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In six days, the gates along the NYS Canal system will be staffed and lifting/lowering vessels across the state.  This is the third in a series of posts about the vessels that have worked to keep the canals functioning. 

Not all these vessels, like Wards Island below, remain;  it’s now over 50′ under surface of salt water on Hempstead Reef, scuttled.  The bow of the tug here, Syracuse, does continue to work as she approaches her 90th birthday.

Below you see the 88-year-old tugboat Syracuse towing a group of canal vessels late in the season back in 2014.

Tender #1, along with most of the other tenders, are now in their 10th decade.

Ditto #9.

Curvaceous boats are out, and state-of-the-art boxy ones are in. 

Boats like Waterford approach their eighth decade. 

Grand Erie and Urger, both inactive, have been featured here many times.

And boxy, mostly nameless replacements have replaced them.

Urger here exits the lower side of Lock 17 in Little Falls as the sun illuminates the chamber.

All photos, WVD, who salutes the crews who operate these boats, even the finicky old ones.  If you’re sailing the canal this summer and see these boats and crews, give a wave but also give them wide berth, as they diligently work to keep the waterway open.

Of course, if you need a guide, check out my virtual tours based on my boat transits and my one bike trip.

Besides larger tugboats like Urger, the Canal has a fleet of nearly identical smaller ones called dredge tenders, or usually just “tenders” like the unidentified one to the left in the photo below.

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Here’s a set:  Tender #1

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Tender #3 stern and

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bow and

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at work moving Urger out of dry dock.

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Tender #4 in February 2014, and

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tender #4 after being electrified, and

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at work in Utica this summer.

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Tender #6.

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Tender #7 summer and

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bow in winter, with an unidentified tender (registry at MB 5900??) and tender 4 in the distance.

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Tender #9 profile and

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three fourths.

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Tender #10 on the hard and

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assisting a dredge.

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Tender with identifier ending in 0209,

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. ..  0308

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. . . 0313 aka Dana?

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Dana again.

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Again, I need to dig into the history of this class of Canal vessel.  What number was this?

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and why is it here?  How many others are there?

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

DB here expands to “derrick boat, not a term that had been in my vocabulary before this season.  Why DB #4 has been dubbed “the chief” I don’t know.

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The next two photos show DB #4 eastbound near Schenectady a few days ago, pushed by Grand Erie and

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boom resting on a scow.

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Here’s the same derrick boat working on reinforcing a canal wall east of Herkimer back in August.  The white tour vessel is Lil Diamond III operated by Erie Canal Cruises Herkimer.

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In late September, here was DB 2A working near Newark.  Note the elbow boom.   Tug Syracuse is standing by with the scows.

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Here’s another shot of those units.  I’m not sure how the nomenclature makes this DB 2A.

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Here’s DB 13 at the Genesee Crossing, i. e., the point where the Erie Canal and the Genesee make an X.  Standing by here is Tender #9.   I’m planning an encyclopedia of canal tenders soon.

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I don’t know how many other functioning derrick boats work the Canal.  One non-functioning one is here in Oswego.

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Here’s what the sign out front says.  I’m wondering if the other derrick boats above date from the same era.

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Two shore mounted derricks are this one in Fonda and

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this one at the junction lock in New London NY . .  between Rome and Syracuse.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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Will Van Dorp took the above photos between Pittsford and Medina.

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