You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Pilot’ tag.

I took this photo in Waterford eastern terminus of the Erie Canal on November 1, 2010, and the canal had not yet closed.  I had just returned from part of a transit, and we had met lots of boats.  Although we had been bound for the Great Lakes, most, like the intriguing Baidarka, was bound for sea.  As of this writing, Baidarka is back on the Canadian Pacific coast.

A week later, in the sixth boro, docked in front of USNS Sisler, it’s the “love it or hate it” Sea Raven, now turned into new steel.

Sea Bear was engaged in the deepening of the sixth boro, and here a crew on the sheerleg was repositioning the anchor.

Lots of dredges including GLDD New York were involved.  More later.  Captain D, currently in the sixth boro on other duties, was dredge tender.

Then, as now Atlantic Salvor, was active.   I particularly like this shot with the 0730 “golden hour” light.  A very different set of buildings then largely defined the Manhattan skyline.

Wanderbird swooped through the harbor on their way south.

Padre Island and Terrapin Island were regulars recontouring the sixth boro bed.

Beaufort Sea, 1971, is no more. 

The brilliant colored Little Bear, built 1952, became a DonJon vessel, but I’ve not seen her since the Disch auction.

Susan Witte . . . I can’t tell you anything about her either.

Back then I would spend my Thanksgivings in Philly, and the high point of that holiday was not the excellent food and drink and company, but rather seeing the big barge for the first time.

Pilot towed in La Princesa, here assisted up the Delaware by Grace and Valentine Moran.   Pilot has been sold Panamanian, and La Princesa–577′ x 105′–I’ve neither seen nor heard from.  I believe Valentine is still active, but I don’t know about Grace.

All photos, WVD, who looks at these and wonders how a decade has so quickly passed.


Almost exactly a decade ago I did this post.  Today I decided to add to it and broaden the geographic scope.  Stick with me to see how broadened this gets.

From the Delaware Memorial Bridge to the entrance of Delaware Bay is about 100 miles.  Near the entrance you see big water and big traffic, like a light Ivory Coast above and a working OSG Vision below.  OSG Vision is mated to OSG 350, a huge barge used to lighter crude oil tankers 342,000 barrels at a time.

Forty miles upstream from the Delaware Memorial, there’s the Ben Franklin Bridge, here with Pilot towing La Princesa and assisted by Grace and Valentine Moran.

Some Delaware River boats are rarely seen in the sixth boro like Jack Holland.

Almost 150  miles upstream from the Philly-Camden area is  Hawk’s Nest Highway, the part of the river once paralleled on the nearer side by the D&H Canal.

Of course I paddled the whole way up there. In fact, this stretch of the Delaware has enough current that a 21st century paddler would not choose to go upstream very far, and a 19th century boat-mule canaler would want to keep navigation separate from the river.

Early summer had its share of young  birds,

deer, and trout visible under the canoe.

Some mysterious paddlers shared the waters.

That New York side of the river . . .

if you look close, you can see in places that these are not natural rock formations. Rather, they support the towpath side of the D & H Canal, way up above the river.

Part of Route 97 is also known as Hawk’s Nest Highway.

To digress, the eastern end of the Canal–about a hundred miles to the NE–is in Kingston NY, and a transshipping point was Island Dock, which

has now overgrown.  I wonder if there’s ever been a project to clear the trees and undergrowth and contemplate a recreation of this important site.  Oil is today’s fuel;  coal was definitely king in this other age.

But let’s back to the Delaware.  North of Barryville, there’s this bridge. At least, it’s now a bridge, but when

John Roebling built it, it was an aqueduct for D & H coal boats bringing anthracite out of the Coal Region to the sixth boro.


Here’s a preserved portion of the Canal between Hawley and Honesdale PA, just upstream (water has long long) from Lock 31.   Honesdale was once the transhipping point between railroad cars and canal boats and deserves another visit and maybe a whole post, which maybe I’ll getto when the museum there opens again.

Pennsylvania has place names like Oil City, Cokeburg, and Coal Port.  The coal transported on the D & H came from aptly-named Carbondale, another place that deserves more time.  The commodity legacy is seen in these two businesses

and maybe others.

All photos, WVD, at different points over the past 10 years.  If anyone has ideas about high points along the river you’d suggest I visit, please let me know.  Since my jobs for this summer have fallen through, this might be the year to canoe and hike.

Unrelated, if you haven’t yet read this story about an Argentine in Portugal unable to get home because of cancelled flights and choosing to sail across the Atlantic in a 29′ boat to see his father turn 90, here‘s the link.




Let’s start with a Jupiter (1990) in Galveston, thanks to Allen Baker.  The photo was taken about a year ago, after Hurricane Harvey.

Next, thanks to Lisa Kolibabek, another Jupiter, a much older one, which recently went into dry dock in Philadelphia.   Know the date of launch?

Compare her frontal view with that of Pegasus, similar vintage. Click here and here for other Jupiter photos and previous Jupiter posts.

