Author Archives: seamarsh

Death of the Antarctic Ship Hero

How a Notable  Vessel Met Its End on Willapa Bay Fifty years ago, the 125′ X 30′ expedition ship Hero was taking shape at the Harvey Gamage Boatyard in Maine. Designed by Potter & M’Arthur, Inc., naval architects of Boston, … Continue reading

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Ice Bird, Hero, Calypso at Palmer in 1972

Three remarkable craft made an unplanned rendezvous on the Antarctica Peninsula at Palmer Station in the summer of 1972.  The 125′ American research vessel Hero and the 154′ ex-WW II minesweeper Calypso were both traditional wooden vessels while the  32′ … Continue reading

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508′ Liquid Ammonia Tank Barge from Vigor

Vigor, the Pacific Northwest’s biggest shipbuilder, has launched the Harvest, the first liquefied ammonia barge built in the U.S. since 1982. It was built for the Mosaic Co. of Minnesota, a leading producer of concentrated phosphate and potash fertilizers, and … Continue reading

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Caden Foss: 110′ Multi-Purpose Tier 4 Tug

The Pacific Northwest has been at the forefront of North American tug design since the 1980’s, and has brought many innovations to both ship-handling and long-haul tugs. Over the years, a handful of boats have attempted to combine both these … Continue reading

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Harbo & Samuelson Hitched Rides on the Atlantic

First Atlantic Row: Harbo and Samuelson in 1896 The bizarre and risky activity of “ocean drifting by rowboat” has its origin in 1896 when two Norwegian fishermen departed Manhattan in an attempt to row the North Atlantic. Their boat was … Continue reading

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After 70 Years, Katie Ford Sails on in B.C.

In the summer of 2016, I received an email from the Canadian owner of the 44′ cruising yacht Katie Ford, inviting me to its 70th birthday party in Victoria B.C. This classic old sailing yacht was built in in 1946 … Continue reading

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Opinion: Clipper Race a “Sporting Cult?”

The Clipper Race changes lives–but at what cost? Joining the Clipper Race is a serious step that leads a novice or wanna-be sailor on a long, very expensive path away from family and friends into an isolated world full of … Continue reading

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The Cutty Sark Sails into the 21st Century

In 2008, the world’s only surviving clipper ship, the Cutty Sark, suffered a disastrous fire that came close to destroying the entire hull in its permanent drydock beside the River Thames in Greenwich. This news was especially shocking for me … Continue reading

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How the Taste for Tea Created the Tea Clippers

Tea reached Europe from China around 1560 on Portuguese and Dutch ships, but it was a latecomer to England. In London, coffee was the drink of choice among businessmen and Edward Lloyd’s coffee house became the center of shipping insurance. … Continue reading

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2007: Heart Transplant–Caterpillar Re-Powers Corps of Engineers Dredge Essayons

A story I wrote in 2007 for Diesel Progress magazine became an official Caterpillar press release titled Eight Cat® engines re-power the dredge “Essayons,” providing more power, improved efficiency, and emissions compliance for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (Needless … Continue reading

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