route aka Richmond Terrace, you’ve probably seen this mural by Ian Kelleher. The other day I stopped for a closer look and noticed
a delightful additional spoke on Bayonne’s windmill–harkening back about 400 years–and a huge upside-down unicycle just west of the ferry racks.
When I approached the ferry terminal, I noticed some wheel hardware beginning to accumulate.
Keep your eyes on this location . . . things could be happening soon. By the way, notice there are details of ships hidden in the background of the three previous photos, speaking to the proximity of the Eye . . . or Wheel . . . to shipping channels.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
This photo was taken in late spring 2009. Onrust had been splashed just a day or two before, as recorded in post 1 here and then 2 here. But look over to the right side of the photo, the two bollards on squarish platforms in the water.
These. Well, at summer pool . . . when the water level of the canal is up to allow navigation, they look like so, but
when winter comes and the state hydrologist directs draw-down of the pool, the bollards are on platforms that
are actually concrete barges, ones that do NOT rise and fall with changing pool levels. The snowy photos I took last weekend.
Note the reference numbers below and
Here’s how they look on google satellite view. For more on the builder behind these, click here . . . G. A. Tomlinson.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
I should rename this post “Time Warp.” I started it in May 2008 and this morning–in response to some Facebook exchanges–resurrected it. Maybe I will begin a series called “Time Warp,” though, and any photos no more than 20 years old–to pick an arbitrary boundary and to keep the series from becoming ancient time warp which could be its own thing– . . . any photos you wish to contribute no more than two decades old would be welcome. Maybe I gave up on this post six years back because I had too many unanswered questions.
Anyhow, to plunge back in . . . Robert Silva and Harold Tartell provided foto of Manhasset from way back, when it sported a flying horse on its stack . . . . I assumed this vessel was long ago scrapped. I’m also assuming the location of this shot can be pegged by the two LNG tanks in the background.
Here’s a photo I took in 2008: a different small tankship Mostank (1950) maneuvers close to a tanker. I don’t know if Galahad is still in service, and
Here in Arthur Kill to resupply, I suppose, Mostank . . . M O S being Marine Oil Service. Mostank shows up as registered until at least a year ago. Emma Miller now serves the sixth boro.
Back then, John B. Caddell was still working. Is she still intact?
Nathan E. Stewart was still in town and here moving Mary A. Whalen to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The unique Odin still worked here, and
Weddell Sea was still known as Scott C.
All photos here by will Van Dorp unless otherwise attributed.
Thanks to Les Sonnenmark and Peter Lellow for helping me “see” what I was just looking at. Last week I got some fotos of Düsseldorf Express leaving the sixth boro via the KVK. See anything different?
Watch the vessel . . . .
There . . . the aftmost starboard container. What is so special about it?
Here’s a foto Peter sent me . . . a container ship in port hooked up to shore power. Cold ironing . . . I’d heard about it but never known what it looked like. I don’t know if the service already exists in Port Elizabeth . .. but this vessel is equipped.
I took the first three fotos. Thanks much to Les and Peter for directing and educating my eyes.