Jupiter dates from 1902.  And staying with vessels named for heavenly bodies, Rich Taylor sends along this photo of Pollux.

A delightfully busy photo, here Pollux appears again with two smalll craft, River Ij ferry, and Prinsendam.

Also from Rich, here’s a pilot boat called Pilot on the Trechtingshausen lies between Koblenz and Bingen right in the upper Rhine.  Although a pilot boat, it resembles an American tug, albeit a long one.  For many similar photo from another photographer traveling from Basel to Amsterdam, click here.

And finally, here are two more from Tony A  Below is a small yard tug on the Rondout and

here’s a tug near the Bayonne Bridge but typically along the coast of New Jersey . . . Pops.

Many thanks to Allen, Lisa, Rich, and Tony for these photos.


Barrel is the pseudonym (nom de blog?) of a gentleman who worked with the USACE for many years in the Philadelphia area.  Click here for the RTC yard history.


Click here for info on the tugboat Interstate.  Can anyone add any info to that?


According to barrel, the YTB here is functioning as a fender between USACE Comber and another vessel. Comber was built in Pascagoula in 1947. 

4bArmy dredge COMBER working close in to starboard side MISSOURI using a YTB as a fender. Pipe alongside MISSOURI is the starboard amidships draft gauge.

Any guesses on the Moran tug here?  It’s standing by after a collision between passenger vessel Santa Rosa and tanker Valchem, whose stack is perched on Santa Rosa‘s bow.


Below is a photo of Valchem sans stack and displaying impact point. Click here for some info on the collision.


Now these next three boats leave me somewhat confused.


Were they sold foreign?  Here’s a reference to a hull #504 and 505 built at Marietta Mfc. in Pt. Pleasant, WV.




And the last of the push boats for today, it’s Mateur.  Well, it was called that, before it became push boat Effie Afton and then a restaurant called Jumers.  Is she still there and serving food and fun?  Maybe I need to schedule a gallivant to Rock Island.


So let’s end with a vessel I’m more familiar with . . . Pilot, currently up the Hudson a ways from the sixth boro.

0abTug Pilot

And here’s Pilot, showing her to scale with her workmates.


Many thanks to barrel, who sends me these and other puzzles, stumpers, and conundrums.

Alpha is the caption on the photo, but there’s no 1928 boat by that name on this list.  Might it also have been called Captain Eric Bergland?


Convoy is one of the four sisters delivered by Leathem Smith in Wisconsin in the spring of 1941. I love the coil on the hawser rack.   I posted photos of wo of the four sisters side by side in this post a few months back . .  scroll.

0aab2Corps tug convoy (1952)

You can read here a story of Evanick, christened in 2006 by the widow of its namesake.  Here’s the Professional Mariner story of her, comparing the Texas-built Evanick‘s power (3000 hp) as twice that of Raymond C. Peck, the vessel she replaced. Peck became Martha T and , unfortunately, made casualty news here in March 2013.


Bluestone Drifter is not much unlike the self-propelled scows (SPS’s) used extensively on the Erie Canal.  This “crane boat,” as the USACE calls it, comes from Utica IN in 2001, making it much newer than the SPS’s on the Canal.

0aab3BLUESTONE Collector

Grand Tower, also Indiana-built, was commissioned in 2001.


Prairie du Rocher is a 2002 product of the same shipyard as Grand Tower and Bluestone Drifter.


Ditto Sanderford, 2005.  I’m starting to want to make a trip along the Ohio visiting shipyards  . . . soon.


Iroquois, delivered in 2005 from a Louisiana shipyard, operates from the Nashville USACE yard.


Barrel calls this Racine, but I can find no info about a newish USACE tug called Racine.  Anyone help?


J. C. Thomas is a 2000 product of Jeffboat, also along the Indiana bank of the Ohio.  Click here for another product of Jeffboat, Cape Henlopen, some folks’ favorite people mover. Is it true that Jeffboat is considered the largest inland ship builder in the US?


I don’t know the date of this photo of Derrick Boat #7 and tug Pilot, but the style of the derrick is quite similar to what is used in the Erie Canal.

0aab11derrick boat #7 and tug PILOT-2

And finally for today, there’s an unidentified USACE tug pushing dredge William L. Goetz.  Anyone have an ID or an idea?


Many thanks to Barrel for these photos.  More of them to come . . .

For an article on what is claimed to be the largest diesel towboat operating on the Mississippi–I’m always skeptical about superlatives–click here.  That article actually describes what could be called MV Mississippi V.  The largest one I’ve ever seen is MV Mississippi IV, now pulled up on a bank in Vicksburg, MS, a museum.  Enjoy these photos I took there three years and four days ago.







Earlier this “classic boat” month I posted contemporary photos of Millie B, ex-Pilot, USACE.

The first two photos below and the last one come thanks to “Barrel.”  I can’t accurately characterize what each is;  I’ll leave that to you.

