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I initially thought to repeat some photos of New York Power Authority vessels near the Niagara River, but they’re here already in a post from December 2017.  Ironically, these vessels are based on the Buffalo River,   not the Niagara River, in the warm season. NYPA boats become active when most boats come out of the water at the start of ice season.

Here’s a photo of the ice boom (below shown ashore during the non-ice season) and

of BreakerBreaker, 1962 and 43′ x 14′,  was technically replaced by a new vessel in 2015, Joncaire IIOther boats specifically breaking ice there are Niagara Queen and William H.LathamRead more on Latham here. More on the Queen here.

Currently traveling north on the Hudson making its way to Buffalo via the Erie and Oswego Canals is Breaker II.


If you have lots of time and want to read an International Joint Commission report on ice boom usage, click here.

I suspect Breaker II will be westbound in the Erie Canal this weekend.

These photos I took in North Cove, lower west side of Manhattan.

All photos, WVD.


New York Power Authority, the parent organization to the Erie Canal, pays close attention to the temperature of Lake Erie.  The magic number is 39 degrees in the fall.  Why?

When that happens, Breaker and

other equipment such as Havasu II and Daniel Joncaire

start moving those rust-brown, sausage-looking objects on the bank.

Here’s a better look at those objects, floats I’ll call them.

I believe at least one new tug is now being used, although it was docked elsewhere and a photo follows.

Here you see more of the floats beyond Washington and Vermont,  launched in 1925 and 1914 respectively.

This aerial photo by Derek Gee for the Buffalo News shows those structures as an abstract pattern in summer bank storage, waiting for the temperature of the water to drop to 39.  To get the complete source and read the story, click on the photo itself.

Credit for the photo above to Derek Gee;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

Click here and  here to see installation of the ice boom on the upper Niagara River.

Above and below, this is Daniel Joncaire II, the newest NYPA tug, I believe.

And where does the Joncaire name come from?  Check here.



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