0aab1tug pilot specs


0aab2Tug Pilot

The middle two photos below come compliments of William Lafferty, frequent commenter, here, who writes, “[This photo] shows it at work, escorting McAllister tugs moving the sections of a floating drydock on the C & D Canal in April 1966.  One can barely see her Smith sister, Convoy, aside the drydock on the left in the foreground.”  Anyone care to speculate whether the nearer McAllister tug is none other than John E. McAllister, now known as Pegasus?  Also, where were these dry docks headed?

0awlPilot 1-2

And, “[This] one shows it at Fort Mifflin in January 1996 while, obviously, still with the Corps.”

0awl2Pilot 2

Here Pilot awaits off the port side of Goethals, built in Quincy MA, and used from 1939 until 1982 and scrapped in 2002. The category here–sump rehandler–sent me on a chase for answers that ended here.  New Orleans–the sump rehandler–was also built as a dredge in Quincy in 1912 before conversion and use until deactivation in 1963 and eventual scrapping.

0aab3Pump out DB#41 New Orleans Goethals Tug Pilot

Finally, last photo is from Barrel, and shows Pilot Palmyra showing a crane barge through the C & D Canal.

0aab4Pilot & Palamra Towing Titan Crane Barge C&D Canal - Copy

Thanks to Barrel and William Lafferty for these photos.

Interested in self-unloading vessels as seen here on tugster?  Read Dr. Lafferty’s book.

Which leads me to a a digression at the end of this post:  Day Peckinpaugh once had an self-unloading system.  Does anyone know the design?  Are there photos of it intalled anywhere?  The photo below I took in the belly of D-P back in September 2009.



How about this to follow yesterday’s post . . .  this Pilot was one of four completed by Leathem D. Smith Towing and Wrecking Co. in Sturgeon Bay WI in March and April 1941.  Actually, the paint on the bow notwithstanding, she’s now called Millie B. 






Here she is just showing off some bare ankle in the lift at Viking Marine.


Here’s a photo of her on the Rondout  thanks to Paul Strubeck–it’s cropped slightly differently from the previous time I used this photo–along with Spooky, the second of the four completed by Leathem Smith in spring 1941. The first time I saw this boat was here in August 2013.  She spent a lot of time in Philadelphia, so I’ll bet my friends on the Delaware have photos of her also.


Thanks to David Black for the photo of Millie B in the slings just above Paul’s photo.


I’ve lived most of my life on one side of the Atlantic or another, which leaves me unfamiliar with the Pacific.  Thanks to Mage, frequent commenter on this blog, here’s a classic Pacific vessel, one built at Manuel Goularte’s yard in San Diego in 1914.  According to information on her filed with the National Register of Historical Places, “her active life of 1914 to present, Pilot has enjoyed the longest continuous career of any working watercraft in the western hemisphere.”


These photos were taken by George Bailey, Mage’s husband.  Click here and scroll to see a photo of Pilot in 1916!  99 years ago.  Click here for a 5-minute documentary featuring Pilot.


My “reading around” turns up Manuel Goularte in connection with another West Coast classic, Butcher Boy.”

Unrelated:  Grace Quan is another classic although replica West Coast boat I’d love to see.   The idea of a west coast trip is an itch I’m going to have to scratch soon!


Here are previous posts with photos by Paul, who decks on Cornell


which does most of its work on the Hudson.  Deborah Quinn (1957) has been here several times, the first here.


Here’s old and new side by side in Red Hook Erie Basin, Scotty Sky and Chandra B.


And some old boats together, Spooky, Pilot, and Gowanus Bay. Click here for one of my favorite sets of photos involving Gowanus Bay.  Pilot and Spooky (as Scusset) both came off the ways in Wisconsin in spring 1941 as USACE vessels.


Evelyn Cutler first appeared on this blog as Melvin E. Lemmerhirt.


I don’t know the story of the seaplane landing on the Rondout on the far side of Cornell, but soon I will be putting up a photo I took last weekend of a seaplane on the St. Lawrence.


It’s that time of year, with hints of


the dark side.



Many thanks to Paul, who took all of these photos.

Safe travels.

This summer has taken me to memorable places and points in time, one of which was this comparison of the NJ-side Holland Tunnel vents today and thirty years ago.

This morning as I walked to a meeting on the Lower West Side of Manhattan, I took this set of fotos, all within a quarter mile . . .  More time travel?


Here’s a perspective of Lilac and Pilot from an angle that was not available–due to construction–as recently as two months ago.  Click here (foto #11) for more info on Pilot, the 1941 tug along Lilac‘s starboard side.



Fair early morning sun illuminates tug Red Hook and the CRRNJ building, seen here 30 years ago.


Brendan Turecamo passes the Hoboken Terminal, originally completed in 1907.   For a look at what’s behind the Terminal, click here.


Tailing Brendan Turecamo was El Galeon Andalucia, presumably headed south for Puerto Rico and Florida.


In Spanish . . . is the phrase “Felices vientos,”  I’m wondering . . .  Also, is El Galeon Andalucia the same vessel that I saw a half year ago in San Juan then called Galeon La Pepa?



All fotos taken this morning between 7:30 and 8:30 by Will Van Dorp.


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October 2021